We value our reservoirs and would like residents and visitors to enjoy their beauty.
Please treat the reservoirs and catchments with care and consideration as they are home to some of the Island's precious flora and fauna.
Recreational use around reservoirs
Activities which occur on foot (such as walking, running, shore fishing and dog walking) are the activities which we consider represent an acceptable risk to water quality, safety and the reservoir structures. We will be pleased to continue to support the activities which occur on foot around our reservoirs. Please see our Recreational Use Code of Practice for further information.
Clubs and organisations may continue to approach us for specific permission to hold special events on or near the reservoirs. Evidence of public liability insurance must be provided for such events. Please complete the application for permission to use Manx Utilities land or facilities for an organised event.
Disabled anglers can now fish from specially designed platforms at Cringle and West Baldwin Reservoirs. The platform at Cringle is near the disabled users' car park and can be accessed via either a low gradient ramp or steps with hand rails.
Anglers who are registered as disabled can obtain a key to the disabled users' car park at Cringle Reservoir by contacting us.
Find out more about freshwater fishing in the Isle of Man.
Our reservoir sites should be treated with the same respect as any other publicly accessible space. It is not unreasonable of us to request that people pick up after their pets and make sure they don’t enter the water. Being responsible for your pets helps to minimise unnecessary risks to the water supply and we thank those of you who are already doing this.
How dog faeces could affect public water supplies…
The water treatment process is capable of removing harmful bacteria from numerous sources. In that respect wildlife and dog faeces entering the reservoir is not an immediate health concern, but it is not without risk, and all water companies have a legal obligation to reduce risk from the reservoir catchment to the customers’ tap. We manage the risks from livestock and wildlife where possible but we can manage the risks from people and their pets by asking them to be responsible. Allowing dog excrement to be washed into our reservoirs is exposing the water supply to a risk which can, and should, be avoided.
Due to diet, dog faeces do not break down as fast as wild animal faeces and can begin to accumulate quickly. Run-off of water into reservoirs will take any dog faeces with it. This is a health concern for humans as well as other organisms that might come in contact with the water. E.coli, giardia, and salmonella are just a few of the bacteria found in dog faeces, and parasites such as roundworms, hookworms, and cryptosporidium are also present. All of these can be transported in dog waste and all are easily transferred to humans and other animals.
Dog faeces that enters the water through runoff also introduces an increased amount of nutrients into waterbodies. The increased addition of these nutrients may lead to more severe algae blooms and other water quality problems. Cyanobacteria, commonly called blue-green algae can be toxic algae bloom if left uncontrolled and is detrimental to wildlife and fish. This type of algae relies on ample amounts of nitrogen to survive, which just so happens to be the main ingredient in dog faeces. Those ignoring the rules are eligible to a fine of £1,000.
Can my dog swim in the reservoir?
No, dogs are not permitted to swim in the reservoirs. This is due to the health and safety risks posed to both pets and people, as well as the risk of pollutants entering the water unnecessarily.
Why allowing your dog to swim in a reservoir poses a risk to their health…
Reservoirs look tempting places to swim but are full of hidden dangers. Strong currents and hidden objects under the surface are a danger. Reservoirs are also very deep and the water is extremely cold, even on a hot day. It can send your dog’s body into shock, causing it to gasp and swallow water if they dive straight in. Allowing a dog to swim in a reservoir exposes the water supply to pollutants associated with dog faeces (see above) which can be avoided. Those ignoring the rules are eligible to a fine of £1,000.