Reservoir Safety - Scottish Water


Water Safety Scotland’s WAter Incident Database (WAID) report for 2020 highlights that in 2020, 79% of accidental fatalities happened at inland waters. Water Safety Scotland is committed to reducing this number and has pledged to support organisations to raise awareness through drowning prevention campaigns.

As a result, Water Safety Scotland is keen to support Scottish Water’s ongoing initiatives to help raise awareness of the dangers of reservoirs.

Respect Our Reservoirs

Scotland is overflowing with stunning scenery. A wilderness of mountains …. lochs …. glens and reservoirs. With over 300 reservoirs across the country - owned and managed by Scottish Water – they supply clear, fresh drinking water for homes and businesses.

While the water may look calm and inviting, especially on a hot day and you might be tempted to pop in for a dook - there are hidden dangers lurking below the surface. 

  • Cold water can send your body into shock in seconds, even in summer.
  • Strong water currents can challenge even the strongest of swimmers.
  • Underwater obstacles, such as pipework; or stone and concrete structures.
  • Some reservoirs have air curtains – millions of bubbles aerating the water to disperse potential impurities like algae. But these bubbles create negative buoyancy, meaning swimmers and boats would struggle to stay afloat.

You also won’t find lifesaving equipment at reservoirs, so relying on someone else to save you could put their life in danger too. Mobile reception is also patchy to often non-existent in many remote reservoir locations. So, calling for help isn’t quick or easy.

Reservoirs can be dangerous. Know the risks.


Find out more reservoir safety advice at:

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