Simply Science: Fredrick Miller Spring

12:40 PM, Jul 8, 2013   |    comments
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. - The string of regulars and first timers who fill up is nearly continuous at Frederick Miller Spring in Eden Prairie.

No one, including Caroline Kechely, seems to mind the warning sign.

She confidently fills up and says, "It's cold, It's fresh.  I've been coming here for years, no kidding since I was like 17."

The water is tested monthly for bacteria and nitrates like fertilizer runoff and animal waste.  Although those tests reveal the levels consistently remain below the state set maximum of 10 parts per million, but the quality can change rapidly.

Eden Prairie's Parks and Natural Resources Manager, Stu Fox says, the water "averages anywhere between 3.5 and 6.5 ppm. But because it is an artesian spring, we have no idea what might come through in between the testing periods."

An artesian spring is simply groundwater that makes its way to the surface.

It's a much higher elevation across the road and there the water is further below the surface, about 50 feet. But as the elevation decreases heading into Riley creek, out comes Frederick Miller Spring.

Fox explains that "The height of this pipe is calibrated so it flows.  If we were to raise it higher it would actually stop the flow.  If we were to put it down lower it would increase the flow, so it's kind of a balance."

The water flows year-round for those who use it to make homemade beer, water their plants, or like Caroline Kechely who says, "It's the best coffee water.  I don't do nothing with my coffee other than spring water here."

(Copyright 2013 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. )

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