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Plan: Dogs out at ‘Barking Springs’

Wednesday, October 29, 2014 by Tyler Whitson

The Parks and Recreation Board voted unanimously at Tuesday’s meeting to recommend that City Council approve PARD staff’s proposed code amendments to allow people – but not dogs – to swim in the Barton Springs Spillway. That’s the area of Barton Creek between Barton Springs and Lady Bird Lake. The amendments also advise taking other measures to enforce the existing off-leash dog restrictions and continue monitoring water quality in the area. Staff presented the results of a study that found there is a consistently higher level of fecal-matter-indicating E. coli bacteria in Barton Creek below Barton Springs than in Barton Springs Pool. The study showed that the levels spike during the weekend and occasionally — but not on average — exceed the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s contact recreation safety standard. The spillway, also known as “Barking Springs,” is a popular location for people to swim and allow their dogs to play and swim off-leash, despite the fact that city code currently prohibits both actions. Council directed the city manager to seek code amendment recommendations from the board and the Animal Advisory Commission in an August resolution.


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