Don't risk a dip in a reservoir

Stockport Council and partners in Greater Manchester are warning people not to risk their lives by swimming in reservoirs and lakes.

The latest warning comes after two men drowned, in unrelated incidents, on Tuesday June 5, after swimming in reservoirs in Bolton and Gorton.

Water can be tempting, especially in the warm weather but do not take the risk.

The chilling facts about reservoirs:

  • Reservoir temperatures rarely get above 10 degrees, even in summer. They are cold enough to take your breath away, make your arms and legs numb, and induce hypothermia.
  • Reservoirs are often extremely deep, with sudden drops you cannot see.
  • There may be hidden currents from water pipes below the surface.
  • Hidden obstacles, such as machinery for water treatment, broken glass or other rubbish, is commonplace.
  • It's hard to get out. The sides of reservoirs are often very steep.
  • Reservoirs are often in isolated places. If you get into trouble, there may be no one around to help.

Councillor Sheila Bailey, Stockport Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “Reservoirs are about the worst possible place to cool down this summer. They have hidden machinery, unpredictable currents and freezing, muscle-numbing water and even the strongest swimmers can quickly find themselves in difficulty.

“We’d urge everyone not to be tempted to swim in their local reservoir no matter how hot it gets. Please stay safe, and stay out.”

Educational materials, including a series of candid, hard-hitting videos about the risks and repercussions of reservoir swimming are available at the United Utilities’ website: