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W. P. A. History of Pontotoc County, Mississippi


Water Supply

The water supply of the shallow wells is of good quality and quantity.  Many springs of potable water are found along the lower margin of the hills.  Artesian water is obtained in some of the valleys on the western side of the Pontotoc Ridge.  Good potable deep-well water may be obtained in any part of the county (see chap. 2, Topography).

The first artesian water found in the town of Pontotoc, at a depth of three or four hundred feet, was analyzed by chemists at the Agricultural and Mechanical College, and the report was as follows:

"This water contains a great deal of calcium salts; you will note that the bicarbonate radicle is very high and that the water contains considerable amounts of sulphates and more or less chlorides.  There is a comparatively small amount of magnesium, a very little iron, and not a very large amount of sodium and potassium salts.  This water is so-called 'hard water'.  It may be softened to some extent by boiling, but the calcium bicarbonate and calcium sulfate can be precipitated out of it only by the addition of sal-soda, which is a comparatively cheap compound.  The total amount of saline matter in solution is not too great to allow the use of the water for domestic purposes, though we would naturally prefer a water not quite so rich in dissolved solids."

A tabulated analysis follows:

Silica                                    13.05

Iron                                        0.38

Calcium                                 5.79

Magnesium                           0.94

Sodium and Potassium      8.09

Bicarbonate Radicle         29.28

Sulphate Radicle                  3.41

Chlorine                                 7.50

Total Solids in Solution     55.36    (1)

(1) W. F. Hand, state chemist, State College, Mississippi

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