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Alcohol Banned From Barton Springs Spillway

Updated: Thursday, August 7 2014, 09:56 PM CDT

Barton Springs Spillway is a favorite hangout for Alec Campbell and his dog Alice.

"Absolutely loves the water as you can tell she might get a little warm sometimes," Campbell said.

But the days of ignoring the signs and letting your dog swim freely unleashed are over. Austin Police, City of Austin Parks and Recreation as well as the Park Rangers are cracking down not only on leash laws.

"There has been a need for more rangers and police because we have seen an increase in activity here by about 40 percent. A lot of it has not been that desirable," Parks and Recreation Director Sara Hensley said. 

Police tell us that activity includes unleashed dogs, smoking and a spike in thefts and car burglaries. Officers hope the increased presence will change that.

Officers will also impose a new alcohol ban. As of Sept. 2 alcohol is banned from the Barton Springs Spillway. If caught drinking alcohol it's a class C misdemeanor and you can face a fine of up to $500.

Not all of Wednesday's news was about cracking down. The Parks and Rec Department says it understands this is a popular swimming hole and are working to remove the swimming ban, as long as you swim at your own risk.

The water is not tested for quality and there are no lifeguards.

"It's ok for people if they want to get in the water we don't want it to be illegal. That's been a point of contention but now the tradeoff is no alcohol in this area whatsoever," Hensley said.

By Rachel Kent

Alcohol Banned From Barton Springs Spillway

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