Barton Springs

Photo by KUT News

Barton Springs Pool Reopens Today

After being closed for a week, Barton Springs Pool will reopen today. The famously frigid swimming hole was closed on March 20 due to flooding after last week’s heavy rain.

The pool's hours of operation are from 5 a. m. to 10 p. m. Normally the pool is only open for limited hours on Thursdays due to cleaning, but this Thursday the pool will stay open all day.

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Photo by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

You like Barton Springs Pool? So does a small, endangered amphibian. But unlike you, the Barton Springs Salamander is legally protected by the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife. If the city wants to keep operating the pool, it needs to renew a permit with the federal government that explains how Austin will protect the slithery little creature.

The current permit was issued in 1998 and based on this Habitat Conservation Plan. That permit expires in October 2013. But the review process takes a long time, so the city wants to submit its application soon to stave off closing Barton Springs Pool, even temporarily.

Photo by John K http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnkay/

The federal government will be at work this summer on some proposals that could affect waterways you may be familiar with, including the Edwards Aquifer and Barton Springs. The US Environmental Protection Agency says Supreme Court rulings over the last decade have weakened the Clean Water Act and removed some waterways from federal protection.

According to the EPA, under current Clean Water Act regulations, many small streams that feed into larger streams, rivers, bays and coastal waters are no longer protected by the Act. This means polluting into these waters doesn’t require a permit. The EPA is examining how to change those regulations to ensure waterways are protected.

Photo by KUT News

Barton Springs Pool will be open for a short time in the mornings starting tomorrow, Saturday, March 5. Early bird swimmers will have three hours to enjoy the cool water once the gates open at 5 a. m.

The pool has been closed for a flood debris removal project along with annual maintenance. The cleanup project is still underway but doesn’t start until after 8:00 a. m. That leaves a small window for aqua-phenes to make a cold water splash.

Barton Springs Pool will resume normal hours of operation on March 12, 2011.

Photo by KUT News

With temperatures barely breaking into the 60s this weekend, a dip in Barton Springs Pool might not be the first thing on your mind. But it will be your last chance to enjoy the swimming hole until mid-March.

Barton Springs Pool
flickr.com/photos/rutlo/

Austin City Council granted a rare privilege today to an 82-year-old Austin woman: a lifetime pass to Barton Springs Pool.

Patty Curtis started swimming at the pool in 1975 when she was 46-years-old.

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