Environment

Balmorhea State Park Pool is Back in Business After $2 Million Renovation

Back in business and they didn't wreck the environment to do it.
Back in business and they didn't wreck the environment to do it. Photo by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
OK, so given our weather, you might not be inspired to take a road trip to the Balmorhea State Park Pool this weekend. But today's announcement that the world's largest spring-fed swimming pool is good to go again will be something you'll want to consider not too long from now.

As for the people of West Texas, they are probably relishing the end of the long hot summer they endured without the pool.

The historic pool had to be closed last May after damage was discovered during a routine cleaning. The concrete apron under the diving board was damaged and the degree of difficulty factor to restore it was intensified because of the cultural sensitivity of the site and the endangered species that live there.

According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department they were able to salvage the historic diving board and the brick that runs along the pool's edge. Cofferdams were put in to protect endangered species during the construction.
Diving, diving and more diving. - PHOTO BY TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT
Diving, diving and more diving.
Photo by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

The project, estimated to cost $2 million, was jump-started by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Apache Corporation with a $1 million challenge grant. "More than 575 donations were received from all corners of the state, with 60 percent of the donations under $100," according to a TPWD press release.  Apache Corporation also contributed a $1 million endowment to keep things going.

The pool stays between 72 and 76 degrees all year. It's a product of the Civilian Conservation Corps era of the mid-1930s.

It is home to many aquatic animals including the Peco gambusia and the Comanche Springs pupfish, both of which are endangered species.


click to enlarge The 1.3-acre pool is up to 25 feet deep, olds 3.5 million gallons of water and the water temperature stays at 72 to 76 degree all year. - PHOTO BY TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT
The 1.3-acre pool is up to 25 feet deep, olds 3.5 million gallons of water and the water temperature stays at 72 to 76 degree all year.
Photo by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
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