Sheriff’s office issues irrigation canal warning

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Darryl Webb

Colorado River water flows through a canal that feeds farms operated by Tempe Farming Co., in Casa Grande, Ariz., Thursday, July 22, 2021. The Colorado River has been a go-to source of water for cities, tribes and farmers in the U.S. West for decades. But climate change, drought and increased demand are taking a toll. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is expected to declare the first-ever mandatory cuts from the river for 2022.

(Franklin Co, WA) – A warm and beautiful weekend means more people will be spending time outside, particularly kids.  Irrigation canals are full and sparkling in the sunlight, but officials are warning that appealing surface hides dangerous conditions.

The water in irrigation canals is cold this time of year, and moves deceptively fast.  The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office warns that the risk of someone in the canals getting pulled into the irrigation system is high.

K.I.D. says most customers will have irrigation service by the end of the month

And it’s not just the danger of cold water with a strong current catching swimmers off-guard. Officials with the Kennewick Irrigation District say river water that’s been treated for irrigation isn’t a good choice for swimming or drinking.  Even playing near canals can be dangerous, as the sides are often slippery.  If you see a person struggling in an irrigation canal, officials say you should not try to rescue them yourself.  Call 911 and be prepared to give as much information as you can about where you saw the person.  If you see an animal trapped in a canal, you should call the local irrigation company.

Some of the options include:

Kennewick Irrigation District – 509-586-9111

Benton Irrigation District – 509-588-4396

Pasco Public Works – 509-545-3463

Franklin County Irrigation District: 509-547-3831

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