NEWS RELEASE--FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DATE: May 30, 2012
Public Information Officer
Play It Safe with Canals and Irrigation Water This Summer
Summer is finally arriving, with warming temperatures, schools recessing, and gardens sprouting the season’s first veggies. With the arrival of the much anticipated summer months, it is a good time for you and your family to review canal safety and the appropriate uses of irrigation water.
Water from canals is the lifeblood for many Idaho farms, but it also can be dangerous. Over the last five years of available data, 14 people have drowned in canals or irrigation ditches in Idaho, with many others suffering illnesses attributed to ingesting irrigation water.
For health and safety around irrigation water and canals, people should:
Even if you do not use irrigation water for your yards or garden, all underground sprinkler systems connected to potable drinking water sources should have a backflow device that is tested annually to protect the drinking water source. A list of approved Backflow Assembly Testers can be obtained from the Idaho Bureau of Occupational Licenses at: https://secure.ibol.idaho.gov/eIBOLPublic/LPRBrowser.aspx?Profession=WWP&DefaultBoard=Y
Irrigation water is integral to Idaho agriculture, which is its intended purpose. Any other use of irrigation water can be dangerous or pose a serious public health risk.