The Sacred Spring at the Roman Baths in Bath

Bath exists because of the emergence of three natural springs in the heart of the city which deliver over 1 million litres of mineral-rich water every day. Uniquely in the UK, the mineral water is hot - it rises to the surface at a constant temperature of at least 45° C.  These springs have been, and continue to be, at the centre of economic, social and cultural developments in the City. As such, their protection is of paramount importance locally and nationally.

Bath was, in fact, charged with responsibility for the Hot Springs in a Royal Charter of 1591 granted by Elizabeth I – this duty has passed to Bath & North East Somerset Council. The springs are further protected by the 1982 County of Avon Act.

Geology of Bath's Hot Springs

For further information on the geology of the hot springs you may be interested to read Dr Rameus Gallois' paper entitled The Geology of the Hot Springs at Bath Spa, Somerset. A link to the paper is on the right hand side of this page.

Mineralogy of Bath's Hot Springs

The analyses show that the thermal waters all contain sodium, calcium, chloride and sulphate ions in high concentrations.

The chemical composition of the spring waters has been examined over time. Although there are some small variations, in general, allowing for changes in analytical methods it has been concluded that composition has remained constant over the past century.

From: Kellaway, GA 1991

 

Mineral

Expressed as

Concentration (Hetling Spring)

Sodium

mg/l

195

Calcium

mg/l

358

Sulphate

mg/l

1015

Chloride

mg/l

340

Bicarbonate

mg/l

193

Magnesium

mg/l

57

Silicon

mg/l

21

Iron

mg/l

0.5

Water Monitoring Systems

The temperature and flow and pressure of the springs has been monitored for many years by the local authority (firstly Bath City Council, and currently Bath and North East Somerset Council). The data is used for monitoring the potential impact on the Springs from developments within the City of Bath. The monitoring system also provides essential data for ongoing research into the origins of the Springs.

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