Witnesses say the boy slipped into the canal while playing with two friends Saturday afternoon. A parent says the boys climbed through a hole in the fence along the canal.
People who live along the canal claim the fences are riddled with holes.
"So there are definitely holes in that fence back there that haven't been repaired," resident Vicki Robinson said. "And you know it would seem to me since they come there and try to clean out the debris, the brush that's back there, that they would see the holes too."
"We do have patrols that run the length of the canal on a regular basis in order to identify any issues like that," said Jennifer Allen with the Contra Costa Water District.
A man drowned after jumping into the canal on Monday. Antioch police believe he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.