Irrigation canal safety

Many communities have irrigation canals that do not have protective barriers. These canals are full during the warmer months of the year to distribute water to residents and businesses, such as farms or agriculture-based companies.

These canals can appear to be an ideal place to cool off on a hot day and swim. However, canals are very dangerous and should not be used for any recreational activity. To avoid drowning or other accidents in irrigation canals, never:

  • Let young children go near canals.
  • Swim in canals.
  • Play near canals. Do not walk along the banks or edges of canals, which can be very slick.
  • Engage in any recreational activity in canals, such as fishing, canoeing, kayaking, or tubing.
  • Jump in to rescue pets. Call 911 for help. Also, do not jump in after toys or other objects.

Last Updated: December 3, 2008

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