Lance Armstrong cleans up polluted swimming hole

January 24, 2008 10:01:48 AM PST
Cycling champ Lance Armstrong has finished cleaning up a prized swimming hole that became polluted after he began building a dam on his ranch.

Armstrong said he spent about $850,000 on the cleanup of Dead Man's Hole, which the cyclist shares with 17 neighboring landowners and is fed by a creek running through Armstrong's 450-acre ranch west of Austin.

The pool became cloudy after construction on the dam began in 2005. Armstrong said the project could serve as a lesson to others who have accidentally polluted streams or pools.

The cleanup "sets a good example for if somebody muddies up a creek," Armstrong said. "Here's how you fix it."

Armstrong said he had the silty water vacuumed out, filtered and returned.

Neighboring landowner Beryl Armstrong, who is not related to the cyclist, said neighbors were pleased with the resolution.

"The community is calm and happy," he said. "Those of us out here are content with the solution."

In "Every Second Counts," Armstrong's 2003 memoir about beating cancer, the cyclist said he bought the ranch because he was so drawn to Dead Man's Hole. Jumping off the 45-foot waterfall that feeds the pool is his "own personal way of checking for vital signs," he said in the book.