Ponds and Water

About Pond Safety

Whether naturally occurring or man-made, ponds on farms serve a variety of functions—from controlling soil erosion, to producing fish, to watering livestock. Farm ponds are sometimes also used for recreational purposes; it is advised, however, that swimmers only enter the water if the pond has not been contaminated with potentially dangerous runoff containing fertilizers, pesticides, and livestock waste.

Of course, as with any freestanding body of water, farm ponds present the possibility of drownings. The risk of drowning increases exponentially when pond safety precautions are not taken with young children in mind. Above all else, adult supervision is imperative when young children play in or around any water sources on the farm.

It is advised that farm and ranch owners take a number of additional actions to minimize dangers in and around their ponds. Recommended safety measures include posting signage, eliminating physical hazards, regularly dredging ponds, testing the pond water, installing rescue posts when appropriate, and installing fences with locked gates around any ponds deemed dangerous.

Featured Pond Safety Resources