Trinity River, which often seems like a dirty drainage canal, may soon be home to kayakers splashing in specially created rapids.
The state has long deemed Dallas' stretch of the Trinity unsuitable for activities such as swimming, diving and water-skiing because of elevated bacteria levels that signal the presence of animal waste and human sewage. But Dallas officials say the water is fine for the $4 million whitewater park, just downstream of the Corinth Street bridge south of downtown.
"We want people to embrace the river, to be interested in the river, and to come down to the river," Assistant City Manager Jill Jordan said. "Kayaking provides something to see when you come there."
And many paddling enthusiasts say they aren't worried.
"If you're going to paddle in North Texas, you're probably going to paddle in places that are at flood stage, and at flood stage the water quality is much worse than what it will be at that park," said Larry Lewis, president of the North Texas River Runners. "I'm not that concerned about the water quality there."