Saving the Springs
When commercial exploitation threatened Saratoga’s famous mineral waters, New York State took action.
America’s rising demand for carbon dioxide gas almost led to the exhaustion of Saratoga’s mineral springs. By 1900, private companies had drilled hundreds of wells for the purpose of extracting the gas that was in demand for the nation’s soda fountains and many other uses.
Commercial pumping was withdrawing large amounts of water from the springs’ common reservoir, placing the entire resource in jeopardy. The owners of individual springs were beginning to fight each other over a dwindling water supply.
Leaders in Albany responded to this troubling situation by declaring the springs area a New York State Reservation, and authorizing the state to purchase the springs from their owners.
From 1909 to 1915 the state was able to purchase 600 acres of land and obtain control of more than 150 separate springs, capping most of them.
The spring waters had been saved.