Toledo, Wash., producers Chris Sears and his father accidentally found a natural spring while they were cleaning an old creek bottom. Since the creek dries up in the heat of the summer, Chris Sears had to haul water to his cattle. He decided to turn the natural spring into a water source for all three of his pastures so he could save on water, time, energy and money.

Mr. Sears was able to take advantage of the natural step formation of his pastures with field 1 being the highest and field 3 the lowest. To do this he first buried a trough (trough 1) on the low side of the spring. Three quarters of the way up from trough 1 he buried a small pipe that goes down hill toward trough number 2. About 1-1/2 inches from the incoming pipe in trough 2, Mr. Sears placed an overflow pipe and buried it with the incoming pipe.

The trough fills up with water and runs out the overflow and back out into the creek bottom on the low side of trough 1. There is such a small amount that trickles out that in field 3, he had to bury another trough (trough 3) so it could catch all the extra water. The spring supplies enough water to keep the troughs 3/4 full, even in the heat of summer. This system has worked so well that the Searses haven’t had to pack water for 13 years