On October 7th, 2000 at 12:20 PM we went down to the Southwest loop pond to the Highway 55/62 interchange that is under construction. The base of the pond has already filled up with groundwater. Construction activity stopped yesterday, 4:30PM. We went down to the area with both a Digital Altimeter and a Global Positioning System (G.P.S.) (no less than six signals were used to get altimeter measurements with the G.P.S.) to measure the height of the standing water in the pond, and then the height of the Coldwater Spring. The two instruments concurred, that the water in the Southwest loop pond is between one and two feet higher than the outlet of the Coldwater Spring.
On Thursday October 5th, continued flow to Coldwater Springs have been agreed to by MnDOT, by raising the height of the outflow of the pond. This however we have not received in writing. We are dependent on MnDOT verbal assurances that they will do the right thing. MnDOT will have the outflow of the pond at least at the height of the Coldwater Spring and ďif feasibleĒ even higher. However we do not know what the final height will be. (The original height of the pond was to be lower than the Coldwater Spring, which could allow back flow from Coldwater to the pond, and the excess water would be drained through MnDOT storm water ditches to the Mississippi River)
Upon calling various people in MnDOT, no one could give the height of the standing ground water of the pond. Because it has not rained lately, itís height should be accurate. But to our knowledge, MnDOT has never surveyed this critical piece of information. MnDOTís own study shows this to be the source water to the Coldwater Spring.
Due to that lack of natural height information, the G.P.S. and altimeter readings seem to be the most accurate known. The outflow height of the pond needs to be two feet higher than the Coldwater Spring (known to be 242 meters above sea level) as it naturally sits today, to ensure that the natural flow of water stays at itís normal rate to the Coldwater Spring.
Please call your representatives and city council members and ask that they, as they are the only overseers of MnDOT, ensure that the Southwest loop pond be built at the correct height, to ensure the continued FULL flow to Coldwater. This pond should be two feet above the height of Coldwater.
On the positive side, MnDOT also finally stopped the flow of water from their construction area, through storm sewers to the Mississippi. This flow started with construction activity, and after many months it has finally been corrected.*The G.P.S. System is operated by the government of the United States, which is solely responsible for itís accuracy and maintenance, thus all data collected today is from the U. S. Government.
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Mayor Sharon Sayles Belton needs to hear from you as well. 612-673-2100
And what the hey, Governor Jesse Ventura should hear from you too. (651)296-3391