Just being able to swim does not make you or your children safe!
The deep water of the Dam is very cold, even in summer and can sap energy from the strongest swimmer. It can hide dangerous currents which are difficult to swim against, or submerged obstacles, such as dead branches which may trap or injure you. People, especially small children, can get into difficulty in water of any depth. Be on your guard at all times.
Ice at the Dam is never strong enough to walk on. If you try, you may fall through into the freezing water or become stranded and drown.
During water-based activities, the body can become cold very quickly. Symptoms of hypothermia include shivering, stumbling and confusion.
Algae are tiny water plants and are important to the wildlife of the Dam. During warm, calm weather they can multiply very fast and the result is an ‘algal bloom’ which looks like blue-green paint, spilt at the water’s edge. Blooms can sometimes release poisonous substances into the water which can cause sickness in both humans and animals. This can include skin rashes, stomach pains, vomiting, diarrhoea and blistering of the mouth. Warning signs will be put up when algal blooms are causing concern.
Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection carried by rats. It can be present in rivers and lochs and can cause a flu-like illness which can develop into Weil’s disease, which can be fatal. The disease can enter the body through the eyes, nose, mouth or through cuts and grazes.
These have been put where there is a risk of falling into deep water or where it gets deep very suddenly.
The bottom of the Dam has both deep and shallow areas quite close to each other. If you dive, you might strike the bottom or be injured on submerged objects.
These signs are placed at main car parks when there is a risk of people or pets falling through the ice. Please keep off the ice, however strong it may seem, and keep children and dogs away.
These signs will be put up when blue-green algae appears at the waters edge. This scum can cause illness. Please avoid it!
It is sensible to keep to the paths as these are checked regularly by the ranger service for trip hazards and obstacles.
Structures such as benches, picnic tables, steps and bridges are also checked on regular patrols but vandalism can cause unexpected problems. Please do not use these if they are broken.
Bad weather can make paths muddy or icy and high winds can cause dead branches to fall, so please take extra care at these times.
There are a number of old mine sites around the dam. At Sheriffyards for example you can see the remains of old walls of brick and stone. This masonry can be loose so please keep clear.
Problems are dealt with by the rangers as soon as possible but it is wise to be on the look out for hazards yourself!
Kilncraigs, Greenside Street, Alloa, FK10 1EB
Tel: 01259 450000