A Review of Some Wild Springs and Healing Springs 

a guide to some wild springs and healing springs in the USA

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Spoutn Spring in Frederick Maryland

Disclaimer & Cautions  


Some Springs

The springs featured on this website are listed below, with links to their respective pages on this site:

Please see the sections below as well, which include:

  • Why Have I Created This Website?
  • The Most Reliable Springs
  • Is Wild Spring Water Safe to Drink?
  • Care of the Area Around Springs
  • A Few Tests Regarding Claims of Healing Water
  • Are There Any Hot Springs or Warm Springs in the Eastern Part of the USA?
  • Facts and Myths About Wild Springs
  • Glossary of Some Common Terms, Notes
  • Professional Photos of the Flora and Fauna Catoctin Mountains

Why Have I Created This Website?

For all of my life, I have been fascinated by springs in general, and particularly:

  • hot springs and warm springs
  • healing springs 
  • other kinds of exotic springs, such as springs from extremely deep water sources which are claimed to supply primordial water or primal water 
I am extremely fortunate to currently live in a remote area in the Frederick Watershed, near Frederick, Maryland, just a few hundred yards from the roadside spring known as Spoutn Spring, and, indeed, there are actually several other roadside springs along the same road as well, although none are as reliable and consistent (e.g., consistent year-round flow), convenient or accessible as Spoutn Spring. Incidentally, there are over a hundred springs in this remote mountainous area within less than one mile of the spring (and within one mile of my home), but most are not near roads and not easily accessible. In any case, I pass the local spring on a daily basis while I am on my walks, and I often encounter folks from far and wide who have parked in the small parking area (about large enough for three vehicles) across the road from the spring -- these people are invariably at the spring filling numerous water jugs, buckets and other containers. While some of these folks are local old-timers who grew up in the area, many have driven anywhere from 45 minutes to over an hour from Rockville, Bethesda, DC, or northern Virginia specifically to come to the spring and fill numerous jugs, buckets and carboys with water. Indeed, a large majority of these folks who have driven from afar are of Asian origin, mostly Chinese-Americans. Many of these "outsiders" ask me many questions about the spring.

So, here are my reasons, or at least most of them, for creating this website:

  • I love springs and have always been fascinated by them
  • A number of the folks of Asian ancestry from the DC/VA area whom I encounter at nearby Spoutn Spring have asked me lots of questions about that particular spring and about other local springs, and about safety of the water.
  • I hope to be able to offer folks at least a modicum of information about some local well-known springs
  • And, why is this website named Fun Springs?  Aside from Funsprings being an available domain name which made sense, I created this website because it was fun to do, and I hope you have fun reading the fun spring website!

image 19 - spoutn spring, left front wide viewThe Most Reliable Springs 
A highly reliable spring is one that provides relatively safe potable water in sufficient quantities to be usable, and which flows year-round, even during the driest seasons. If a spring flows during even dry seasons and during droughts, then we know that the water comes from a relatively deep and stable, high-capacity aquifer; such an aquifer contains rainfall water which has percolated through multiple layers of soil, rock, gravel and sand to reach the aquifer or "water table". However, like most such wild springs which emerge out of hillsides and mountainsides, at least some small percentage of the water in the spring appears to be surface runoff water which has not yet been fully filtered by the action of multiple layers of soil, rock, gravel and sand. This is sometimes referred to as "artesian water" or "surface water" or "shallow surface water", although all these terms are rather imprecise.

Is Wild Spring Water Safe for Humans to Drink?
Well, for drinking purposes, a constant danger with any wild source of water, whether it be as spring, a creek, a pond, lake or river, is the possibility of any of the following:

  • toxins from human activity, such as toxic waste, waste from septic tanks, runoff from agricultural operations, or runoff from nearby road surfaces
  • harmful or undesirable bacteria or viruses, from either human or animal waste or activity
  • parasites such as giardia or the amoeba which causes amebic dysentery
Each wild source of water encountered, in this case, wild springs, must be evaluated regarding each of these possibilities. Obviously, if a spring has been in use for a long time by locals with no ill effects and folks seem to keep returning to it again and again, this may offer some evidence of relative safety.

By the commonly-accepted standards of most local health departments, the water from many wild undeveloped springs may not be totally safe to drink, because many wild springs have been found to contain an excessively high level of fecal coliform bacteria. These bacteria are not usually harmful in themselves, but rather, their presence in amounts over a certain threshold level is often taken by public health authorities to indicate that at least some of the water in the spring may be from shallow surface runoff water, aka surface water, which has not yet been well-filtered by multiple layers of soil, deep sand and rock, and thus may still contain appreciable amounts of fecal material from local wild animals, including mice, rabbits, raccoons, skunks, snakes, turtles and birds. And, according to the reasoning of these health authorities, there could therefore be harmful microbes, or harmful one-celled organisms such as those which cause amebic dysentery or giardia, or even so-called intestinal parasites, present in such traces of fecal matter as well, and such organisms could end up on the water, and these could prove harmful to some people, at least to people with known vulnerabilities, such as the very  young, the very old, or those with immune deficiencies.

