Swimming in Treasure Valley canals unsafe, illegal (2024)

Water will begin flowing into Treasure Valley canals in early April.

MERIDIAN, Idaho — Water will soon begin flowing into irrigation canals around the Treasure Valley. The time to talk with your children about water safety is now, the Meridian Fire Department said Tuesday.

The first thing to remember: The water in canals may appear calm, but it's not for swimming or playing in. According to the Idaho Water User Association, "more children drown in irrigation facilities than in any other body of water in Idaho, and it has been reported that Idaho has the second-highest rate of canal deaths for children in the nation."

The Meridian Irrigation District plans to open its canal systems during the first week of April.

As water begins to fill those canals and warmer weather comes in, the Meridian Fire Department is sharing the following safety tips:

Don't swim or allow your pets in canals.

Keep a safe distance from the edges of the canals. The sides of canals are extremely slick, making it difficult for people or pets to get out of the water.

Swimming, tubing or any other water play are not allowed in canals.

Never jump into a canal to rescue pets or objects such as toys. If you need help, call 911.

Do not leave your children unattended around canals.

"Many Meridian City Parks have splash pads and safe water features to take advantage of. Parents can help keep our youngest citizens safe around water by keeping them supervised and teaching them the dangers of open bodies of water such as irrigation canals," said Meridian Fire Chief Kris Blume.

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Swimming in Treasure Valley canals unsafe, illegal (2024)
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