Water safety
We want you to have fun visiting our leisure sites, but we also want you to keep safe.
Swimming is not allowed at any of our reservoirs, so thank you for not swimming or paddling in them.


Our reservoirs are very beautiful and it may be tempting to take a dip on a hot day, but they are operational sites so there are many hidden dangers underneath the water. These can include unknown depths, extremely cold water, machinery and really strong underwater currents as the water is pumped from the reservoir through to the water supply chain so even the strongest of swimmers can get into serious difficulty.

Cold water shock
Jumping into cold water can kill you in less than a minute.


Even when the sun is out and the weather is hot, the water underneath the surface can be really cold as the heat of the sun cannot reach it. As you enter the water, your body goes into shock. This means that you automatically gasp for air which means you can inhale water into the lungs leading to drowning. The cold water can also cause abnormal heart rhythms with could lead to a heart attack – even in healthy young people.


Our colleagues in Welsh Water have created the video below which shows how quickly cold water shock can take hold. The RNLI’s Float to live campaign gives potentially life-saving advice for if you accidentally fall into cold water. We recommend you take a look at the advice at www.respectthewater.com.

General water safety checklist
Here are a few things you should remember.


There are dangers that can kill in lakes, reservoirs, rivers, canals, open water, ponds and the sea.




  • Take notice of any safety advice or warning signs, such as no swimming signs, a red flag or danger deep water signs.
  • Always accompany children. Stay close to your group and stay in sight at all times.
  • Never go near water if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs – this is the number one cause of water-related deaths.
  • Stay clear of strong currents, weirs, rapids and reservoir edges.
  • Watch out for slippery banks, soft sand and rocks.
  • Don’t jump or dive in – you don’t know how deep it is going to be.
  • Wear something on your feet. There may be sharp rocks, rubbish or broken glass under the water.
  • Messing around can be dangerous - don’t splash water at other people or push them over.
  • Get out of the water as soon as you start to feel cold.
  • If you accidentally fall in, don’t panic. Lean back, relax and try to float until you catch your breath and you can safely swim back or call for help.
  • Never go deeper than welly height when playing in rivers as the strong current can easily knock you over.
  • Cover any cuts and scratches with water proof plasters. Weil’s Disease can be caught from rat urine.
  • Learn to swim - it could save your life.


Learning to swim could save your life and swimming pools are the safest places to swim. Water is fun and if you are sensible and follow the water safety rules, you can have a brilliant time with your family and friends.

Respect our rivers

Cold Water Shock: Firefighter Tom Richardson