Barton Springs lies within Zilker Park’s expansive 358 acres. It is 3 acres large and gets its water from underground springs where the temperature averages 68 to 70 degrees all year round. This makes the pool perfect for swimming, regardless of the season.
Barton Springs Pool has been a popular Austin, Texas attraction for decades. Regular locals to legislators have been enjoying the waters of Barton Springs since the 1970s. The pool attracts diverse locals and foreign tourists who contribute to the over 800,000 visitors annually.
History Of Barton Springs Municipal Pool
The current Barton Springs Pool location was considered sacred ground long before the pool was built. The place served as a ritual purification ground used by Native Americans who lived in the area.
The journey to transform Barton Springs into what it is today began after 1837 when the Springs’ namesake, Barton, settled in the area. Barton and other subsequent property owners saw the value of Barton Springs as an attraction and promoted it.
The last owner, Andrew Zilker, gave the Springs to Austin TX, in 1918. In the 1920’s the pool was constructed into the largest swimming area by building sidewalks and damming the springs. The bathhouse was created in 1947.
Barton Springs Pool Features
Barton Springs is a natural spring-fed pool in Zilker Park in Austin, Texas. It is one of the largest natural swimming pools in the United States and is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. The pool is surrounded by lush greenery and is a peaceful escape from the city. The water is crystal clear and perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and relaxing.
Barton Springs Pool also offers diving boards and a shallow area for children to play. There are several amenities available, including restrooms, showers, and changing rooms. The pool is open year-round and admission is affordable. It is a must-visit attraction in Austin for anyone who enjoys swimming and nature.
Barton Springs in Austin faces environmental concerns due to pollution and overuse. In the 1980s, the pool was momentarily closed after accumulating dangerous levels of E. Coli bacteria. High bacteria levels have always been a concern due to upstream development. Contaminants mix with heavy rains that periodically flush effluent into sources (like Edwards Aquifer) that feed the springs.
Runoff from nearby roads and construction sites contributes to water contamination, while visitors’ use of sunscreen and other personal care products can harm aquatic life.
The pool’s fragile ecosystem is further threatened by overcrowding, with an estimated 750,000 people visiting each year. To address these issues, the City of Austin has implemented measures such as banning certain sunscreen ingredients, limiting visitor numbers, and improving stormwater management.
However, more action is needed to protect the pool’s unique natural habitat, including increased funding for maintenance and conservation efforts. The pool is a beloved Austin landmark, and preserving it for future generations requires a commitment to sustainable practices and responsible use.
Environmental concerns surrounding Barton Springs Pool have resulted in local Austin TX political movements. Besides pollution, there are concerns about some endangered species that are found in Barton Springs Pool and neighboring environs becoming extinct.
Recent Improvements & Additions
Barton Springs Pool in Austin has recently undergone several improvements to enhance the swimming experience. A new bathhouse has been constructed, featuring additional restrooms and showers. Also, there’s an addition of a larger space for visitors to change into their swimwear.
The pool’s filtration system has been upgraded to improve water quality, and the underwater lights have been replaced with energy-efficient LED lights. A new pedestrian bridge has also been built to improve accessibility to the pool. Additionally, the park surrounding the pool has been renovated, with new landscaping and improved pathways.
These upgrades have not only improved the appearance and functionality of the pool but have also helped to reduce the environmental impact of the popular attraction.
Barton Springs in Austin, Texas has a rich history dating back to prehistoric times. The pool is fed by natural springs and is a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking. However, environmental concerns such as drought and water quality have threatened the pool’s health. Features include a diving board, grassy hills for lounging, and lifeguards on duty during peak season.