Residents of Springfield who receive water from City Utilities get a blend of mostly surface water sources from surrounding lakes and rivers.  Almost everyone else in southwest Missouri, however, depends on Groundwater.

In my years at the Watershed Committee, I have witnessed events which illustrate the connectivity of surface water and groundwater and the sensitivity of our aquifers to pollution.  I remember visiting a spring on Clear Creek which smelled like rotten eggs and receiving a picture of black, toxic water that people in the vicinity got from their wells.  Illegal dumping into a

Illegal Sinkhole Dumping

Illegal Sinkhole Dumping

sinkhole was identified as the source of this foul-water problem.  This careless act came at great expense to the homeowners who relied on the underground watershed.

I distinctly remember a presentation when someone explained the millions of dollars spent to clean and contain some groundwater pollution in Republic, Missouri.  The chemical that caused this huge cleanup effort could have been contained within a few barrels.  I remember the Sequiota saga that followed the urban cavern from pristine cave, to trout hatchery, to a near sewage lagoon and then close to back again, the quality of that water reflecting the land-use on the surface.

We have a very precious resource here in Springfield, and this week is National Groundwater Week!  You can get some good tips on groundwater protection on their website that might encourage you to “spring” into action!

Sequiota Cave

Sequiota Cave

National Groundwater Association

Mike Kromrey
Executive Director

Sequiota Cave after sinkhole collapse

Sequiota Cave after sinkhole collapse

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