Kennewick Irrigation District: Please don’t play in the canals

Kennewick Canal

KENNEWICK, Wash. — As the weather warms up and kids are out of school, the Kennewick Irrigation District has one request – please don’t swim in the canals.

KID has seen an increase in people playing in the canals, and though they may seem harmless, they can be dangerous.

“The canals look like the shore, but they actually move very similarly in speed to the middle of the Columbia River,” said Jason McShane, engineering and operations manager at KID. “It’s hard to tell just how deep and fast the water is moving.”

Additionally, there can be items floating in the canals that can’t be seen from the surface. McShane also urged against pets playing in the canals.

McShane said that if someone sees an animal stuck in one of the canals they should call KID’s emergency line at (509) 586-9111. If a person is stuck in the canal, call 911.

The Kennewick Irrigation manages over 75 miles of canal. The 2020 irrigation season started at the beginning of April.