POUND RIDGE, N.Y. – With winter in full swing, officials at Aquarion Water Company and Pound Ridge police are warning people not to trespass at local reservoirs when taking part in winter recreational activities.
Aquarion oversees several reservoirs in Connecticut and Westchester County, including the Bargh Reservoir in Pound Ridge. The reservoirs are private property and trespassers can be prosecuted.
“We want to remind people that it is illegal to be on Aquarion reservoir property and also extremely dangerous,” said Stephen Stamos, Aquarion’s manager of natural resources. “We’ve seen an increase in unlawful winter recreational activities on our reservoir properties, and our biggest concern right now is people walking on ice that is not thick enough to support the weight of a human.”
Pound Ridge Police Chief David Ryan said that while the Bridgeport, Conn.-based Aquarion has its own security 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. “It’s dangerous and there is no easy access. If there’s a problem, it’s hard for us to get in there.”
At this time of year, ice may appear thick enough to walk on, but officials at Aquarion say this thickness is unreliable, and can be deceptive due to shifting water levels and thermal undercurrents. In addition to the physical danger, trespassers also face the possibility of fines or arrest if caught on Aquarion reservoir property.
Aquarion encourages residents to avoid the danger, fines and possible arrest, and to contact their local Parks and Recreation Department for alternative winter activities.
For more information about Aquarion’s public access policies, visit “Recreation” at www.aquarionwater.com . Inquiries also can be made by calling Aquarion’s Watershed & Environmental Management office at 203-452-3511.