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Reservoir warning in the heatwave

With a heat wave approaching and more and more of us looking to enjoy the outdoors, Dwr Cymru Welsh Water is reminding people of the dangers of swimming in reservoirs and open water.

Llyn Cwellyn reservoir, near Rhyd Ddu in north Wales. Credit: PA

Welsh Water owns and maintains more than 80 reservoirs across Wales and although visitors are welcomed to these recreational sites, they should not swim in the reservoirs as it is extremely dangerous and can prove fatal.

It says the tragic deaths of two people at reservoirs in Brecon Beacons reservoirs (Ponsticill and Cantref) over the same weekend in 2013 are a reminder of the dangers presented by swimming in reservoirs.

"While reservoirs might seem like a great place to cool off, they are full of hidden dangers with freezing cold water and strong currents."

– Ian Christie, Director of Water Services
  • 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

There were signs everywhere but we ignored them. As a 15 year old, you just think you are invincible and that it wouldn’t happen to me or any of us.

It could have been any one of us, or more than one of us. I want to do all I can to make sure people realise that no matter how beautiful the reservoirs look, the reality is they are very dangerous.

– Lauren Jennings, lost one of her best freinds

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Welsh Water: Causing blockages 'can be illegal'

Dwr Cymru Welsh Water's Director of Waste Water says that most of the 2,000 blockages they deal with every month are caused by "everyday items put down the toilet such as wipes, sanitary towels, cotton buds and dental floss as well as fat, oil and grease that people have put down their drains."

Steve Wilson says many people aren’t aware that it is "illegal to throw or empty anything into our network that’s likely to damage a sewer or drain or to interfere with its free flow."

Anyone who has suffered a flood in their home because of a blocked drain or sewer will know the damage and personal upset that is causes.

With the collective support of enough people, we will be able to reduce the blockages, floods and pollution that cause so much distress.

Reducing these blockages will also mean that our not-for-profit company will also be able to invest more in other improvements on behalf of our customers.

– Steve Wilson, Dwr Cymru Welsh Water's Director of Waste Water

Campaign to cut £7m blockage bill

Welsh Water deal with 28,000 blockages a year Credit: Welsh Water Dwr Cymru

Dwr Cymru Welsh Water is urging people to stop flushing solid waste down sinks and drains as part of a new 12 month campaign to reduce sewer blockages.

The company says they deal with 28,000 blockages a year cost them around £7million.

The 'Let’s Stop the Block' campaign will aim to "change customer behaviour when it comes to putting things down the toilet and disposing of fat, oils and grease."

The programme includes visits to schools, shops and restaurants.

Welsh Water say they will target 'black spots' including Rhondda Cynon Taff, Caerphilly and the south Wales coast.

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