Welsh Water and Dyfed-Powys police team up to warn of dangers of swimming in Swiss Valley reservoir
- Welsh Water has teamed up with Dyfed-Powys Police and Llanelli Rural Council to raise awareness of the dangers of swimming in reservoirs
- Welsh Water has received reports of people attending Cwm Lliedi Reservoir, Dyfed-Powys Police have seen increased calls with reports of antisocial behaviour.
- Reports of unauthorised swimming also continue despite access to the water being strictly forbidden due to the risk of serious injury or death.
- A warning has been issued that those ignoring the rules could face prosecution.
- Warning comes during World Drowning Prevention Week
Despite numerous warnings about the hidden dangers at reservoirs, large groups of people continue to gather at Cwm Lliedi Reservoir with some endangering their lives by entering the water.
Following numerous reports of unauthorised swimmers entering the water at Cwm Lliedi Reservoir in recent weeks, Welsh Water has teamed up with Dyfed-Powys Police to increase patrols of the site, security measures and signage to help keep locals safe.
Recent incidents involving school children and young adults gaining unauthorised access to Cwm Lliedi Reservoir have highlighted the significant dangers associated with entering reservoirs. Recent incidents have required police intervention, raising concerns about the safety and well-being of children and the potential consequences of such actions.
From the surface, reservoirs look beautiful. But hidden dangers lurk beneath the surface and unauthorised swimming can be deadly. Cwm Lliedi Reservoir is a working reservoir and poses several risks which include dangerous currents, hidden machinery and risk of drowning due to cold water shock. Local law enforcement officials have been involved in recent incidents and are urging parents and guardians to educate their children about the dangers of unauthorised access to reservoirs.
The increased security measures will see Welsh Water rangers and police officers carrying out regular patrols of the reservoir to ensure visitors are acting safely and responsibly.
Will Rees, security manager at Welsh Water, said:
“We’ve been very concerned about the reports of unauthorised swimming at Cwm Lliedi Reservoir. The warm weather has encouraged people to enter the water. But we want to use Drowning Prevention Week and our partnership with Dyfed-Powys police, to remind people that there are many hidden dangers within the water at a reservoir and unauthorised swimming can kill.”
The hidden dangers at reservoirs include submerged objects which can injure swimmers, strong hidden currents caused by hidden machinery which can pull swimmers below the surface, and unpredictable currents of extremely cold water. These dangers are serious and can kill; last year (2022), there were 48 water-related fatalities across Wales – 22 of these were accidental drownings across inland and coastal locations with 4 of those under the age of 20 with 50% of drownings happening at inland water sites such as rivers and lakes.
Sergeant Ian Roach, of Dyfed-Powys Police said: “We are already seeing an increased number of calls to the reservoir, with reports of antisocial behaviour and concerns for the safety of young people swimming in the water.
“As we move closer to the summer holidays, we expect calls of this nature to rise further. If you know or believe your children plan to meet at Cwm Lliedi, Swiss Valley Reservoir to swim, we cannot stress enough the importance of educating them on the dangers this could pose.
“Not only that, but there are the consequences associated with unauthorised access and trespassing on reservoir properties, and we will be working closely with reservoir wardens to deter any antisocial behaviour taking place.
“We are visiting secondary schools in Llanelli to pass these messages on, but would appreciate conversations also taking place at home.”
Visit dwrcymru.com/reservoirsafety for more information
Notes for editors
Drowning Prevention Week – taking place from 17th – 24th June – aims to raise awareness and educate individuals about staying safe near water and utilising the Float to Live method.
Llanelli Rural Council has very recently appointed a water sports operator for the Lower Lliedi Reservoir, offering access to the reservoir for kayak and paddle boarding only.
From 1 July, LiveFree Adventures will be offering kayak and SUP board hire, plus instructed group and private lessons and managing and authorising safe ‘self-launch’ for paddle sports watercraft. The LiveFree instructors are qualified and highly experienced.
Press Office: Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water
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