Visitors to the Barton Creek Greenbelt can once again play in the water, officials announced Friday. Levels of a toxin called cylindrospermopsin, which has been found in various waterways around Austin and has sickened or killed multiple dogs, have fallen well below EPA guidance values for recreational use. Cylindrospermopsin is one of several cyanotoxins which can be produced by cyanobacteria, also called blue-green algae. The City of Austin originally issued a warning about swimming at Sculpture Falls after water samples taken on September 9 contained concerning levels of cylindrospermopsin. Two recent water samples have shown much lower levels of the toxin.
The highest reading of cylindrospermopsin was in late September.
It is possible that the higher toxin levels or a different cyanotoxin will return without warning in the future, officials said. Although there does not appear to be any immediate risk to dogs, dog owners may want to keep their pets away from the water. Symptoms in dogs may include excessive salivation, vomiting, fatigue, staggered walking, difficulty breathing, convulsions, and liver failure. Seek veterinary care immediately if your pets seem sick after going in or near water.