POUND RIDGE, N.Y. Aquarion Water Company officials, along with the Pound Ridge Police Department, are advising people that swimming in Aquarion reservoirs is dangerous, illegal and considered trespassing, which is punishable by fines or arrest.
Aquarion oversees several reservoirs in Connecticut and Westchester County, including the Bargh Reservoir in Pound Ridge.
Recently, there have been several incidents of trespassers swimming in Connecticut and New York company reservoirs despite the fact that trespassing and swimming is prohibited, said Ralph Fensore, Aquarions chief of law enforcement and security. We want to remind people that our reservoirs are for public water supply and not swimming. Water level changes in our reservoirs are just one of many hazards that can cause serious injury or death. We want everyone to have a safe summer.
Pound Ridge Police Chief David Ryan said while the Bridgeport, Conn.-based Aquarion has its own police force, it has no authority in New York and enforcement falls to local police departments such as his.
We have a zero tolerance policy for trespassing on the reservoir properties, Ryan said. Its dangerous and there is no easy access. If theres a problem, its hard for us to get in there.
Ryan cited last years dramatic rescue of a Pound Ridge teen as an example. Fifteen-year-old Cody Terreson slipped off a rope swing and plunged 60 feet down a rock cliff into Trinity Lake on Aquarion property. Emergency personnel could not get to Terreson from land and had to use a boat to rescue him.
While Aquarion police work with local and state law enforcement agencies to prevent swimming and other unauthorized activities in company reservoirs, arrests have been made for those who have chosen to ignore the no trespassing laws.
We had a case a couple of months ago where we had to arrest some trespassers, Ryan said. Its an ongoing problem.
Aquarion does welcome the public to the Centennial Watershed State Forest in Connecticut, where the Saugatuck and Aspetuck Valley trails are open for hiking year-round for those with a valid permit.
Ryan said that locally there is a location in the Trinity Lake area that residents can legally access.
There is one specific spot on Trinity Lake where they can hike and fish; the trail is clearly marked, he said. They need to get a permit from the Pound Ridge Recreation Department.
For more information about Aquarions public access policies, trail maps and fishing permits, visit Recreation at www.aquarionwater.com and download the Be Our Guest brochure. Inquiries also can be made by calling Aquarions Watershed & Environmental Management office at 203-452-3511.
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