Irrigation canals aren't for swimming

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. The weather is warm and the canal banks are flowing steadily, but that's no invitation to go ahead and take a dip.

Springtime has many of us looking to get head start on swimming, but it's important to remember that irrigation canals are not for recreation.

Each year there are a significant number of deaths of children and adults related to the improper use of uncovered irrigation canals.

"We encourage people to think very carefully about their use of the canal banks from a safety reason, whether they're a grown up, and especially if you're a kid," says Mark Harris of Grand Valley Water Users Association.

Irrigation canals are especially dangerous in front of head gates that have enough force to pull a person underwater.

Canals can reach depths of up to six feet in some places, making it difficult for children and inexperienced swimmers to come out of.


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