Banff Upper Hot Springs Water Continues to Flow
This winter, unlike previous years, the pool is using Upper Hot Springs water instead of town water. As those of you who read the article Banff Upper Hot Springs Dried Up know, the springs supplying water to the hot pool have not had adequate flows for quite a few winters now. This necessitates the use of town water which is then heated to a toasty 40 degrees Celsius.
100% Mineral Water
This was confirmed yesterday (February 18, 2014) by a Canada Parks employee at the Banff Upper Hot Springs who told us that since March of 2013, the water has been flowing. The expectation in the fall was that the springs would behave true to form and shut down as the cold weather hit Sulphur Mountain. The previous winter the flow stopped as anticipated and returned that spring. The people we talked to were unsure of the reason for this now unusual event, though perhaps it may have something to do with the very atypical amount of rain and subsequent flooding that Alberta suffered through during the spring and summer.
Will This Last?
So far this year the snowfall in the area is about or a bit above average which hopefully bodes well for those communities downstream of the snowmelt. It will be interesting to see how long the Upper Hot Springs continues to flow uninterrupted in Banff. Hopefully this trend will continue for some time to come. We will certainly be watching carefully (and we’ll keep you informed via the Hot Springs Guide), not just for selfish reasons such as the desire to soak in nature’s liquid heat from deep within, but we also must be mindful of another community that depends on the springs of Sulphur Mountain…
Oh Mollusk, My Mollusc
Physella johnsoni, the Banff Springs Snail is dependent on the lower springs at the Cave and Basin. They were re-introduced into the Middle Springs recently with success. While there are no snails at the Banff Upper Hot Springs, these minute gaffers’ population waxes and wanes with the health of the springs lower down the mountain, though even in times of abundance, their numbers are small – matching their size. Perhaps a year-round flow of water at the Upper Springs will bode well for the snails down below.
Like many circumstances in life, it is the smallest of things that are telltales for the more sizable of us.