SA Springs tested for first time since 2011

EAA tests area springs to ensure water quality

By Justin Horne - Weather Authority Meteorologist/Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - The Edwards Aquifer Authority spent Tuesday morning taking water samples at the San Antonio Springs.

Gizelle Luevano, EAA's lead hydrologic data coordinator, and her colleagues, gathered samples that will be tested to understand what's in the aquifer and to ensure the water source’s cleanliness. 

"We're trying to determine, 'Are there any trends going on? How are the conditions?'" Luevano said. "And, since it’s just after a rain event, we want to know what is the runoff going in there."

The San Antonio Springs, which emerge at the Blue Hole, are just one of nine sites the EAA will sample this week. The springs also serve as headwaters for the San Antonio River. Areas near Comal Springs, Hueco Springs, San Marcos Springs and San Pedro Springs will also be tested.

"Yes, it’s flowing well today,” Luevano said of the Blue Hole.

The fact that the springs are flowing are what makes Tuesday's round of testing unique. Testing at the Blue Hole has not been completed since February of 2011, when there was no water to sample.

Recent rains have pushed aquifer levels high enough for the springs to flow. As long as the springs are flowing and the aquifer is not at critical level, the tests are conducted quarterly.

The sampling began with a quick test completed by an electronic monitor that provided basic information. 

"The ph is 7.26,” Luevano said, reading from one of the results.

Data was carefully taken from within the water to prevent contamination of the sample. Bottles were filled, which will be sent to the lab for testing for hundreds of chemicals and compounds. Luevano said pharmaceuticals can show up in trace amounts.  

"We just want to determine, you know, just make sure that the aquifer is still clean,” Luevano said.

The last test conducted in 2011 showed good results. The hope is that Tuesday’s test will produce similar findings. The results are expected in a month. 

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