County bans contact with Hamilton Pool water after recent drownings

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Swimming and contact with the water at Hamilton Pool has been suspended by Travis County Parks as a result of recent incidents.

At around 11:30 a.m. Friday, emergency crews responded to the pool after a man in distress was pulled from the water. While the man didn’t want to go to the hospital at first, he became nauseous and then requested to be taken by medics.

The incident marked the third water-related emergency at the pool in recent months, including the drowning of a man on Oct. 2. In August, a 17-year-old died after being underwater at Hamilton Pool for nearly 30 minutes.

In the past, the pool has been closed after heavy rains flush a large amount of bacteria into the pools.

With the new reservation-only system at the pool this summer, the county says they were booked solid every day during the summer season. The county does not issue refunds for closure of the pool itself, because the $15 per vehicle fee is for entrance to the preserve, not just the pool. The advanced reservation system is only in effect for summer and is now back to their regular first come, first serve system.

In response to the drowning last week, the county said they do not plan to add lifeguards, but will add additional life rings. A loaner life jacket program is in the works for next spring.

Updates on the status of Hamilton Pool can be found on the county’s website or by calling the information line at 512-264-2740. Hamilton Pool and 232 surrounding acres, located southwest of Austin, were designated a preserve in 1990.

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