Aug 2, 2023 - News

Exclusive: 6 Austin pools extend operations over heat

Barton Springs Pool remains open year-round, but the city extended the operations of six seasonal pools as lifeguard positions remain staffed and temperatures remain over 100°. Photo: Suzanne Cordeiro/AFP via Getty Images

Six seasonal pools will remain open through much of September as the heat wave lingers, Austin Parks and Recreation officials tell Axios.

Driving the news: The ongoing drought and high temperatures, coupled with plenty of lifeguards, have led Parks and Recreation officials to extend their operation of Garrison, Govalle, Mabel, Northwest, Shipe and Walnut Creek pools until Sept. 24.

Why it matters: In this record-breaking summer, dunking yourself in your local pool is a singularly convivial and cheap way to cool off.

The big picture: Most Austin pools are scheduled to shutter until next year on either Sunday or Aug. 13 — even though drought and high temps are likely to persist for weeks.

  • Austin public schools kick off on Aug. 14, and "pools typically close when AISD goes back into session because most of our seasonal workforce are AISD students," Austin parks department spokesperson Kanya Lyons tells Axios.

Meanwhile: Five pools — Bartholomew, Barton Springs, Big Stacy, Deep Eddy and Springwoods — are open year-round, and city splash pads remain open through Oct. 31.

Context: The extended hours are the latest effort by city officials to keep residents cool in dangerous temperatures.

  • Austin-Travis County EMS officials are responding to a record-breaking number of heat-related illnesses, with 285 heat-related incidents in July, a 28% increase compared to last year, according to the department.
  • As of Tuesday, Austin's Camp Mabry recorded 25 straight days of triple-digit highs, according to National Weather Service forecasters. The city's record is 27 days, set in 2011.

The bottom line: You may only have four days left of swimming at your favorite neighborhood pool. Check the city's Aquatic Division website for individual pool hours.


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