AUSTIN (KXAN) – Following analysis of water samples across Austin from May to June, the Austin Watershed Protection Department confirmed that toxic algae has been found in the water from several locations, including Barton Springs.
Excessively high temperatures and dry weather patterns increase the likelihood of toxic algae mats in creeks and lakes.
Though the presence of the algae was confirmed in Barton Springs, toxin levels in the water are not “concerning,” and the pool will stay open, the release said. The city will continue assessing water from Barton Springs to ensure it stays safe.
On Friday, the Lower Colorado River Authority said toxic algae was detected in Lake LBJ and Inks Lake. LCRA said the toxicity was detected in the algae itself and not in the lake water.
The presence of toxic algae does not mean there are toxins in the water. Still, the city said it is important to exercise caution when using recreating in water.
“Never drink water directly from lakes, creeks, or springs, avoid contact with algae and rinse off after contact with the water. Do not allow pets to drink from these waterways and do not allow dogs to lick their fur prior to rinsing if they’ve been in the water,” the release stated.
So far, there have been no recent reports of human or animal illness resulting from time spent in any of the affected sampling sites. If someone has sudden, adverse symptoms after swimming, they should contact the Texas Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 or their medical provider. The city asks if this does happen, to complete a reporting form, found at AustinTexas.gov/Algae.
Dihydroanatoxin, homoanatoxin, anatoxin, saxitoxin, cylindrospermopsin and microcystin were all detected in at least one algae sample.
The sites with toxic algae include:
- Red Bud Isle on Lady Bird Lake
- Vic Mathias Shores on Lady Bird Lake
- Festival Boat Ramp on Lady Bird Lake
- Jessica Hollis Park on Lake Austin
Scientific Study of Springs
- Barton Springs Pool
- Backdoor Spring on Barton Creek
- Bluff Spring on Onion Creek
- Harris Spring on a tributary to Onion Creek
- Kizer Spring on Williamson Creek
- Cold Spring on Lady Bird Lake