Drink in Nature with Eden Prairie’s Fredrick-Miller Spring

The story behind Eden Prairie’s Fredrick-Miller Spring.

Nestled into the scenic Prairie Bluff Conservation Area in Eden Prairie is
the Frederick-Miller Spring, which has attracted thirsty Minnesotans to its
waters for more than 100 years.

In the 30 minutes I spent waiting to interview devotees of the spring, there
were at least 10 cars that pulled up to it, with trunks full of water jugs. This
natural spring attracts people from as far as Burnsville, who believe in
relishing the purity of water as it was meant to be. “The tap water didn’t taste
good,” says Nick Backlund, of Shakopee, who has visited the spring for more than
two years. “This water quenches my thirst and feels pure. I trust this water
more than city water.”

Besides using the spring water for drinking, a few people also use the water
for bathing or aquariums.

An artesian spring, Frederick-Miller Spring has been known to exist since the
Native Americans and early settlers, with references of farmers traveling to
Shakopee watering their horses at the spring.

The property where the spring is located was owned by the Fredrick family,
later, purchased by the Miller family, hence the name Fredrick-Miller Spring.
The city of Eden Prairie took ownership of the land in 1968 and has maintained
it as a park amenity since the early 1970s.

Part of that maintenance includes monthly testing of the spring water for
bacteria and nitrate levels (should be below 10ppm). An advisory notice is
posted at the location right away if bacteria are found in the water, which has
happened only once in the past 37 years.

The spring water is different from the city water that comes from your tap.
“City water comes from deep wells and must meet stringent standards,” says
Stuart Fox, Eden Prairie parks and natural resources manager. “The water from
Miller Spring is a shallow water source and is not recognized as a public water
source by the Minnesota Department of Health.”

Joe Dusek, Eden Prairie water treatment plant supervisor, adds, “The city
water in Eden Prairie homes has additional fluoride and chlorine to keep it
disinfected.”

A drinking water source or not, Frederick-Miller Spring and the Prairie Bluff
Conservation Area surrounding it offer the serenity and pristine environment
that many of us crave.