reservoir swimming


Stay safe this summer and stay away from all reservoir sites across Rhondda Cynon Taf – swimming in these waters is dangerous and must be avoided at all times.

The Council is warning its residents that swimming in reservoirs include a host of significant dangers, such as hidden equipment and very cold water.

Anyone who decides to swim in reservoirs could be putting their lives at risk.

The dangers of swimming in reservoirs include:

  • Automatic equipment located under the surface of the water, which can sometimes operate without obvious warning.
  • Very cold and deep water that can cause even strong swimmers to find themselves in difficulty.
  • Most reservoirs are in remote locations, with little or no mobile phone reception, so the chance of rescue is greatly reduced.

Dwr Cymru Welsh Water runs its One Last Breath campaign each year, with a video starkly depicting two teenagers who drown after going into the water at a reservoir on a hot summer’s day and the impact that has on their friends and family who are left behind.

For water safety advice visit

Councillor Rhys Lewis, Cabinet Member for Stronger Communities, Well-being and Cultural Services, said:

Reservoirs might seem like a great place to cool off in the summer months,, but they are full of hidden dangers, with freezing temperatures, hidden machinery and strong currents which can pull even the strongest swimmers under the water.

At this time when the whole of Wales is still dealing with COVID-19, I urge our residents to stay safe at all times when outdoors and keep out of our reservoirs.

Swimming in reservoirs is not permitted – they are therefore out of bounds and not an option for cooling off this summer. 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 reservoir waters.”

Welsh Water managing director of Water Services, Ian Christie, said

We take safety extremely seriously and the dangers of unauthorised swimming in reservoirs really cannot be understated.

The water can be deadly, even for those who consider themselves strong swimmers. Cold-water shock will numb your arms and legs, and strong currents or hidden machinery could drag you under in seconds. What’s more, many reservoirs are in remote locations where your chance of rescue is significantly reduced.

When the weather is warm, the water can look tempting, but it’s never worth the risk. If you get into trouble in the water, drowning will be over in minutes but the pain for your friends and family left behind will last a lifetime. You should never enter the water."

Posted on Monday 27th July 2020

Help us improve - don't include personal or financial information, e.g. your National Insurance number or credit card details.