The river begins in Samara Oblast, 28 kilometres (17 mi) south of Leninogorsk, Tatarstan. Major tributaries are the Forest Sheshma, Kuvak, Sekines, Kichuy, and Talkysh rivers. The maximal mineralization is 600-700 mg/l. The average sediment deposition at the river mouth per year is 112 millimetres (4.4 in). The river generally is fed by underground water in the dry season. Drainage is regulated. There are major flood-plains in the middle and lower reaches of the Sheshma. Since 1978 it has been protected as a natural monument of Tatarstan. Shugurovo, Novosheshminsk and Starosheshminsk stay on the river.