On Monday, May 29 the team from SunWater in Clare and Queensland Police Service conducted a fun filled excursion to raise awareness of water safety for the students at Clare and Millaroo State Schools.
Due to recent concerns about reports of children hanging around water channels, it was identified that there was a need for an awareness campaign to educate students about the dangers of entering onto SunWater property.
Clare Police organised the use of a school bus and took on the role of bus driver and drove the students, teachers and staff from SunWater to the local points of interest.
Clare Police also contacted their good friend Constable Clancy and invited him to attend a BBQ lunch provided by the Clare Police at the conclusion of the outdoor part of the excursion.
A water safety video was presented to the children after lunch and both Sunwater and Clare Police handed out some giveway’s to all of the children present.
SunWater is Queensland’s leading regional bulk water infrastructure company. For more than 80 years SunWater has managed a network of infrastructure including 19 dams; 63 weirs and barrages; 82 pumping stations and more than 3000 kms of pipelines and channels.
The aim of the excursion was to educate local children about the importance of SunWater’s infrastructure to the rural and agricultural development in the area, but also safety around SunWater’s dams, weirs and irrigation channels.
Students were given a first-hand view of some of the spectacular sights of the Burdekin, including the Clare Weir, Tom Fenwick Pump Station, irrigation channels and Mulgrave Storage.
Students from Clare State School are currently studying the water cycle so were able to learn more about the importance the various systems that SunWater maintain take part in this process.
In June, SunWater will commence their annual operational shutdown which involves undertaking routine maintenance to infrastructure such as; channels, drains, control gates, control systems, balance storages, dams and pump stations to ensure it operates effectively to deliver water to the farms in the area.
Leading up to the annual shutdown, it was explained to the students how they could follow the advice of SunWater’s mascot, Blue and “Play it safe…stay away” from irrigation channels, even if the channels appear empty. Some of water safety messages included:
- Stay away from irrigation channels and dam and weir walls. Keep a distance of at least 200 metres away from the dam and weir walls;
- Water within irrigation channels is not clean and can contain algae and moss which makes the sides of the channels very slippery;
- The gates at irrigation channels let the water out very quickly and you could become trapped in deep water. It might look calm, but the water can move very fast and you might get sucked under;
- Whether a dam or a weir is full, half full or empty, submerged hazards are always present. Hazards such as logs, pipes and rocks could be under the water which could trap you if you jump in.
After the excursion, a BBQ lunch was enjoyed by all and special guest “Constable Clancy” dropped in to say hello.