The Minnehaha Creek Watershed District is looking at doing a dye test to the area around Coldwater Spring to finally answer the question of where does the water for Coldwater Spring come from.

This test uses non toxic dyes that have been used for human consumption for many many years. If used, it is also only a temporary dye, and soon afterwards the Spring will run free of it.
Currently MnDOT has stopped the dye test from taking place stating they have been told by various agencies not to allow the test in the past, mainly due to fears about public outcry if Coldwater Spring water changes colors.

However this test if done correctly, will show conclusively weather or not the Southwest Loop Pond does or does not sit over the source water to the Coldwater Spring.

Minnehaha Creek Watershed is trying to convince all agencies involved that this test is needed, and to allow it to happen, to answer that question. MnDOT's help with this would be greatly appreciated.

MnDOT has stated that they have done dye tests in Southwestern Minnesota routinely and support a dye test for Coldwater if everyone else agrees to it. There are however many other agencies and depending on how the paperwork is handled it could take anywhere from a few days to a few months to get approval. It will come down to how badly do the agencies want to get the paperwork done, as to weather or not the test can be done before MnDOT starts construction in a month.
Again this is a non toxic dye, and so the Preserve Camp Coldwater Coalition has given their go ahead to both the Minnehaha Creek Watershed, and the state attorney general, who represents MnDOT, to do this dye test. We would very much like to know what exactly the possible interaction between the Southwest Loop Pond and Coldwater Spring is. The two do sit over different kinds of rock, though there appears to be transmissive fractures that might allow water flow between them. This test would show if there is indeed water flow between the two or not.