Warning of dangers lurking in the waters

Monday, 18th June 2012, 6:00 pm

FEARS have been raised for the safety of gangs of teenagers who have been spotted drinking at the side of an Upton fishing pond.

Coun Allan Garbutt is concerned that the teens – who regularly congregate at Upton’s fishing pond for evening drinking – may drown in the waters after consuming alcohol.

And he said danger also lies in the water itself - which may contain a common bacteria which causes severe stomach problems, and he believes has already killed several dogs after they drank some of the stagnant water.

Coun Garbutt said: “What they are doing is so dangerous and I just worry for their safety.

“Ponds all across the country have drone fly lavae, which can cause terrible stomach upsets if it is ingested. So there is that worry as well. It’s a dangerous place for these young people to be.”

The larva is a rat-tailed maggot and lives in drainage ditches, pools around manure piles, sewage, and similar places containing water badly polluted with organic matter. It feeds on bacteria living in these places. Symptoms range from abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting.

Stuart Banes, 64, of Tom Wood Ash Lane, Upton, had to take his dog to the vet last week after it swallowed some of the pond water.

He said: “She could have died, but luckily for her she was able to be saved. I just worry that these kids are going to drink it and get ill.”

Insp Geoff Carter from the South East Neighbourhood Policing Team said: “I would ask parents to consider where their children are when away from home and to emphasise the potential dangers surrounding open water.”

He said a police sergeant will link with the local councillors to make sure the problem is dealt with.

Coun Garbutt hoped a new youth club planned to be set up in the area will deter people away from the spot, off Waggin Lane, in future.

Glynn Humphries, Wakefield Council’s service director for cleaner and greener, said: “Open water presents all sorts of dangers, particularly if people are drinking alcohol in the vicinity.

“Natural water courses are habitats for insect larvae and other biological organisms which if swallowed can cause serious health problems. People under the influence of alcohol may become less aware of the dangers of swimming in ponds, lakes and reservoirs.

“Additionally water can be very cold, even in hot weather therefore we would urge people to act responsibly and take care when near any open water.”