Welsh Water issues reservoir swimming danger warning

Pontsticill reservoir Image copyright Welsh Water
Image caption Pontsticill reservoir lies partly in Powys and partly in Merthyr Tydfil

People have been warned not to risk their lives by illegally swimming in reservoirs this summer.

Since 2006, three people have drowned at Welsh Water’s 91 sites, with 300 unauthorised attempts to get into them in 2018.

The company said men were most likely to swim illegally in reservoirs in areas such as the valleys.

“Reservoirs might seem like a great place to cool off, but they are full of hidden dangers,” said Peter Perry.

The firm’s chief operating officer added: “Hidden machinery, strong currents and freezing temperatures can pull even the strongest swimmers under the water.”

Hidden machinery beneath the water can sometimes operate without obvious warning.

As temperatures have soared in the past week, people have been looking at places to cool off.

But Welsh Water warned reservoirs were not the place to do this.

Most reservoirs are also in remote locations with little or no mobile phone reception, so the chance of rescue is reduced.

“We know the weather is particularly warm at the moment and people are tempted to go for a swim – but I cannot emphasise enough that people are not only putting their own lives at risk, but also the lives of people who may try and help if they get into difficulty in a reservoir,” added Mr Perry.

Some of the reservoirs have permanent staff and security guards making patrols, warning people of the dangers.

Where a local authority has by-laws in place banning swimming, Welsh Water is able to prosecute those involved.

Source – BBC News