Coldwater Spring Water Discharge Results

A bucket is held under a water stream and a stopwatch is used to determine time.
Water being collected using the "Bucket Fill" method which uses a bucket and stopwatch.



The NPS monitors the flow of water from Coldwater Spring. This establishes an understanding of base flow and enables for observations of change. The spring and reservoir are contributing elements to the Fort Snelling National Historic Landmark, and any changes to the flow of the spring represent a potential impact to this landmark.


The water is collected using the "Bucket Fill" method which uses a bucket and stopwatch. The bucket is placed under the flow of water and the time it takes to completely fill is recorded. This process is repeated 3 times and the results are averaged.

The NPS explored different water collection techniques, and this method provided the best results. We have compiled the results in a downloadable Excel spreadsheet for years 2013 through the present.


The monitoring is conducted at two locations. The first is from a pipe that exits the southwest corner of the springhouse. The second is from a limestone rock where Wetland A drains south of the springhouse and reservoir.


Last updated: March 8, 2024

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111 E. Kellogg Blvd., Suite 105
Saint Paul, MN 55101


This is the general phone line at the Mississippi River Visitor Center.

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