With summer holidays upon us, all parents are being urged by VGA Vic and Southern Rural Water to be as vigilant around channels and farm dams as they would be around roads and highways.
“Our channels are for water delivery only,” Edward Smith from Southern Rural Water said. “They are not safe locations to play or swim.
Even if a channel is empty, it can fill quickly without warning when irrigation water is diverted into the system.”
“Irrigation water usually flows very quickly. There are also dangers lurking below the surface including pipes, siphons, rocks and debris.
“Irrigation channels are industrial work sites, not playgrounds.”
Similarly, farm dams can be hazardous for swimming, particularly for small children and visitors unaware of the risks. Farmsafe Australia says drowning accounts for around 35-40% of all child farm deaths.
“The reality is all water on farms is dangerous, including channels, dams, tanks and troughs.”
The community is encouraged to swim at appropriate locations such as public pools, and to adopt safe swimming practices like not swimming alone or while intoxicated.
With many of our growers taking the opportunity to take a break with their children over the summer, VGA Vic hopes you all have a safe and happy summer holiday.
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