Most wells drilled in valley bottoms are adequate for a domestic supply. In central and southern Bell County, fewer than half the wells drilled on hillsides meet domestic needs; on hilltops, even fewer wells are adequate. In the northern half of Bell County, and along Pine Mountain where water is more plentiful, three-quarters of the wells on hillsides and some wells on hilltops are adequate for a domestic supply. The northern half of the county may also produce high-yielding wells, deeper than 200 feet, that would provide water for small municipal or industrial supplies. Groundwater obtained from most drilled wells in this area is moderately hard and contains noticeable amounts of iron. Salty water probably will not be found at less than 200 feet below the principal valley bottoms in the southern half of the county, and at less than 300 feet in the northern half of the county.
A few high-volume springs, yielding as much as 400 gallons per minute, are found east of Middlesboro and along Pine Mountain. Most springs in the county yield less than 5 gallons per minute.