Having An Accident-Free Pond Year Round

10 February 2015
 Categories: , Articles


Does your property include a pond or other small body of water? If so, you are probably aware of the risks associated with that body of water. Your idyllic Currier and Ives landscape requires special awareness in order to keep everyone safe. Here are some guidelines you can implement both summer and winter to help reduce the possibility of injury or death.


In the summer, a pond is like a magnet. It attracts many forms of life, including pets and children. Take a look at a few dangers that can be lessened with a little effort.

Water quality

Make sure the water in your pond is safe to touch. If it is cloudy, foul, or covered in algae, do not allow swimming. If it appears clean, you should still have it tested. Simple water quality kits or professionals can test your water for coliform bacteria and parasites like giardia and cryptosporidium.  High levels cause severe gastrointestinal problems for people and pets.

Pond water should also be tested for pesticides, ammonia, nitrogen, and phosphorous. These toxins cause skin and eye irritation, and have been known to cause cancer.


Any pond can become a favorite swimming hole, whether it is a few yards across or a few acres in diameter.  Sadly, 372,000 people drown worldwide each year, many of them in natural water bodies. To help prevent drowning accidents in your pond, there are several things you can do.

  1. Post a sign stating rules such as "No Swimming Alone" or "No Diving". It is helpful to forbid fishing and swimming without an adult member of your family present. Inform visitors they will be asked to leave if they do not follow rules.
  2. Boost safety by grading a shallow, gradual entry at one end of the pond to allow people to enter and exit easier.
  3. Keep the bottom of the pond and the edges or shores clear of debris like broken bottles, tree limbs, and sharp rocks. Bare feet will be less likely to get cut or otherwise injured.
  4. Set up a rescue station on the shore by driving a stout post into the ground. Attach a nylon rope long enough to span the pond, with a flotation device firmly tied to one end. Also add a thin, light rescue pole 12 to 20 feet in length. These are designed to float so even a child can use it to reach someone drowning.
  5. If areas of the pond are especially deep or rocky, consider roping these unsafe areas off from swimmers. Use floats attached to ropes to indicate where swimming is not permitted.


Your pond might still be a draw for people in the winter, and safety is still just as important. Ice skating, sledding, skiing, and ice fishing are great winter activities when your pond freezes over. The best thing you can do to protect yourself and others is to understand the ice.

No ice is completely safe, and many factors determine the strength and thickness, such as temperature, age of ice, and precipitation. Before participating in any ice –related activities, first find out the thickness and strength of the ice on your pond.

  1. Remove any snow where you work and pile it onto the shore rather than the ice to avoid adding weight to the ice.
  2. Chip away at and drill through the ice every few feet from the shore.
  3. Examine its thickness. If the ice chunks away while chipping, it is high density ice. If the ice chips off in thin layers and flakes, it is low density, deteriorating ice.
  4. Ice 3 inches thick or less is not safe for walking or standing. A minimum of 4 inches is desirable for skating, fishing, and sliding.
  5. Examine the color of the ice. The safest ice appears blue or clear. Ice that is opaque, white, or light gray to dark black is poor and weak.
  6. Each time you step onto the ice, inspect the conditions again. Ice conditions change quickly, and ice that is exposed to above-freezing temperatures for a short period loses stability and strength.

With some effort and persistence, your pond can continue to be a source of beauty and pleasure no matter the time of year. Keeping people safe is your first priority. However, if someone is hurt on your property and sues you, despite all the precautions you took, have a peek here at a personal injury law firm.