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.