My own view is that ultimately, it is up to each individual person to weigh the risks personally and to decide for themselves whether or not to drink the water from any particular wild spring. And, speaking as one who has trained for much of my lifetime as both a scientist and a mystic, I personally place far more reliance upon what I will call my "gut sense" or "belly wisdom" than on any abstract scientific reasoning or warnings.  However, let me warn you: I tend to run my entire life not from my intellect or mind, but rather based on the promptings from Spirit, via my Heart and Belly. You, the reader, must make your own choices - it is not for me or anyone else to try to do that for you!  So, I encourage you to find your own answers for yourself!  If in doubt, at least ask locals.

Care of the Area Around Springs
If you are a someone who uses a wild spring, please respect the spring and the land on which it is located. Please be careful to treat the property with care, and not to litter or to leave behind old containers or other debris. Also, and it should not be necessary to have to say this, but I have witnessed acts by spring visitors which prove otherwise: do not flush the spring pool or stream with any kinds of chemicals, disinfectants or bleach, and do not attempt to wash or rinse your buckets or other containers at the spring site using soaps, chemical disinfectants or bleaches. These substances end up contaminating the stream or pond which drain the spring, killing plants, fish, water animals and insects, and destroying the ecosystem. 

A Few Tests Regarding Claims of Healing Water
It is now fairly well-known that the water from some (by no means all....) famous healing springs around the world -- including Tlacote in Mexico, Nordenau in Germany, and Lourdes in France -- and also the water from some famed sources of "healing" water such as the glacially-fed streams in the Hunzas, happens to exhibit certain antioxidative properties which may be measured by the presence of a very low Oxidation-Reduction Potential (aka ORP) and a low Relative Hydrogen score (aka RH score or RH2 score; this is an inverse logarithmic score, so a lower reading indicates greater levels of hydrogen), both of which indicate  Rather than take up time and space on this page to explain more about these ORP and RH scores and their relationship to the presence of very low molecular weight antioxidants, I suggest that if you wish to learn more about this topic, please see my off-site informational webpage on RH score, ORP and related measures. In any case, some scientists have theorized that the healing powers of those afore-mentioned well-known healing springs may be wholly or at least partly due to the extremely unique ORP and RH scores in the strongly antioxidative range exhibited by the water. In other words, they have suggested that some or all of the healing powers of those springs may be due to the presence of certain very low molecular weight hydrogen-based antioxidants in the water, which can enter the body even through the skin. Of course, it is also true that the waters from some other famous healing springs does not exhibit these notable and measurable antioxidative properties.  Since I am an antioxidant researcher (among other things), whenever I find a new spring, if it seems promising, I do tend to measure the ORP and pH of the water and compute the RH score, out of curiosity. 

Are There Any Hot Springs or Warm Springs in the Eastern Part of the USA?
Hot springs and warm springs happen to be among my favorite kinds of springs, and, since I live on the East Coast, it is an unfortunate fact that most hot springs are found in Western states, and only a very few on the East Coast. The local, older geology on the East Coast simply does not tend to support such things, unlike the younger geology of many areas in the West, the Rockies and Far Mid-West in the USA, where there are over 1,200 known hot springs. These Western hot springs are ubiquitous due to the presence in that region of pools of molten magma which lie relatively close to the surface and are able to heat water in nearby aquifers, thus producing hot springs. In contrast, the East Coast and much of the East and Midwest (except for a few spots which produce a handful of hot springs in the Ozarks in Arkansas and three hot springs in the Black Hills of South Dakota) lie on much older geological formations, and any pools of molten magma are buried far below the surface of the earth, and thus relatively unavailable to heat the water in most aquifers. However, there are a few known hot springs in the East, about 46 of them, but none of them would likely qualify as true "hot" springs, due to their relatively "warm" temperatures, and, rather are likely better described as "warm springs".

Facts and Myths About Wild Springs
Near-fact: Relative Safety of Water Can Be Sometimes Judged by Steadiness of Flow Over Seasons
A general rule of thumb is that it is always safest to drink water from a spring which flows year-round, even during the driest seasons and during droughts, in other words, water which comes from a relatively low point in a deep and stable aquifer.  With such a spring, there is some degree of assurance that most of the water from the spring is not simply shallow surface runoff water, which would not yet have had a chance to be adequately filtered and cleansed by layers of soil, clay, sand, rock and beneficial microbes. So, in general, assuming that the area where the spring exits the ground is relatively clean, a spring which flows steadily year-round should be safer and of a higher quality than the water from seasonal springs or springs which show a wide variation in flow rate from season to season (e.g., high flow during rainy springtime, low flow during drier seasons.)

