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Swimming advice and the dangers of reservoirs

During the summer a reservoir can look enticing to swim in but they have many hidden dangers

  • Dangers below the surface – reservoirs are nearly always man-made and likely to have heavy machinery under the water and strong, dangerous currents
  • Cold water temperatures – even on hot days, the water can be very cold, and you could experience cold shock upon entering the water. This can affect even the strongest swimmers
  • Remote locations – reservoirs are sometimes in remote locations, meaning it could take longer for emergency services to reach the location should anyone get into trouble

You can find more information about outdoor swimming on the National Water Safety Forum website.

Where can I swim outdoors?

Some water companies organise recreational activities at their reservoirs which are supervised. Check the website of the local water company near you to see if there is somewhere you can visit. There are also other official sites across the UK – search “outdoor swimming near me” to find out more. Official sites will have no hidden obstacles under the water, will have safe and easy access to enter and exit and some even have lifeguards, changing facilities and cafes.