Standing Wave , Dallas, TX
The City of Dallas has been in a bad situation for months over how the standing wave was built and where it was built. There are bypass channels on river left that are supposed to allow for easy safe passage for those not there to "park and play". You can see the log stuck in the lower channel. There has been at least one documented incident where loss of life was a very real possible outcome. These two pictures were taken at about 770 cfs. Sept 2011.
Another look yet even closer, and we can see that not only does the flow kick back from the side, but that it also is very capable of trapping you. This shows a large boulder placed in the channel presumably to keep you from pinning against the obstruction on river left. At many water levels, it may be safer to just go over the top of the main wave features.
Here at 325 cfs, the feature reveals even more turbulence and we can now see the top of yet another ledge. The bypass channels lower section can certainly use a peek from on top for a first time user. However, there is no pullout on river left to give you a clear view. The park construction is now nearly complete so access to the bridge for a view requires exiting prior to waves on river right.
Without any proper signage, the unsuspecting paddlers may get caught in a very un intended consequence. This sign is still up from when the coffer dam was in place. "What diversion channel?" Is that river right or left or? Does it sound like I should not go any further down river? Confusion is not what canoeist need when go down a lazy river with a radical change in class rating. Flatwater to possible class II(+). Below are more photos from the site Oct 3, 2012.
Trinity River is running about 670 cfs.
Looking East from Santa Fe Trail bridge.
The Trinity is also running at 670 cfs here as well. Recall that the waves are designed to be best between 400 and 2000 cfs.
In addition to the design elements of the wave park, there is another unseen hazard waiting for paddlers enjoying the Standing Wave. The Trinity River has a history of being used as an open sewer. There has been a great deal of change but problems persist. The section of the river where the park was built is among the most polluted with e.coli. The river has a rating of unsafe for contact recreation. Yet the city went ahead and built it any way. In addition to e.coli there are levels of PCBs that are too high. In general, not the best place to be playing up side down in, much of what park and play is all about. If you want to park and play after knowing the facts, I don't mind.
However, there is nothing at the site informing the public about these known issues. There are only signs about the dangers of water hydraulics; Hazardous Rapids Ahead, All Boaters Should Exit at Ramp on Right. I have seen no signage about the quality of the water from a bacterial or public safety point of view for recreational contact; No discussion, or posting of Clean Water Act, etc.
This is a perfect example of knowing your river and get all he information you can before you put in.
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