Whitewater clean and safe despite concerns

After two breaches of the dam, fierce rapids are rushing through the Alabama channel and while it looks tempting Richard Bishop with Uptown Columbus says you'll want to wait a little bit before getting in.

"We ask that until we do some more work on this channel here at the Eagle and Phenix that we would encourage and ask the boaters to stay out of it because there's debris from the blast and we need to make sure it's all clean and cleared before they get in it," says Bishop.

But it won't be long before folks can enjoy the new rapids, "The crews are out here today starting to clean out that channel and they'll do that over the next few days."

The entire dam will be removed by the end of the year, but first work must begin on the Georgia channel which will happen shortly.

If you've been down on the river since the breach, you may have noticed a little smell.

"All this material, soil and plant life has been exposed and over time the river will actually clean itself and then the areas where we have a lot of material, old trees, and metals those will be taken out manually."

So how clean is the actual water to be in? Bishop says it's very clean and perfectly safe.

"If you go above Lake Oliver Marina that's where all the people were boating and skiing here in the summer time this is the same water we have down here, so the water is very, very clean."

Bishop says Columbus Water Works tests the water regularly and there are no problems with the water quality in that area.

While the Alabama channel has water flowing through, many rocks are still showing on the Georgia side.

Those rocks will be removed or placed throughout the course in a safe manner, either way, Bishop says there is plenty of water above the rocks

"What we're left with as far as the rocks will all be safe, that's one of the things we did in the Alabama channel is there were some areas that were not safe that would be exposed  and we worked on those areas that's not safe through this construction process will be taken care of."

While folks can enjoy the new rapids safely in the next few days Bishop says the entire course can be enjoyed by late 2013.

Copyright 2012 WXTXAll rights reserved.