Bulletin of the National Speleological Society - ISSN 0146-9517
Volume 23 Part 1: 1 - January 1961

A publication of the National Speleological Society

Barton Hill Project
A Study of the Hydrology of Limestone Terrain, Schoharie, New York
Prepared by the National Speleological Society for the Village of Schoharie, New York


Barton Hill is the source area for the water supply of the Village of Schoharie, New York. The village obtains its water from three springs (Youngs, Dugans, and Truax). In late summer of 1959, after a prolonged drought, the springs ceased to flow and the village was without a water supply for a short period of time.

Baron Hill covers an area of about 3000 acres and is formed primarily of limestones, Middle Ordovician to Middle Devonian in age. These limestones total about 600 feet thick and dip 1° or 2° to the southwest. Sollution features are developed along two sets of joints at N25°E and N85°W. Flow of groundwater is down dip along the solution openings.

Dye tests showed that water for the springs has its source in sink holes, crevices and caves in Barton Hill. The largest spring, Youngs Spring, is the only perennial one supplying the village. It yields about 144,000 gallons per day in normal dry season. The consumption of water by the village in summer is about 200,000 gallons per day. A supplement of 4,000,000 gallons is needed to carry the village through the 6 week dry season.

It is estimated that 720,000,000 gallons of groundwater are available in Barton Hill. This is a little less than 10 times the annual consumption of water by the Village of Schoharie. Most of the groundwater is discharged through springs and seeps without being utilized by the village.

Studies of the caves and other underground openings in Barton Hill by the National Speleological Society in 1960, show that it is not practicable to increase storage by impounding water in the caves; lack of knowledge concerning joint openings and related features make such storage unpredictable.

The best storage area is Cow Sink where 4,500,000 gallons could be impounded by a dam 5 feet high. This sink connects directly with the main water suply point via solution openings but its floor is impervious making storage possible.

Pollution is not a problem in the village water supply at present. However, steps should be taken to prevent future pollution-catchment basins at the springs should be covered; disposal of garbage and dead animals on Barton Hill should be prohibited; septic tanks for sewage disposal should be strickly controlled.

This page last updated: 26 July, 2002 7:23
Web Author: Jim Pisarowicz