The farm is crossed by two streams.
Snake Creek is a perennial, gaining stream. A perennial stream flows all year except in severe drought. A gaining stream flows below the water table and receives water via springs or seepage. Groundwater flow is augmented by surface runoff during wet weather.
The designation as a perennial stream is questionable since the stream “flows” only after snow melt or rain events; however, there are many places where the stream bed intersects the water table, resulting in seepages.
Characterizing Snake Creek as “gaining” is also debatable. Some streams contain both losing and gaining reaches. Flow may be lost into the subsurface in a losing segment, while groundwater from seeps or springs may provide flow in another gaining reach. So, while the presence of seeps may make Snake Creek technically a gaining stream, it is nevertheless dry over most of its length (on the homestead) most of the time.
Snake Creek originates to the north of the homestead and continues across the property to the south. At all points as it crosses the farm, Snake Creek flows through heavy forest. Snake Creek cannot support aquatic life, is not easily accessible, and has no recreation potential for swimming or fishing.
Snake Creek has no value as a source of water. The lack of mass (flow) and head (vertical drop) means that Snake Creek is not a source of useful energy.
Sheep Creek (not a recognized name) is an ephemeral, losing stream. Sheep Creek is a losing stream since it “loses” its water into the water table. Sheep creek does not support aquatic life. Sheep Creek, as currently configured, has no value as a water or energy source, nor does it have inherent potential for water-oriented recreational activities.
Given expectations for the need to capture water when available for future use, it may be practical to create a catchment (pond) to collect water from the stream when the stream is flowing. Ideally, the pond would be designed with an outlet for controlling small amounts of excess water and a spillway for larger overflows.
The farm hosts three ponds.
Ponds store water when it is plentiful to be used when water is scarce.
Pond water is not potable by humans without treatment. Pond water may be suitable for use by livestock. However, to preserve pond integrity and water quality, it is important to drain water from the ponds to stock tanks and to prevent direct access to the ponds by livestock.
Ponds may be used as reservoirs for water to be used in firefighting if the ponds are close enough to the affected structure. It is possible that water from the small pond has firefighting reservoir potential for the hay barn; however, no pond is close enough to any proposed home sites to be of value in firefighting.
Ponds may be used for recreation, including swimming and fishing. Recreational use requires that the water be of sufficient clarity and be free of pathogens. For fishing, the ponds must be stocked and the fish population must be managed.
(Taken from Missouri State Water Plan Volume II, Water Resources Report #46, Groundwater Resources of Missouri)
The homestead sits atop the Salem Plateau within the Ozark Aquifer. The thickness of the aquifer is in the range of 600-1000 ft.
Yields of domestic wells 250 to 350 ft deep that are drilled into the Roubidoux, range from 15 gpm to about 35 gpm in the Salem Plateau groundwater province.
Water from the Roubidoux Formation tends to be relatively “hard” water with significant amounts of dissolved minerals, as seen below.
Streams on the homestead are not a useful source of water.
Ponds are useful as water storage for livestock. If carefully managed, they may have some recreational potential for swimming and fishing. The little pond may be of some use as a water source for fighting a fire in the hay barn, but no ponds are close enough to proposed home sites to be of use for fire fighting.
The Ozark Aquifer offers fresh water at the rate of 15-35 gallons per minute from a depth of between 250-350 feet. Water quality is acceptable but the water is “hard” with dissolved minerals.