Irrigation channels for cultivation, not recreation

24 Oct 2013

As part of National Water Week (20 – 26 October), SunWater is reminding all members of the public that swimming and recreational activities in irrigation channels is dangerous and illegal.

SunWater’s Safety Manager, Rob Holmes, said when the weather is hot people look for places to swim, however, swimming in irrigation channels is extremely dangerous and those who risk this run a high chance of serious injury or drowning.

"The reality is that many hazards lurk beneath the surface and automatic gates in the channels can rapidly change the flow and depth of the water," he said.

"Pipes, siphons, rocks and debris may be hidden below the surface and can injure people, pets and stock, and steep channel embankments can be slippery, making it easy to slip and fall, and difficult to get out."

Mr Holmes said SunWater has clear signage around irrigation channels indicating that swimming is not permitted and the company liaises with police to monitor channels throughout Queensland.

"Irrigation channels are the lifeblood of our agricultural industry, not a playground for children, animals or pets," he added.

"We urge anyone who sees dangerous behaviour at one of our channels to immediately contact their local police station or call SunWater on 13 15 89."

SunWater encourages members of the community to contact their local council for information on appropriate swimming locations, including public pools, or visit SunWater’s website for information on recreational facilities at SunWater dams.

For more information on SunWater’s water safety campaign, visit


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Ben McConaghy
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Phone +61 7 3120 0047
Mobile 0407 574 663

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