Old Grist Mill Spring, Sandwich, MA



It is an aquifer that is constantly bubbling up from the ground. It is somewhat enclosed in a wooden container. It is located next to Shawme Pond. People from all over the cape come to this spring.

Nearest Address

Main Street and Route 130 intersection

Directions from Nearest Address

Downtown Sandwich next to Shawme Pond and the Old Grist Mill.

Vital Information

  • Fee: None
  • Access: Public
  • Flow: Continuous
  • TDS: N/A
  • Temp: N/A
  • pH: N/A

Hours Spring is Open:



Map Link: Old Grist Mill Spring Map

Submitted by: Pamela McDermott


  1. This spring is very much still in use and the box is well maintained. Many many people come to use it and I’ve often had to wait in line when filling up. I started drinking it a few months ago. The water is absolutely delicious but I noticed when I switched to it that I generally felt thirstier than usual and I wondered if it was too acidic. I finally remembered to ask the people who work in the aquaculture lab at my job if they’d check the ph for me and i was bummed to learn that it’s 5.6.

  2. The pinpoint on the map link is way off; the actual coordinates are (41.758000522142275, -70.50042226910591). The spring is located right at the town center where Main St and Water St/Rt-130 intersect. The closest address is 130 Main Street, it’s right outside the Sandwich Town Accountant building. You’ll see a short wood structure (2-3 ft high) with three spickets; one bubbling water straight up like a fountain, and another two pointed sideways to fill up larger bottles. Constantly flowing, I filled up a 30 gallon carboy in less than two minutes, maybe even less than one. The water is absolutely delicious, even two weeks later!

  3. Has the water been tested for bacterial contamination and chemicals, such as those that might have come from Otis?  If so, are test results available?

    1. I’ve heard some pretty conflicting reports about the water there. I used to get it all the time and loved it, but now I’m pretty leery. There is another spring a few miles from that one where the water comes up a pipe right near the ground. I heard they do not test for pathogens and proximity to the base is an issue.

  4.  I’ve been drinking the water consistently for 25 years. I only use tap water for showering and laundry. I am interested in the water tests also. Not for bacteria levels as it has never made me sick but rather in the chemical levels, after all the issues with the base. My Parents have also been drinking it for 25 years and there in there late 70’s with no significant health issues. So i think that’s a good sign.

  5. UMass has a low cost test available for water but they only test it for agricultural use (watering the garden) not for drinking water (there might be some additional requirements if you want to test for drinking.)

  6. Hi,
    Has there been any recent reports as to whether this spring is still available and safe to use? Just discovered this website and am eager to try it out!

  7. I too have been using this spring for years and have met folks who have come long distances due to the quality and reputation of the water. However, I have recently become concerned and found this website hoping for updates since the new construction. I heard a rumor that the re-construction done not long ago; months only, damaged the surrounding structure and it was now being directed and filtered from the duck pond. They had heard it was also tested but didn’t know the results. I definitely am holding back until I hear more or have it tested. I do have a shower filter (so imp) as every 10 min in a shower soaks a gallons worth of drinking tap water into your system. Of course RO is best if you have your own home for entire house.

  8.  Most Home Depots have some sort of display “TEST YOUR WATER” essentially, it a company that wants to sell you some kind of filtering system; BUT, you can send in a water sample and they call you with the results. Granted, it’s not as comprehensive and one hired; but, it’s a good place to start for free. We took advantage of it to see if we were getting out money’s worth on our counter top water filter.

    1. I have never been to a spring or had water from one, but with all the info I get on tap and bottled drinking water I am looking for a natural water to give my kids. This is safe to drink with any kinf of filter? I assume so if you have been drinking it for 65 years:) I just worry about pollution and animal waste???

    2. Hi Lois,
      I just started using the spring and am would like to get the water tested for chemicals.  I checked at Town Hall and read the annual tests that they get done for e coli.  I spoke with the Health Officer who said that tests have been done for chemicals, but I didn’t see any.  I’d like to get the names of a few people who use the water and would split the cost of testing.  Kindly give me a call if you like to do this.    My # 508-292-3381 in Falmouth

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