Myth: Crawfish as Indicators of Spring Quality
I have met old-timers who believe fervently that the presence of crawfish (aka crayfish or crawdads) in the water just below the spring is an indicator that the water from the spring is safe to drink. This is likely not true in most cases. Water in which crawfish survive could still contain various things which might harm humans if ingested.

Half-Myth: Presence of Crawfish Means that the Spring Flows Year-Round
Some old-timers believe that the that the presence of crawfish (aka crayfish or crawdads) in the water just below the spring is an indicator that the spring flows year-round, as it is said that crawfish will not stay in a spring where the flow occasionally goes dry.  Not necessarily true, but there does seem to be some correlation. However, crawfish can briefly exit water and migrate to other streams, etc., and crawfish can also migrate great distance upstream and downstream, so this is not a good rule of thumb.

Probable Myth: Crawfish, if Present, Maintain Spring Flow Year-Round
On a somewhat funnier note, I was told in all earnestness by an 80-year old friend who grew up in the country that the presence of crawfish in the spring waters or the stream below a spring is a sure indicator that the spring flows year around, even in dry seasons and droughts, because, he told me, crawfish act as the maintenance personnel for the spring and the innards of the mountain. He advised me (and I paraphrase slightly, due to imperfect memory) that: 
"...if the crawfish notice that the spring water flow is slowing down, they crawl back up into the spring, into its innards underground, deep in the mountain, and they tinker around in there and adjust the rocks and water and stuff to make sure the spring keeps flowing alright....." 
He advised me that this is common knowledge in mountainous country where springs are often found.  I love this theory and the imagery it evokes, and the idea of crawfish as all-powerful mystical and mechanical caretakers of the underground mechanisms of springs, but I suspect -- unfortunately -- that this beautiful story may not be literally true! Darn! The statistician, logician and scientist in me scream loudly that this myth commits the fallacy or error of confusing correlation with causation (e.g., "since crawfish seem to be present in most year-round flowing springs, the crawfish must cause that steady flow to happen..." or "sales of umbrellas cause thunderstorms".) In the popular vernacular, this type of mistake is often labeled as "guilt by association". And while this type of confounding is called "confusing correlation with causation" (one Latin name for this is non causa pro causa) in the sciences and within some areas of philosophy, in the more ancient field of formal logic (considered to be a field within Philosophy), such an error of thought is sometimes referenced as post hoc ergo propter hoc (translates as "after this, therefore because of this"). Much as the English translation implies, this fallacious reasoning is seen to occur when people assume that if event A seems to usually happen before event B, then event A must cause event B. For example, sales of staple grocery items such as milk, bread and bottled water are known to drastically increase prior to severe winter snowstorms (because people want to have adequate stocks in case of impaired travel conditions.) If someone observed this fact repeatedly, and then claimed that the increased sales of milk, bread and bottled water causes severe winter storms, they would be then committing the  post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy in their reasoning.

Glossary of Some Common Terms, Notes
Primordial water and primal water
-- Well, there are several slightly variant definitions for these terms. Let's start first with the definition which is commonly accepted in the mainstream sciences, such as geology, geophysics and oceanography, where primordial water is believed to be "original" water, dating to the origin of Earth, which has only recently come -- for the first time in it's history -- to the earth's surface, almost always via geothermal vents (e.g., hot springs, geysers, fumaroles and black smokers; the latter is an underwater geyser on the ocean floor). Such water is believed to have been stored in underground magma for much of the history of the planet. Please note that most versions of the mainstream scientific view would maintain that the primary means of emergence for such primordial water will usually be geothermal vents of some type, rather than "ordinary" cold springs, although this model does not full exclude cold springs as a mode of emergence for primordial water.

