In practice it is usual in chalk formations to imitate artificially the action of such underground watercourses, by driving from the well small tunnels, or " adits " as they are called, below the water-level, to intercept fissures and water-bearing beds, and thus to extend the collecting area.
With the exception of the Red Marls forming the upper part of the Keuper, most of the New Red Sandstone is permeable, and some parts contain, when saturated, even more water than solid chalk; but, just as in the case of the chalk, a well or borehole in the sandstone yields very little water unless it strikes a fissure; hence, in New Red Sandstone, also, it is a common thing to form underground chambers or adits in search of additional fissures, and sometimes to sink many vertical boreholes with the same object in view.
Of course, no open fissures, and even if adits could be usefully employed, the cost of constructing and lining them through the loose sand would be prohibitive.
Its full capacity has not been ascertained; it much exceeds the present pumping power, and is probably greater than that of any other single well unassisted by adits or boreholes.
In mines that are worked from the outcrop by adits or day levels traction by locomotives driven by steam, compressed air or electricity is used to some extent.