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Four Austin Creeks Contaminated With Fecal Bacteria

Updated: Wednesday, October 9 2013, 05:53 AM CDT

Four Austin creeks are causing some stomachs to turn this morning. The state says they're contaminated with high levels of fecal bacteria. Later Wednesday, the city is asking for your help cleaning up Waller Creek, Walnut Creek, the Spicewood tributary to Shoal Creek, and Taylor Slough South.

Experts say most of the bacteria comes from pets using the creeks as a bathroom, but there are complaints about people doing the same, or using the water to bathe or toss their trash.

Creating an outdoor public restroom pilot program is just one idea the city is looking at to clean up the water. They're also looking at reminding pet owners to clean up after their dogs, and officials are looking to put out more waste bags at parks. Reaching out to the homeless, elementary schools, and neighborhood groups is another strategy officials are looking at, along with making sure sewer lines are in good shape and improving stormwater treatment. Officials would put these solutions in motion over the next five years. Long term, they're trying to lower bacteria in all of Austin's streams.

Tonight, you can let them know how well you think those ideas will work and give them some ideas of your own. The city's holding a public meeting at 6:30 p.m. at the One Texas Center on 505 Barton Springs Road.

To see the draft report on the issue and the city's suggestions: http://www.utexas.edu/law/centers/cppdr/services/tmdl.php

Four Austin Creeks Contaminated With Fecal Bacteria


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