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Posted on: February 1, 2024

City of Burleson's Bark Park Set to Reopen Feb. 2

picture of dog running through field with the text BARK PARK REOPENS FRIDAY FEBRUARY 2

The city of Burleson is thrilled to announce the reopening of Bark Park, the city's dog park, on Friday, Feb. 2, after a thorough environmental investigation. The Bark Park, located at 616 Memorial Plaza, a recreational space for four-legged friends and their owners, was temporarily closed beginning in November 2023 due to discolored standing water in the vicinity.  

The city is committed to the well-being of residents, both human and canine. As a result, a multi-step and data-driven environmental investigation has been completed by Terracon, a third-party environmental firm hired by the city to ensure that Bark Park could be reopened to patrons. The city expresses gratitude to the community for their patience and cooperation throughout this process. 

Terracon's Site Investigation Final Report states:  
"Due to the absence of unacceptable risk to the canines for the Chemicals of Concerns (COCs) that were analyzed in the soil at the dog park, the city of Burleson can reopen the dog park." 

"The arsenic and lead levels observed in soil appear to fall within the naturally occurring background concentration range for this area of North Texas. Therefore, further investigation or action is not recommended at this time."   

View full report  

Background and Timeline 
The decision to close the dog park and surrounding areas came after standing water with a reddish hue was discovered near the dog park on Thur., Oct. 26. City staff submitted water samples on Fri., Oct. 27, to an independent third-party environmental laboratory, Pace Analytical, for analysis.  

On Fri., Nov. 3, the results revealed elevated levels of both lead and arsenic in the water samples, but the amounts did not exceed the surface water standard. The city then requested proposals from environmental consulting firms The environmental consulting firm Terracon was selected, and on Nov. 10, they collected samples of the pond and well water. 

The city received preliminary results in late November that indicated elevated levels of iron in both the surface water and well water, as well as the presence of iron-oxidizing bacteria.  As a result, more extensive testing of the area was initiated. Soil samples and borings were collected mid-December to further assess exposure risk, including to dogs. Preliminary lab results were received Jan. 4, 2024.  

What caused the water to have a reddish hue?  
The initial observations were made after a heavy rainfall event. High levels of iron and manganese in the soil, as well as the presence of naturally occurring iron-oxidizing bacteria, appear to have contributed to the red coloration of the pooled surface water.  

The results from the site investigation determined that none of the Chemicals of Concern exceeded the canine risk-based Protective Concentration Levels or concentrations that would require reporting to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Based on Terracon’s findings, no mitigation action is required at the site at this time.  

Excerpt from Terracon’s Site Investigation Final Report: 
The full report can be viewed here.  

“Discoloration of soil was observed in each of the soil borings or surface soil samples collected from the site, suggesting that the presence of these constituents is likely naturally occurring and contributing to the water color that was observed in the adjoining pond to the west of the site. No further action is needed at this time for the soil at the site.”

View full report
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