Vandalism at the Mixenden reservoir on Clough Lane could lead to people’s lives being put at risk, according to Yorkshire Water.
Secure grates and grills have been damaged, the dry stone boundary wall has been pulled apart resulting in the death of cattle, safety channels have been blocked and fires lit on grass verges.
There have also been sightings of people swimming in the reservoir during hot weather, with Yorkshire Water warning this could result in fatalities, with people not realising the cold temperature of the water or how strong the currents can be.
Reservoirs are deep and the water doesn’t flow like in rivers or the sea so the temperature rarely rises much above 12C.
The cold can paralyse muscles, meaning the victim is unable to stay afloat and if help doesn’t arrive within seconds, they will drown.
Martin Falsey, Yorkshire Water security manager, said; “Whilst this anti-social behaviour doesn’t impact on our ability to get water to our customers there is a cost involved in repairing the damage. Most important is the risk to the safety of the individuals involved and our colleagues, which could potentially be life threatening.
“Our site colleagues and security team are working in partnership with the local police in an attempt to stop these incidents but we would very much appreciate the help of local residents. Please report any suspicious activity at Mixenden Reservoir to West Yorkshire Police on 999 or 101 as soon as you can.”