Fort Worth

No tubing at Rockin’ the River Thursday night; July 4 tubing up in the air

The Thursday Rockin’ the River event usually includes tubing in the Trinity River during concerts at Panther Island Pavilion. The music will go on Thursday night, but not the tubing
The Thursday Rockin’ the River event usually includes tubing in the Trinity River during concerts at Panther Island Pavilion. The music will go on Thursday night, but not the tubing Courtesy

Because of high levels of E. coli bacteria in the Trinity River, people need to stay out of the water at Thursday’s Rockin’ the River concert.

Further tests will determine if tubing will be allowed on Sunday and at Fort Worth’s Fourth, a Tarrant Regional Water District spokesman said Thursday.

Tests found several places in the river Wednesday and found most of them had much higher E. coli levels than the “contact recreation standard,” according to Chad Lorance, a district spokesman.

The Trinity River Vision Authority sponsors the free Thursday night concert series during the summer. People can usually relax in an inner tube on the river and listen to live music performed at the Panther Island Pavilion.

The Eleven Hundred Springs concert is still on, and adults are permitted to wade in the water.

Panther Island is also the venue for Sunday Funday and Fort Worth’s Fourth, the annual daylong July 4 observance including fireworks. Authorities will test the water again on Friday and expect results Saturday.

Bailey Duncan takes a water sample at the confluence. Tarrant Regional Water District monitors water quality as recent storm runoff brings up concerns.

The high E. coli levels are believed to be a result of heavy rain from isolated thunderstorms on Monday that dumped several inches in some parts of west Fort Worth. Other parts of DFW got a trace or no rain, according to the National Weather Service.

Mary Gugliuzza, a Fort Worth Water Department spokeswoman, said the June 22 sewage spill into Mary’s Creek did not reach the Trinity and is not to blame for the E. coli levels. She said initial testings near the confluence of the creek and the Clear Fork of the river had levels much lower than the contact standard, and another test this week showed that the level was going down.

“We have not seen any evidence that the spill reached the Clear Fork,” Gugliuzza said. “The rainfall causing it is definitely possible, because when it’s been dry for a while, rain washes” a lot of bacteria and other unhealthy matter, such as animal feces, into the river.

Mark David Smith: 817-390-7808, @MarkSmith_FWST

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