This last week gave us a stark reminder of how vulnerable Barton Springs is to urban pollution sources on the watershed south and west of the springs. The clear flowing springs pool4 1545407842538 6550525 ver1.0 640 360suddenly turned milky white, triggering a pool closure and rapid investigation of the source and content of the pollution.
Thankfully, the surge of polluted spring flow soon resided, and preliminary tests indicated the substance was non-toxic, construction-related fine sediments. The Statesman reported the source was an "unauthorized" drilling operation that was under litigation and would not be revealed.
This preliminary information is not fully convincing and far from acceptable. SOS is committed to investigating the incident fully, disclosing the identity of the polluters, and holding them accountable. We are also not convinced that the pollution was caused by a single drilling operation. The massive Mopac Intersections construction, in front of and near the Wildflower Center, passes over and near a number of caves.   The extent of the caves hit by TxDOT and the toll road agency during this construction operation has not been disclosed to the public.
With your generous end-of-year donation we can get to the bottom of this pollution event and hold the responsible parties accountable. Thanks to everyone for their vigilance, support, and concern.   We will be reporting soon on what we discover