Don't Swim in Channels

We want children, families and members of our community to stay safe around irrigation channels in the Goulburn-Murray Water (GMW) district. When the weather is hot many people look for a place to swim, but channels are not the place to cool off.

Swimming in channels is dangerous because they pose a range of hidden risks.

The message is simple – Don’t Swim in Channels. While a channel might look still and calm, there could be:

  • Strong undercurrents
  • Hidden pipes
  • Weeds and debris
  • Varying depths
  • Regulator gates that can open and close quickly
  • Drains
  • Submerged trees, sandbars and rocks

Channels also pose a danger to pets. They can get tangled in weeds or tree branches. Never allow your pet to swim in a channel.

The Royal Life Saving National Drowning Report, opens in a new window helps to provide context around why it is never a good idea to swim in channels.

Where can I swim?

When the weather is hot, we encourage families and community members to swim at a supervised location like your local public swimming pool.

Check with your local council for pool information and opening hours during summer.

More information

If you have any questions or require more information about Goulburn-Murray Water’s channel safety campaign, please email

Download our posters

Channels Bite, opens in a new window

Don't Mess With Channels, opens in a new window

Channels Suck, opens in a new window

Channels Suck, opens in a new window

Channel Safety character names, opens in a new window