Concerns over debris-filled Lakeside Park wading pools

Lakeside Park in Marble Falls

The debris in one of the basins near the beach at Lakeside Park in Marble Falls still needs to be cleaned. To the left is the beach. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

As Marble Falls Parks and Recreation Director Lacey Dingman walked the new sidewalks near the beach at Lakeside Park, she noted the obvious: The department is still cleaning the park now that the holidays and Phase 1A construction are complete.

The fact was driven home by the green-colored, debris-filled water pools at the base of the new beach.

The city closed Lakeside Park, 305 Buena Vista Drive, in January 2019 for renovations. In November, Walkway of Lights gave the public their first glimpse of the renovated park, but in a limited scope.

Since the Christmas lights came down in early January, something that caught many people’s attention were the four wading pools, or basins, between the new beach and Lake Marble Falls. Several of them hold dirt and debris and appear somewhat green in color.

Dingman said the city is aware of it.

Lakeside Park in Marble Falls
A clean basin, part of the new beach at Lakeside Park. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

The parks staff is addressing the cleanup as quickly as it can, she added. She pointed to one basin that had been cleaned and noted the others will be. These tiny pools will need daily cleaning just like the city pool located above the beach.

“At this point, we’re trying to get it cleaned up for usage in the next several months,” she said. “We cleaned one of them pretty well, and it looks pretty good.”

The basins, ideal for children and those with physical limitations, are on the same level as Lake Marble Falls. The design includes slits, or weep holes, on the walls to allow the pools to be filled with lake water. However, the weep holes are wide enough to let twigs, leaves, and other debris into the basins.

“Our challenge is going to be keeping debris out of the bottom manually,” Dingman said.

Dingman and the parks staff have been contacting other municipalities and government entities to ask how they’re keeping similar features clean. What they’re finding, however, is that there are few basins like the ones at Lake Marble Falls.

Therefore, Dingman is asking engineers for their cleanup recommendations.

The new beach also features a sidewalk and stairs leading into Lake Marble Falls. Dingman said the city is applying to the Lower Colorado River Authority for the creation of a roped-off area for swimmers.

While most of the work is complete at Lakeside Park, it is not fully open as the city awaits a final state inspection. Officials are asking people to limit activities at the park to walking or running on the sidewalk. For other activities, such as picnics, barbecues, and small parties, the city recommends Johnson Park, 230 Avenue J, and Westside Park, located at the intersection of Second Street and Avenue Q.

jfierro@thepicayune.com

7 thoughts on “Concerns over debris-filled Lakeside Park wading pools

  1. Hi Lacey,
    The new improvements are wonderful and everyone did a great job, except the engineer who designed the pools.
    They should have been built with two steps leading into the pools instead of a slippery slope. Stepping into the pool on that slope will be horrible for small children and adults alike. I see no way to gradually enter the water on a solid footing. Now would be the time to repair this before someone is hurt.

    Thanks for taking my concerns.
    Steve

  2. Awful design. Appears to be a trap to hold trash and breed mosquitos. And what happens when a toddler steps or falls over the ledge?

  3. In me previous comment a week ago, I addressed how disease ridden and bad of an idea this was to design. Besides it getting stagnant, Steve above brought up a very good point. Any algae even an INCH, kid or baby slips and busts their head on that concrete, blood/trauma will come from an injury like that for anyone. For one, they are way too narrow, maybe you have a few rafts, if it it SCRUBBED and cleaned of all algae daily. That might work but as we know from all our docks here, once algae starts growing, you simply slip and fall and that angle is bad. I can see a kid busting their head on the higher end just going in. I’m not an engineer, but I know science, physics and logic. Chicken wire will just scratch people covering the slits for fresh water. I don’t who approved this design but they did not think about the cess pool factor, way too narrowly built, debris and kids slipping on the algae which is coming and you have to literally scrub it like a madman to get if off. The walkways and giant blocks are good but they need to just bulldoze those barrier basins out and add steps, not a vertical, slippery slope that holds 12 people max if they have rafts. It just looks bad for our city and not sanitary. The basins were a terrible idea, the engineer and cement people should have to pay for their mistakes, not the tax payers of Burnet County and Marble Falls. Citizens speak up, they need this fixed or someone might really get hurt bad or even die hitting their head b/c of poor design. No joking, not if, just a matter of when with the high concentration of algae in our river lake. Those cess pools can breed that brain eating amoeba, too. We do not want that here.

  4. *Update, Sorry to double post but I went to check out the cleaned pool just now b/c it’s my duty as a citizen and father to make sure things are safe. This is still 100% a danger to enter or leave any of the pools. That far one is cleaner of debris but just 2 feet down that algae is still very slippery and it’s not even spring. Looking at that pool is terrifying if you have ever been to Krause Springs and you know how slippery that is and how hard it is if you fall, this is a lawsuit waiting to happen. You could only slide in on cement to get in without wiping out and to get out of the pool, you would have to go up literally like an alligator on your stomach and get scraped.

    I know they are trying now and kudos but the cleaned pool is still slippery right where anyone’s feet would be to get out or in. You can even see the green hue in the recent photo. Death trap / cess pool, 100%. To the city, I recommend just knocking those barrier walls down or you will have to get a mechanical scrubber to remove all the algae in every pool, every day or someone is going to have a severe injury and / or death. No elderly or kids will survive those pools at some point, something bad will happen with ZERO steps. It’s designed like a sloping skate park, no steps, this is a huge mistake on the designer and engineer. I do not see how this was insured to be of SAFE use “ideal for children and those with physical limitations”. If all of this is also to save the beach, that sand is getting pretty dirty fast, too. FYI. I swim this lake all over and you have to be very careful of the algae here. Is this a local developer or out of town? Anyone could have told them the algae here is a battle, you will slip eventually, no doubt. No steps in any of those narrow pools, just a steep slope to bang your head or body into to get in or out. You could climb your body over the barrier into the lake and swim to the small set of steps but that area is stated for children and those with physical limitations. Don’t pull a Jaws and open the beach to race to get it fixed for the crowds, get it fixed right so everyone is safe from injury or disease.

  5. That sounds about right for government decision making. Do they intentionally find the dumbest way to do something or are they just that talented? I bet whoever decided to do this waste of tax money gets a great raise soon. Government is not the most efficient, did you know that you could NOT pay off the US debt if your family had saved $3,000,000 every day for the last 2000 years and it was yours to spend?

  6. Does not look like something I would want my child to swim in, especially after it steeps in several 100+ degree days. It is impractical for a city employee to clean these pools daily, everyday for years and years to come. Probably something the city should address asap rather than wait for some child to slip on the slippery bottom or contract some amoeba or other awful organism that grows in warm, stagnant water. A lot of liability for the city to take on.

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