Artesian Springs at Balmorhea
By Greg Fieg
They can be found in California, Missouri, Colorado and a few other locations. But the phenomenon of vast, crystal-clear artesian springs is a rarity.
Some, like those at Cotulla and Fort Stockton, have been destroyed by excessive stock watering. But others, like those at Fort Clark, San Marcos and Wimberley, continue to delight thousands of annual visitors with an uninterrupted cascade of sparkling, clear spring waters.
San Solomon Springs at Balmorhea in West Texas give forth more than 1 million gallons an hour and are a frequent pilgrimage point for skin- and scuba divers. The springs are the domain of aquatic life including shy but energetic turtles and varieties of crustaceans and fish, some unique to the springs.
The springs' underground origin is thought to come from as far away as Colorado. San Solomon Springs provides water for crops and livestock in the immediate vicinity before flowing out into the parched desert and dissipating.
Balmorhea is located off Interstate 10 near the intersection with Interstate 90, between Fort Stockton and El Paso. Balmorhea State Park, which offers swimming, snorkeling, diving and diverse on-land activities, is the home of San Solomon Springs.
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