Water safety 

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Click here to watch our channel safety video.

Irrigation channels are an unsafe environment for diving and swimming, and Murrumbidgee Irrigation urge the community not to enter channels under any circumstances. The public is urged to keep children and pets away from these areas and to use public swimming facilities where possible.

What are the dangers in irrigation channels?

  • Varying water depths, strong undercurrents, submerged objects and snakes are among the hazards found in our channel system.
  • Following the automation of irrigation structures in recent years, there is increased danger of these structures trapping and drowning people. Regulator gates control the flow of water between different sections of channels, and most of these gates are controlled remotely and can open without warning.
  • Siphons and pipes can create powerful suction or a water surge. Siphons allow an irrigation channel to continue under roads and railways and often can’t be seen because they’re under the surface of the water. They often have protective screens attached to them which help prevent the flow of rubbish and debris, as well as the migration of carp, through the channels. Although the surface of the water may look safe, there can be a strong undercurrent blow that even the strongest swimmer can’t escape if they become pinned against the protective screen.
  • Channel lining projects over the past decade, including fencing, have significantly changed channel conditions in these areas. The High-density polyethylene lined channels are very slippery compared to the old earthen or concrete sections.
  • If you are fishing in channels, please fish from a safe location. This includes staying away from roads, keeping out of the water and well clear of the edge.


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Murrumbidgee Irrigation urges any residents who notice safety issues to report them immediately either by calling our office on (02) 6962 0200 or by sending photographs to the following link.

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General Enquiries

Phone: (02) 6962 0200
Postal: Locked Bag 6010 Griffith NSW 2680

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