Monday, April 15, 2013
Pumps Vector with Master Plan to Reduce South Pool Access
The Twin Buttes Recreation Master Plan vectors with the City's propensity to pump the South Pool, now an annual multi-month event. Together they'll drastically reduce access to the South Pool, the area's only safe body of water for beginner windsurfers.
The North Shore of the South Pool , marked by the red 1 above, has a gradual entry, which enables beginning windsurfers to learn in waist deep water. This feature means less swimming fatigue. Our prevailing South to Southwest winds blow struggling beginners back to shore, another critical safety element. Access to this beach disappeared last weekend behind a locked gate Gajeske's three monster pumps, capable of pumping 1 million gallons per day are back.
I windsurfed the South Pool for over a month before some chucklehead vandalized pumping equipment, ensuring no access except to those willing to walk from the locked gate to the water. That's a long haul to carry a sailboard and sail.
The "Master Plan" has windsurfers sailing from South Pool's Easterly corner, marked by the green 2 above. It sits in a wind shadow under our prevailing South to Southwest winds. It has a boat ramp, which makes for more hazardous entry and exit.
An overcrowded Lake Nasworthy is not safe for beginning windsurfers. The North Pool at Twin Buttes has such varied topography. Once the large island is completely exposed, i.e. cars can drive to it, the North Pool isn't safe to sail.
The Recreation Master Plan is no recreation for windsurfers, unless the City implements their "trusted user" program. Having volunteered from 1995 to 1999 to clean up the City park at the North Pool, I'd like to think I'm trustworthy and a good steward of area water recreation resources. I'll soon find out if the City feels likewise.
Update 4-16-13: GoSanAngelo Columnist Bill Cullins e-mailed the following suggestion on securing the pumps and keeping public access to the South Pool. "It would be relatively inexpensive to build a fenced enclosure to house the pumps (think 8 foot high, big gate for trucks, and barbed wire on top). Doing that would allow normal access to the south-side beach."