40 Pools

Celebrating a Big Birthday with 40 Swims

#56: Deep Eddy Pool

on May 2, 2013

Deep Eddy

Location: Austin, Texas

Configuration: 12 or so lanes of 33 1/3 yards plus large wading area

Fee: $3

We’ve seen how remarkable the year 1936 was for pools in New York, and it turns out to have been good to Texas, too. The state’s oldest pool, Deep Eddy dates to that same year and owes its existence to the same pot of WPA money. It made me feel right at home during a recent swimcation, when I joined a bunch of  marathon swimmers converging in Austin three weeks ago.

Would I be able to swim the same afternoon we arrived in town, I wondered? Sure, we can always swim, our co-host and tour guide Leslie reassured me. We made our first pilgrimage here shortly before closing that night and came back two other times during the weekend, basking in the cool, spring-fed, unchlorinated water that reminded me in color only of John Jay College Pool.

Deep Eddy takes its name from a deep eddy in the nearby Colorado River–visible in the top of the photo above–which was the local swimming hole before a proper pool was created. It’s a refreshingly cool temperature even during the hot Texan summers thanks to the springwater, which is drained out and replaced a few times per week.

We all loved swimming here. The 33-yard length didn’t feel that much longer than 25 yards, and yet the yardage racked up more quickly. The lap area is deep and spacious, and the staff and other swimmers were all very friendly.

View from the shallow end.

View from the shallow end, with the lap lanes way off yonder.

indoor-outdoor locker room

One of my favorite things here was the locker room, which managed to be both private and open-air. From the showers, you could admire the trees.

Circle swimming in this lane - sign

Texas is so big that swimmers don’t usually have to share lanes. According to Leslie, people usually queue up for a lane rather than sharing–except in a few specially designated lanes for those in a hurry.

John "Waldo" by the mural

An elaborate mural by the shallow end relates the history of the pool and park.


H&H, photo by Devon.

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