The deep wells of Atlanta

I didn’t realize the Artesian well at 5 Points was only in use for 10 years. Here’s why:

The deep wells of the Crystalline area are limited in number. One of the most noted of these wells is the so-called artesian well of Atlanta, which was constructed by the city in 1885. This well, which has a depth of 2,175 feet, penetrates gneissoid and schistose rocks. The capacity of the well is reported to have been only about 2,000 gallons per hour. The water-supply is said to have come from several small fissures or cracks, struck by the drill at various points between 100 and 1,200 feet from the surface. Below 1,160 feet, no water-bearing fissures were reported. A chemical analysis of the water from this well, when it was first completed, showed the water to be a normal freestone water, containing less than 12 grains of mineral matter per gallon, with practically no surface contamination. Later, there was a rather remarkable increase in the amount of mineral matter present, mainly sodium chloride, as may be seen by the following table of analyses taken from the annual report of the City Water-works Board for 1889:

Owing to the rapid increase in the amount of sodium chloride present in the water, which was supposed to be due to surface contamination, the well was finally abandoned, after a continuous use of about ten years.

In addition to the deep well here described, there are three other deep wells within the corporate.limits, of Atlanta, all owned by the GeorgiaRailway & Electric Company. One of these, formerly owned by the late Atlanta Gas-light Company, and located on Foundry street, near the Western & Atlantic Railroad, was completed in 1895. It is eight inches in diameter and 278 feet deep; and it furnishes daily for 18 hours, the length of time the pump is operated, 150 gallons per minute. The water is soft, and is said to be well suited for boiler purposes. It rises to within 80 feet of the surface, and comes apparently from fissures and seanis in the gneisses and schists. An analysis of the water from this well, made by Dr. Edgar Everhart, in the laboratory of the Geological Survey of Georgia, is as follows:


This water is regarded as unsafe for drinking purposes, on account of its high albuminoid ammonia and chlorine.

The other two wells of the Georgia Railway and Electric Company are located at their power-house on Davis street, near Jones Avenue. One of the wells was completed in 1899, and the other, in 1900. The former well is 14 inches in diameter, and 350 feet deep. The water rises to within 12 feet of the surface. By continuous pumping, the water-supply is said to be 52 gallons per minute. The other well, owned by the Georgia Electric Railway Company, is also 14 inches in diameter; but it has a depth of 638 feet. The water-supply from this well is only 56 gallons per minute, or four gallons more than the shallower well. The wells are located about 80 feet apart, and are used chiefly to supply water for cooling condensers. The water in each well rises to within 12 feet of the surface.

An analysis of the water from the 350-foot well of the Georgia Railway & Electric Company, by Dr. Edgar Everhart, Chemist of Geological Survey of Georgia, is as follows:

This water is considered unsafe for drinking purposes, on account of its high free ammonia and nitrites.

This is from a 1908 study of Georgia’s underground water resources in Google Books

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