Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah
image Troy Smith paddles across Grantsville Reservoir in Sept. 2018.

September 8, 2020
Bureau of Reclamation and Utah State Parks urge safety at reservoirs 

Follow safety rules and plan ahead 

The Bureau of Reclamation and Utah State Parks urge the public to always practice safety precautions on or around bodies of water — including wearing approved personal flotation devices. Utah State Parks manages recreation on 12 Bureau of Reclamation reservoirs across Utah. Those parks are wonderful opportunities for water sports, fishing, camping, hiking and other outdoor activities, especially during scorching late-summer days, according to the two agencies. 

Both agencies encourage the public to enjoy outdoor adventures on public lands, rivers, and reservoirs, but remind visitors to always be safe on and around the water.

As visitors make the most of late summer the agencies remind visitors to plan ahead and follow safety and conduct rules on public lands and waterways.

Some important safety tips and advice for planning recreational outings inlcude:

Always check and follow state and federal law regarding the use of personal flotation devices while recreating on or around reservoirs and when swimming or boating on rivers or other waterways.

Get to know the area and obtain information about hazards on rivers, reservoirs, and other waterways. For example, if swimming or fishing near a dam, remain a safe distance from the dam to avoid hazards such as under currents.

Know the water temperature. Even a few minutes in cold water can cause severe effects, such as loss of motor functions, poor coordination, and slower mental functions.

Know what the different types of buoys mean and what they are communicating or marking.

Read all posted signs in the area and pay attention to barriers, such as flood warnings, no-trespassing areas, lifejackets required, etc.

Always let someone know where you are going and when you expect to be back.

If you see someone in danger in the water, do not enter the water. Call 911 and use a rope, throwable personal floatation device, or throw bag to try and pull them back to safety.

Complete a watercraft safety class or refresher annually.

Understand watercraft safety rules and always follow them while on the water.

Never drive a boat, jet ski or other motorized watercraft after drinking alcohol or taking medication that might inhibit reaction time.

Everyone shares the responsibility to take steps to reduce risks of potential threatening incidents on or near reservoirs, according to the agencies.

Contact or visit Utah State Parks at for more information about local conditions, regulations, and recreation resources at state parks. 

Check the Bureau of Reclamation’s water operations page on their website,, for current hydrology conditions 

The Bureau of Reclamation is a federal agency under the U.S. Department of the Interior and is the nation’s largest wholesale water supplier and second largest producer of hydroelectric power. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation opportunities, and environmental benefits.

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