ABILENE, Texas (KTAB) – Lake Kirby has been a no swimming zone for some time now, but the Abilene City Council was ready to change that, and other things, with ordinance changes across all lakes in the city.
City staff has put forward a request to table some of these changes due to some bacteria in the water.
Director of water utilities Rodney Taylor says that staff wants to “look at the water quality in that lake in particular, based on some sampling results that we’ve seen up to this point.”
Those results show E. Coli in the waters of Lake Kirby, and allowing people to swim could be dangerous. However, Taylor says that the issue could be revisited “sometime in the future.”
But don’t expect much of a change in water quality. Taylor says that the high levels of E. Coli are entirely natural.
“Each lake is unique, and that has some unique qualities about it being a small, shallow lake and it is a bird sanctuary, so we believe that is the source of that E. Coli that we’re seeing.”
The city plans on testing the water for twelve months straight, to track levels of contaminants.
Some of the proposed changes are still on the table. Those would put limits on how close swimmers in Lake Fort Phantom Hill could get to intake tubes and wastewater outlets.
Another change is adding Nelson Park Lake to the list; it previously was not included in the list of lakes in Abilene.
City Council will hear staff’s proposed changes in the next meeting.