Fayette Springs closed to
outsiders to protect resource
FAYETTE—The Fayette Town Council is closing down Fayette Springs to outside visitors.
The decision, made during the recent meeting of the town council, was made in collaboration with the Fayette Irrigation Company.
Mayor Jed Bartholomew says Fayette is able to naturally isolate itself to mitigate issues arising from the the public health crisis, but with visitors coming in droves to its springs, the issue has come to a head.
“During these trying times, the town has initiated travel restrictions to our park and our spring for an indeterminate amount of time,” Bartholomew says. “This is not a decision we take lightly. The spring is our source of water for not only our fields, but also our drinking water. It sits above a natural aquifer, which not only flows out to the ditches, but back into itself. Especially during these dry years, the re-circulation of water can become a problem for the town if it becomes contaminated.”
According to Bartholomew, there has been an increasing amount of campfires and camping that is being done inside of the restricted area. This also contributes to the contamination that the springs are experiencing.
General recklessness and lack of care for the springs have created problems over a long period of time as well.
“We also notice an increase in the amount of vandalism we have had to repair over the past few years,” he says. “People have shot at the pumps, the pump house, and the chlorinator. They have vandalized the pumps we rely on for our water. In addition to human waste that we have found around the spring, there has been an increase in trash. We do not have paid city employees that clean our areas. It is all done through volunteer work. The broken bottles that we continue to find inside the spring are becoming a real problem for those that are trying to keep it a clean and safe place to be.”
It’s not just people that have created a problem for the Fayette Springs, either. Bartholomew says pets and different types of animals that are allowed to roam free in the restricted zones have created a problem. Animal and human waste has been found in and around the water source.
“The lack of facilities, abundance of horses, and other household pets, are a few of the reasons we are restricting the use of that area,” Bartholomew says.
Bartholomew says this is not a decision that the town has come by easily and hopes that those that love and respect the local resources will help Fayette by abstaining from the use of the park and spring while the town works out a fix.