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Re: Fern Spring

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Fern Spring
March 24, 2022 07:41PM
Stopped at Fern Spring today and noticed a sign stating "Non-Potable Water." Folks have been drinking that water since time began. Has something changed to affect the quality? Also noticed the dearth of vegetation around the spring. Not typical for that area.
Re: Fern Spring
March 25, 2022 08:06AM
Quote
Pohono
Stopped at Fern Spring today and noticed a sign stating "Non-Potable Water." Folks have been drinking that water since time began. Has something changed to affect the quality? Also noticed the dearth of vegetation around the spring. Not typical for that area.

My guess would be that any water that's not routinely tested as being potable might have a "non-potable" sign for legal cover, esp. if there are improvements that would make someone think it's a treated domestic water source. That said, the water there (and in most Sierra sources outside of grazing areas) is likely OK--unless there's a dead rodent/discarded used diaper/other human or animal waste upstream. Given how easy it is to treat water (filter, UV, or chemical), why risk it?

Also, I believe there's an early (pioneer days) reference to someone getting sick from Fern Spring--but as with most such incidents, I'd first suspect poor personal hygiene, not the water source itself.
Re: Fern Spring
April 13, 2022 10:18PM
I think basilbop nailed it. Legal protection and surface contamination.

The water might be clean but the spring area isn't. Ie taking clean water from the faucet and pouring it into a dirty cup to drink it. I know people who swear by it and drink it all the time and then those who find trash, toilet paper, etc around it or people soaking their feet in it. Likely it's fine to drink most of the time but not 100%
Re: Fern Spring
April 14, 2022 06:43PM
"likely OK--unless there's a dead rodent/discarded used diaper/other human or animal waste upstream" I've always thought Fern Spring's water was from Silver Strand fall and filtered through massive amounts of sediment. How would contamination enter the source except at the exit pond? In which case it would be obvious. To your point, I suspect you're right in that NPS is protecting itself from litigation.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/14/2022 06:44PM by Pohono.
Re: Fern Spring
April 14, 2022 07:14PM
If you are talking about the really small sign on the fence, it has been there for years.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/14/2022 07:15PM by parklover.
Re: Fern Spring
April 15, 2022 07:19AM
Quote
parklover
If you are talking about the really small sign on the fence, it has been there for years.

Speaking of the fence, anybody remember when that was installed? When I first started going to Yosemite (mid 90's), my recollection is that there was only a small sign saying "Fern Springs" here but otherwise there was no fencing or other obstructions.
Re: Fern Spring
April 18, 2022 09:55AM
Folks were still filling up water bottles there as of last week
Re: Fern Spring
April 29, 2022 04:30PM
I was there last week so I looked. I forgot that there were two signs, but they are the ones that have been there for years. I also saw people filling up water bottles.
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