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Marble Falls seeks solutions for algae-filled lakeside wading pools

Lakeside Park wading pools

Four wading pools drawing social media criticism for being consistently too dirty to actually wade in might be in for some improvements. The pools are at Lakeside Park, 305 Buena Vista Drive in Marble Falls. Staff photo by Brigid Cooley

Improvements are being made to keep dirty wading pools cleaner at Lakeside Park in Marble Falls, including the purchase of a vacuum attachment for the city’s power washer, members of the Parks and Recreation Commission learned at their regular meeting May 3. 

“This is our first spring to really be open, and I know there were some comments from the community, so I want to let you know what we’re doing,” Parks and Recreation Director Lacey Dingman told commissioners about the four, 2-foot-deep pools located along the beach area of the park at 305 Buena Vista Drive. 

Residents have been posting comments about the design and upkeep of the pools, expressing health and safety concerns because of the stagnant, algae-ridden water. 

“(This) is not something we are not aware of, and it’s important to us as well,” Dingman said. 

Since March, city workers have been manually cleaning the pools at least four times a week, Dingman said. In addition to agitating the water, they clear away debris by skimming the top of the water and scrub the walls and steps of the pools. 

The pools have no filtration system and rely on boat traffic and pool users to keep the water from becoming stagnant. To help naturally filter the pools, 18-inch-long weep holes cut into the outside walls allow the exchange of water between the lake and the pools. Especially during the colder months, when the water is less frequently disturbed, the pools are prone to algae growth, Dingman explained.

Although the issue was not an action item, commissioners brainstormed solutions during the meeting. 

“Maybe we need to fill (the pools) with sand, you know? Just block up the holes, put sand in them and be done with it,” Commissioner MaxAnne Jones suggested. 

In response, Dingman pointed out that water from the lake would likely spill into the area, which needs to be considered if the commission were to choose to fill the pools with something besides water in the future. 

“(The pools are) never going to look like a concrete pool with lake water in it because it’s just not achievable without some forced circulation and probably some chemicals,” Dingman said. “It’s probably not possible to treat that water because it’s adjacent to the lake.” 

Other improvements discussed include adding handrails to steps leading from the beach to the lake to help prevent slipping. The city will also install plastic grates to the steps to make them less slippery.

2 thoughts on “Marble Falls seeks solutions for algae-filled lakeside wading pools

  1. i dunno, last time i was there the wading swamp had some free tennis shoes submerged in them and i figured it was the city’s way of inviting slip & fall lawsuits from creating foreseeable mossy growth areas where someone slipped, and either cracked open a head on concrete or drowned. Not sure, but there may have also been a free used condom in there, but i wasn’t sliding in to verify that.

  2. A. They need to knock away those barriers. Even with daily maintenance it’s a lawsuit
    waiting to happen, a kid or adult could easily slide and hit their head.
    Smooth river rock is cheap and they can add that anytime if/when there is another 100 year flood.

    B. The sand gets pretty dirty, it was nice and solid with fresh sod vs the dirty sand.
    If the sand stays it should be maintained vs cleaning algae daily.

    C. The ramp is so slanted it’s difficult to get out of as well as slippery. It’s a deterrent
    now b/c of the slanted degree. This whole thing is a bad design and can be simplified
    by removing that mistake and adding clean grass back where the “beach” resides now.

    Mainly knock away cess-barriers and put sod back in or keep sand clean. It used to be
    so beautiful with the green grass, that would really help the curb appeal and cleanliness.

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