Don’t go near flooded stormwater drains. It’s a warning to protect lives as a larger volume of water is stronger than you think.
The Queensland Government ad “If it’s flooded, forget it” is a warning to all drivers to back it up when faced with flooded roads.
And yet, on the weekend, there were still cars driving through flooded roads.
This post was one of the first posts I wrote when I started my blog and warnings are just as valid then as they are today.
Allowing kids to play in storm water drains or flooded creeks is like letting them swim outside the flags on a beach. It’s dangerous.
What can be seen as fun water play idea can end in tragedy. Flood waters can hold a strong current and no matter how strong a swimmer you are, the force can have terrible consequences.
The reason to avoid flooded stormwater drains
Stormwater drains are designed as a conduit to remove large volumes of water away to prevent flooding. When they overflow, a current can form which is strong enough to act like a vacuum. Its force is so strong it has the ability to suck large items – even a human being through its orifice.
Drowning can be preventable in this situation. But it’s an awful recovery that could have been avoided.
Growing up, my parents were always very strict on where my brother and I were allowed to play when we were younger. It was constantly drummed into our ears not to play near stormwater drains. Every parent needs to be vigilant in giving their kids – especially their teenagers this warning.
Plumbers know first hand how forceful water is when unblocking a drain. My dad can relay a job where he was called to unblock a sewer chamber (a main where waste pipes connect into the main council sewer pipe network) using piping rods and once he unblocked it, the suction from the chamber sucked the sewer rods out of his hands.
If a plumber can feel the force of being sucked down, how more so a child?
Playing near stormwater drains can end in tragedy. Stay away from them altogether and take heed to authorities when they issue warnings of staying inside and away from flood waters.
What warnings do you issue to your children that your parents issued to you?
This post was originally written in February 2013 and has been updated to 2021.