New York

Wastewater in Irving Lake Affects Triathlon

A triathlon scheduled to take place in Irving this weekend was turned into a duathlon because of wastewater flowing into Lake Carolyn.

The City of Irving suspended all water activities on Lake Carolyn indefinitely because of the accidental discharge of wastewater into the lake due to the recent floods. As a result, the 750-meter swim portion of Saturday's Dallas CAMTRI Sprint Triathlon American Cup was replaced with an additional 2.5-kilometer race.

"It's going to be hot and not having swimming doesn't help," competitor Spenser Popeson said.

Nearly 100 athletes from around the country are set to compete in the elite race organized by the International Triathlon Union. It's Popeson's first visit to the Lone Star State.

"I expected to see a lot of cowboy boots and a lot of tall hats. I didn't expect poop in a lake," he said with a small smile.

Popeson lives and trains in Brooklyn, New York. He was a professional lifeguard on the Jersey Shore for 15 years, so he knows a bit about water quality.

"Inevitably in these races you're going to ingest some of the water you swim in," he said. "Ocean water? That's fine. Pool water? That's fine. Poopy water? Not fine."

Dallas County Medical Director  Dr. Christopher Perkins agreed, telling NBC 5:

"Floodwaters and standing waters pose various risks, including transmission of infectious diseases, chemical hazard exposures and personal injuries. Dallas County residents should refrain from all activities near flooded areas.

Popeson said the change in the race's format might work to his advantage anyway.

"My background is in running," he said. "The swim part was changed to a run, so I think that ultimately helps me."

The race starts Saturday morning at 11 a.m. Spectators can watch at the Marriott Las Colinas on Las Colinas Blvd in Irving.

Sunday's DFW Dragon Boat and the Kite And Lantern Festival have been postponed, indefinitely.

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