Reservoir Safety

Printer-friendly version
Photo of Stillorgan Reservoir On hot days, a dip in a reservoir may appear like a great way to cool down. The still water may seem harmless, but it's actually a dangerous killer which can claim a life in minutes!
It doesn't matter how strong a swimmer you are, swimming in reservoirs is extremely dangerous.

Thermometer image

Why is it dangerous?
The main risk is the cold. It may be a warm day, and the water may seem chilly on the surface, but just a few metres down it will be near freezing point.

Cold shock affects your breathing. It causes gasping and hyperventilation (very rapid breathing). It is involuntary – it affects everyone and there is nothing you can do to stop it. It can lead to panic and drowning. Cold can also make your arms and legs numb which means you can't control them and can't swim. It can also lead to hypothermia (serious reduction in your body temperature) which can cause heart failure.

The cold affects everyone, it doesn’t matter how fit and strong you are.

Some other dangers of swimming in reservoirs are as follows:

Danger Deep Water image

It can be deep. You cannot tell how deep the water is and there are often sudden drops which cannot be seen
Hospital image Reservoirs are often in isolated places. No matter how quickly you call for help it can very often be too late to help anyone in trouble
No signal image Network coverage may be limited, making calling for help difficult
Dangerous currents image There may be hidden currents. These may be from our pipes which you cannot see or hear but will affect your ability to swim
Image for hidden obstacles There may be hidden obstacles beneath the surface. This may be machinery from the treatment works or just debris
Image for danger steep drop

 

 

 

It may be difficult to get out. The sides of reservoirs are very steep in places, making it difficult to climb out. There can also be a build up of silt or mud on the bottom

 

On hot days, a dip in a reservoir may appear like a great way to cool down. The still water may seem harmless, but it's actually a dangerous killer which can claim a life in minutes!

Feedback