A very similar, if not identical, basic definition also seems to be employed in various circles among dowsers, mystics, energy healers and "spring gnomes" or "water gnomes" (people who spend much of their life studying, enjoying and/or care-taking springs), where lore has it that water from some land-based (cold) springs is such primordial water as well -- water dating to the earliest days of earth and which has never before been exposed to the atmosphere nor to the light of day. However, such mystically-inclined folks usually go a bit further than the commonly-accepted scientific definition, and further specify that such waters often contain powerful energies or imprints of "subtle energies" from the earliest days of earth, or as one such person described it to me  "...This is water bearing the imprint of God's earliest intention for Earth, unsullied by interference from humans and pollution, etc...". Further, some folks in these same mystical circles employ a slightly looser definition for primordial water, and simply use the term to indicate any water which comes from relatively (geologically) ancient sources and which is older than roughly one million years (some use a cutoff of 100,000 years instead) -- meaning that it the water has never been exposed to the atmosphere nor seen the light of day for at least one million (or 100,000, for the even looser criterion) years.  Such waters are called primordial water and/or primal water by such persons.  Obviously, such waters re almost universally believed -- by those who assert their existence --to flow from incredibly deep and protected sources. Lastly, some mystics and dowsers claim that there exist on Earth in every era seven (7) sources of truly ancient (original) primordial water or primal water in drinkable (cold) form, -- usually in the form of (cold) springs on one of the continents -- and that at any moment, only one or two or three of the seven are active and accessible to humans.  Indeed, once or twice each year, the personal physician to the Dalai Lama makes a trek to a remote region of Canada to visit and collect water from a reputed primordial spring along the Nippissing Ridge on the Canadian Shield which is maintained and care-taken by a friend of mine (please do not even ask me for further information on this spring, nor the caretaker; I am not allowed to reveal anything further and will not even respond to such inquiries).

Aquifer -- an aquifer is an underground strata (layer) of water-bearing permeable rock, gravel or sand, or, more rarely, clay. If the strata consists of rock, the rock is usually limestone, sandstone or fractured granite or basalt. An aquifer acts as an underground reservoir for water, and, since it is permeable, can also transport water. The level of water in an aquifer is called the water table. The high water table level is that level of water reached in an aquifer during periods of high rainfall. The low water table of an aquifer is that minimum level of water which is maintained even during a severe and prolonged drought. Obviously, a well or a spring which taps into an aquifer at a level just below that of top the high water table, but well above the low water table level, will tend to go dry during dry seasons and periods of drought. Conversely, a well or spring which taps into an aquifer at a level well below the low water table level will tend to flow continuously even during dry seasons and prolonged or sever droughts, and tend to continue to produce continuous and reliable amounts of water even during such periods.

Professional Photos of Flora and Fauna in the 
Surrounding Catoctin Mountains

I live in a wilderness area in Maryland called the Catoctin Mountains, my region of which is also known as the Frederick Watershed, and the first and primary spring which I have featured on this site is a local healing spring named Spoutn Spring. If you are interested in seeing some photos of the landscape, animals and plants from the Catoctin mountains immediately surrounding the spring, you may wish to check out some professional photographs taken by Bob Cammarata, a wildlife photographer based in Baltimore who spends much of his time shooting photographs in these mountains -- Bob is also a frequent visitor to Spoutn Spring! To see some of his photos of the local area in his online photo gallery, please click here.

A Solicitation and Note

At this time, this site is quite small, although its purpose is to feature interesting wild springs and healing springs from around North America.  If you know of other interesting wild springs such as:

  • healing springs or mystical springs 
  • high quality wild springs
  • springs which are reputedly fed from extremely deep water sources which are claimed to supply primordial water or primal water 
in North America in which you think other folks might be interested, please feel free to drop me a line at 
--  I will be happy to incorporate such information.

A Brief Note from the Page Author/Website Owner

This page is offered as a public service only, as an informational and educational webpage. I have nothing to sell to you, and there is nothing I am trying to get you to believe, and rather, this page (or set of pages) is simply offered out of love and appreciation for the many gifts of God/Being/Source with which we are blessed on this planet. All information offered is simply reported to the best of my ability, and my reportage, opinions and preferences as stated in this page remain my own. If you choose to drink or use water from this spring or from other wild springs, you do so only at your own risk and you take sole responsibility for your choices and your actions. I take no responsibility for any outcomes you or others may encounter from drinking or using water from this spring or other wild springs, nor from streams or creeks, etc. If you have any questions or concerns about the safety of, or use of, water from any wild source (spring, stream, creek, lake, etc.) please consult with your licensed healthcare professional. 

I hope you enjoy this page! Have fun!

To learn more about the author, please click here to go to the Vinny Pinto Central Directory website.

Donations and Support for this Website

This freely-offered educational website has been totally self-supported by the author, Vinny Pinto, since its inception (and many of my websites were started between August 2000 and June 2003). While I offer the content on this website freely, as a gift to all from my heart, it is quite obvious that not only did my research in these realms (and also my training, including formal education, that allowed me to offer this material in the first place) incur costs, but there are also monthly and yearly costs associated with web hosting, domain registration, etc. As you have likely noticed, I have chosen not to accept any advertising on any of my websites. As a result of all of these factors, any funds that you might choose to donate toward supporting my research work and this site will be very much appreciated.

Thus, I am seeking donations to help me to support this site -- even two dollars helps! If you wish to donate, you may do so by using your credit card, ATM card, debit card, or transfer from your bank account, via fully secure means. To make a donation, please go to the Donations and Support page ! All transactions are secure; in all cases, you get to choose the donation amount!

     Thank you very much!


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