Our spring has recently stopped flowing. We have experienced a lack of rain for quite a long time. At times the spring has flowed slowly, but never has it stopped completely in well over a hundred years. Do you believe that once precipitation is back to normal the spring will flow again...or do you believe there could be other reasons? There has been no new construction in our area. Any advice
Westmoreland County Pennsylvania
Springs are shallow groundwater coming to the surface, so they are susceptible to drought including chronic low levels of rain. Every spring is different but the water in the USGS monitoring well in Westmoreland County has been relatively low. http://pa.water.usgs.gov/drought/indicators/gw/images/w30_we300.html Southwest PA was experiencing mild drought in September (http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/) though this has been reduced by the recent rains (http://waterwatch.usgs.gov/index.php?id=ww_drought).
We have general information about springs on this page (page down to the links below the video) http://extension.psu.edu/natural-resources/water/drinking-water/cisterns-and-springs
If this is used as a drinking water source, be aware that springs almost always need disinfection (chlorination or UV light) and should be tested regularly as they are also susceptible to surface contamination.