Lisvane Reservoir

Swimming returns to Cardiff reservoirs

After a brief closure over the summer, Lisvane and Llanishen Reservoirs in Cardiff have reopened to outdoor swimmers and stand-up paddle boarders

After a brief closure over the summer, Lisvane and Llanishen Reservoirs have opened once more to outdoor swimmers and stand-up paddle boarders.

Following an incident of suspected swimmer’s itch, some of the water activities were suspended in July. This was a huge disappointment to many visitors and Welsh Water would like to thank everyone for bearing with them over the past month whilst an investigation has taken place.

Test results have confirmed that the water quality at Llanishen Reservoir continues to be excellent in terms of inland bathing water bacterial standards, and with no blue green algae or blooms present. However, as no ‘off the shelf’ test is available for the microscopic worm that causes swimmer’s itch, partners at the Environment Centre Wales at Bangor University have been developing one for Welsh Water.

Early detection

Prof Davey Jones, Bangor University said, “We are pleased to be working together with Welsh Water to develop a new sentinel system to allow early detection of the organism that causes swimmers’ itch. Cases of swimmer’s itch appear to be increasing across Europe, so this is an emerging problem.”

Bangor University has advised that a microscopic worm has been found that may cause swimmer’s itch. These worms are naturally occurring and more prevalent during summer months; as water temperatures drop, the risks are significantly reduced.

Jack Bailey, Activity Manager explains, “We have taken advice from Public Health Wales and others; and are closely following their guidance. As we reopen for swimming and SUP hire, full wetsuits and swim caps will be required as a precautionary measure. The swim course and launch point has also been moved away from the shallows and into colder, deeper water to reduce any risk further.’’

Open water swimming and stand-up paddle board hire sessions resumed on Wednesday 6 September.

Swimming sessions are available to pre book online, along with a host of other water activities including kayaking, sailing, and canoeing:

Photos: Steve Pope

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Abi writes swimming news stories and features for the Outdoor Swimmer website and manages the social media channels. She loves to swim, run, hike and SUP close to her home in Herefordshire. While she’s a keen wild swimmer, Abi is new to the world of open water events and recently completed her first open water mile. She has previously written for The Guardian, BBC Countryfile Magazine, BBC History Magazine and Ernest Journal.