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Publication Date

January 2009


"Chlorine from broken water lines has the potential to be toxic to the endangered Barton Springs salamander. Spills which enter Barton Springs Pool from Barton Creek overtopping the upper dam, overland directly into the pool, or through the aquifer were considered. Only a break in the 48" main near Barton Skyway poses a threat to overtop the dam and enter the pool at a concentration that would be lethal to the salamander. Plume modeling is needed for overland flows entering the pool. However, preliminary estimates of pool concentrations assuming complete mixing indicate that 1 inch diameter pipes are not a problem. As the pipes get larger, the amount of time available to fix the pipe or divert the flow before the pool concentration reaches toxic levels decreases. Flow diversion techniques should be considered. There are water mains in Barton, Williamson, and Slaughter Creeks which have the potential via the aquifer to result in spring concentrations exceeding toxic levels. No critical water lines were identified in Bear or Onion Creek. Two different methods, both estimating decay within the aquifer, are discussed. Both are likely to be conservative indicating the need to position staff at the pool measuring chlorine in the spring discharge if predicted concentrations exceed toxic levels. Then if observed levels at the pool do start to approach toxic levels, immediate action to remove salamanders can be taken." -- Authors Open Access - Permission by Publisher See Extended description for more information.


Barton Springs (Austin, Texas, United States), United States






City of Austin





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