Lisa Pfeifer – OSU Ag Safety and Health Education Coordinator
The farm pond while often utilitarian in nature, can add the elements of both fun and danger to the warm days of summer. Allowing the fun to take center stage for your family, friends, and employees can be accomplished by establishing some safety protocols for swimmers. The National Safety Council states, “Not including boating incidents, on average about nine people die from drowning every day in the United States.”
To make your pond environment safe:
Test the water and verify it is free of contaminants and safe to swim in. Use the Ohio State University Extension Factsheets AEX-314, Water Testing, at http://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/aex-314 and AEX-315, Where to Have Your Water Tested, at http://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/aex-315 for resources.
Post permanent warning signs and a set of rules at the pond. Be sure to include phrases like:
- Do not enter unless you know how to swim
- No lifeguard on duty
- No diving
- Life jackets required
- Never swim alone
- No alcohol permitted
- Pond depth is X (feet)
Install a rescue post or keep rescue equipment near the pond.
Train in CPR.
Always provide adult supervision.
Remove submerged rocks and stumps from the pond.
Keep debris and trash cleared from the surrounding surface areas at the exterior rim of the pond.
Mow tall grass and weeds to maintain a well-manicured area for high visibility from all vantage points surrounding the pond.