Yuck! Environment Texas recently put out a report on bacteria pollution in Texas waterways. They found that 60 percent of testing sites at Austin waterways had unsafe bacteria at least once in 2017. Luckily Barton Creek and Barton Springs were not among the affected waterways–yet. Other Austin waterways like Shoal and Waller Creek were affected.
It is clear that the protections we’ve worked for in the Barton Springs Zone are working. However, a clear Barton Springs can’t be taken for granted. Urban run-off, leaky sewage pipes, and sewage spills can all cause bacteria pollution.
“Sewage plants that pipe treated effluent directly into our creeks and rivers pose a significant risk to our waterways,” said Angela Richter, Executive Director of Save Barton Creek Association. “When operation of the plant fails, and Texas has a bad record of plant failures, bacteria like e-coli can enter local creeks.”