RWA Warns Connecticut Residents To Avoid The Ice On Frozen Reservoirs

RWA Warns Connecticut Residents To Avoid The Ice On Frozen Reservoirs

Jan 21, 2020

As winter weather continues to bring declining temperatures, the Regional Water Authority (RWA) warns Connecticut residents to never walk, skate or sled on ice-covered reservoirs, and to always observe warning signs posted on watershed land. Frozen bodies of water can be very treacherous, and reservoirs in particular present additional dangers due to being far deeper than most lakes or ponds.

“In order to protect the safety of our customers and the quality of our water, the RWA does not allow activities of any kind on the ice at our reservoirs, which serve as the source of drinking water for some 430,000 consumers in Greater New Haven,” said RWA Police Captain Paul Ruggiero. “Frozen reservoirs can be far more dangerous than a frozen lake. Reservoirs are essentially flooded river valleys with fluctuating water levels, and when people stand close to the shore, they are standing above iced-over water that can be up to 30 feet deep.” 

 “We want our recreation permit holders to enjoy our watershed lands during Connecticut’s beautiful winter weather, but it’s important that people keep safety in mind,” said Ruggiero.  “Any ice on reservoirs is unstable and dangerous. Falling through thin ice can very quickly become a tragedy, which is why we all must be diligent during this time of year.” 

Follow these safety tips when near frozen bodies of water during the winter:

  • Obey all posted signs at RWA recreation areas and on watershed property.
  • Don’t test the thickness of the ice; it’s easy to slip from the bank and fall through.
  • Beware of ice covered with snow. Snow can insulate ice and keep it from freezing. It can also mask unsafe conditions like hidden cracks and other weak spots.
  • Parents should always closely watch and supervise their children, and explain the dangers of playing on frozen reservoirs and lakes. 

The winter months offer many unique opportunities for RWA Recreation Permit holders at nine areas in south central Connecticut. All have different features to explore by walking, hiking, cross country skiing and snowshoeing while taking in the sights at these beautiful, pristine properties from which the region’s drinking water is sourced.