Water coolers return to hike and bike trail

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by HEATHER KOVAR / KVUE News and photojournalists DOUG NAUGLE & DAVID GARDNER

Bio | Email | Follow: @HeatherK_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on January 31, 2013 at 7:19 PM

Updated Sunday, Oct 13 at 10:49 AM

AUSTIN -- Bright orange coolers are a refreshing sight for sore eyes.

In early December, the coolers on the hike and bike trail around Ladybird Lake were removed by the City of Austin over health concerns.

"I was really disappointed when it didn't show up one day and I was like, what happened to our water?" said runner Laci Jones.

According to the Austin Parks and Recreation Department, the water coolers weren't properly permitted or secured. Also, the lids weren't locked down which created a concern over the possibility of tampering.

Now with the proper permits and lid locks, the coolers have returned to 1st and Riverside.

Jesse Vargas with the Austin Parks and Recreation Department said four more locations are planned, but it might not be permanent.

"The City of Austin's long term plan is to install permanent drinking fountains in key areas along the trail within the park," Vargas said.

RunTex owner Paul Carrozza funds the free water, and said, "You want to live a lifestyle that keeps you hydrated."

"It's really important," Carrozza said. "If you can hydrate during and immediately after, it saves you two days of recovery time. If you wait more than 30 minutes, it takes a couple of days to recover."

Carrozza told KVUE that the initial idea came when a guy asked him for job. Carrozza said he didn't have anything available but said he would pay the man to hand out water at Town Lake.

Carrozza began with the coolers in 1992.

 

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