There are no lakes, marshes, or bayous in Pontotoc County, but throughout the Pontotoc hills, springs of small to moderate flow are numerous. The sources of these are beds of sand which, together with layers of calcareous sandstone, largely compose the formation. Some of the conveniently located springs are utilized but the domestic water supplies are chiefly obtained by dug and bored wells, from ten to one hundred or more feet in depth.
West of Mud Creek, in the southern part of the county, the water-bearing beds of the Ripley formation are reached at depths of from three to five hundred feet. Flowing wells are obtained from the Ripley in the valleys of some of the headwater creeks of Tallahatchie River, in the northern part of the county. Deep, non flowing artesian waters can be obtained anywhere in the Pontotoc Hills by drilling through both the Ripley formation and the Selma Chalk, to the water-bearing beds of the Eutaw formation which, at Pontotoc, lie at an estimated depth of 1000 to 1400 feet.
Springs also occur in the belt of the hilly country underlain by the Ackerman formation in the western part of the county, and these afford water in sufficient quantities for domestic and farm uses.
On the uplands dug and bored wells twenty five to fifty-five feet deep furnish water for domestic purposes. It is found above a stratum of gray, calcareous sandstone that belongs to the Ripley formations, at depths of one hundred to three hundred feet, and the static level of the water in these walls lies from forty to eighty feet below the surface. In such, casing is inserted to the gray sandstone, cutting off the water that is drawn upon by the shallow wells.
Domestic water supply in the neighborhood of Algoma is chiefly obtainable from wells 100 to 275 feet deep, which draw upon the water bearing sands of the Ripley formation. The static head of the water is fifty feet or less below the surface, depending upon the altitude at the mouth of any given well. (1)
A well four miles southwest of Algoma is reported to have yielded a small stream when first drilled. Ion the vicinity of Wallfielld, a station on the Gulf Mobile and Northern Railroad, four and one half miles south of Algoma, water is obtained chiefly from wells 125 to 160 feet deep, which tap a water-bearing sand of the Ripley formation. Nearly all of the farms in this community are provided with wells, some of which are three hundred feet deep.
A well at ECRU, only ninety three feet deep, provides water r for the boiler supply of railroad locomotives. At TROY, a village on the Eastern crest of the Pontotoc hills in southern Pontotoc County, and in the Black Prairie belt immediately to the east, non-flowing water is obtained from the Eutaw formation, beneath the Selma chalk, at reported depth of from six hundred to seven hundred feet. The water, which is hard and highly mineralized rises within one hundred feet or less of the surface. (2)
Photograph: Spring Near Cates House
Where treaty makers quenched their thirst in the long ago. Andrew Jackson is said to have camped near here.
(1) Stephenson, Logan, Waring, The Ground Water Resources of Mississippi (Government Printing Office, 1928).
(2) C. W. Bolton, Pontotoc, Miss.
James Jackson, Pontotoc, Miss.