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July 27, 2022 - 05:00
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The drought across Texas this summer hits the beautiful but fragile Medina River hard. No water is flowing and replenishing the river. Bone-dry between the Mayan Ranch and First Street bridges, water in the Bandera City Park is not gently flowing river water. It is now a stagnant and dangerous cesspool. According to the Bandera County River Authority and Ground Water District (“BCRAGD”), the Medina River E.Coli level at the park was measured on July 12th to be 499 MPN (Most Probable Number). The City of Bandera has a standard maximum of 389 MPN.

According to the BCRAGD, if the E.Coli exceeds 399 MPN, “no contact recreation should take place”. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality sets these 399 standards. It is also Bandera’s standard. So why on earth is the park not closed to the public? I went to the city office yesterday to ask why. The answer I got was, “We are not going to close the park just because the water is dangerous. People still want to play in the water”. Huh?

It is irresponsible not to close the park until further notice. How many visitors with their small children does Bandera want to put at risk getting amoebic dysentery or worse? What about the fish and turtles desperately trying to survive? They would be better off with the City Park closed. Is it going to take a lawsuit by the victims to get our public officials to wake up? Most other cities already closed their water parks. Perhaps they do not have morons on their city councils.

Charley Cleave

Bandera, Texas