Youth Jumping Off Bridges

Garrett DeLaurier

"Wakamow Valley Authority has received calls from private citizens concerned about youth jumping into the Moose Jaw River from bridges located in Wakamow Valley."

This was from a public service announcement released by the Wakamow Valley Authority on Wednesday June 27th.

The popular-yet-potentially dangerous summer activity is not illegal; and Wakamow Valley officials recognize that a cold jump in a lake can be extremely enticing on a hot summer day, but they also acknowledge the potential threats; many of which leisurely swimmers may not take into perspective.

For instance: the river is not as deep as it has been in previous years.

Margaret Moran, CEO of Wakamow Valley, explains, "due to the floods of the past few years, that have resulted in extensive erosion along the river banks, the river bed has seen quite a bit of silt settling on the river bottom, thereby raising the bed and decreasing the river’s depth”.

The Moose Jaw River is not very deep as it is.  When jumping into the murky water it's not always possible to see what lies below the surface.

"Depth perception is almost always wrong when it comes to water" Moran said, adding that "upstream, the Moose Jaw River gets much shallower."

Water quality is another issue. The Moose Jaw River is not registered as a beach and, as such. water quality testing does not need be done to ensure the water is safe to swim in.

Wakamow is currently looking into having Public Health provide an analysis of the water quality to look for bacterial content such as E.coli, blue green algae micro systems toxins and water-borne schistosomatidae (the element that causes swimmer’s itch).

Prolonged swimming in the river may have negative effects for one’s health.

moose jaw