Swimming pools are really fun. For someone who enjoys swimming, any place that they can swim in, is a fun place to be in. However, there’s something that swimming pools can never offer. There is this particular feeling that rises from swimming in nature. Swimming in a lake is just different from swimming in a pool.
If you are the type of person who enjoys swimming in a lake, or is considering it, probably you have wondered whether swimming in a lake is safe or not. That’s a straightforward question that comes from a very logical concern. The short answer to that question is, mostly yes, depending on the lake…
The long answer on the other hand is a bit more complicated but it will allow you to have a better understanding regarding safety and risks of swimming in a lake.
Swimming in a lake isn’t safe when…
The lake is green
Presence of algae can mean a lot of things. If you are thinking about swimming in a lake that is covered in green algae, you definitely should reconsider. Algaes will bloom on certain seasons, and some of them can be quite toxic for people, especially for children.
Even if you are about to go swimming in a lake that you’ve swimmed before, if you see that the lake is covered in algae, it’s best to avoid it.
The lake is used for dumping waste
Farm and farm life are amazing. However, taking care of animals includes somehow getting rid of the manure at the end of the day. If there are farms near a lake, it’s best to avoid it, as there’s a chance that it is used to dump waste.
Water that is contaminated by manure has a very high percentage of giving potential swimmers E. Coli infections. Some businesses sometimes dumb their waste into lakes too. The waste can be anything from toxic to infectious.
Usually lakes that are used for waste disposal have “no swimming” signs posted around them. Pay attention to the signs, and never go swimming in a lake that has a “no swimming” sign next to it.
You aren’t ready to go swimming in a lake
Dunning-Krueger effect, is one of the many studies that show how we humans tend to overestimate our abilities. It is probably a bad idea to go swimming in a lake if you aren’t a really good swimmer.
Don’t worry though, swimming is a science and with the right lessons you can learn too. If you feel like swimming in a lake can be challenging for you, but you want to do it anyway, we highly recommend that you take swimming lessons first.
There’s wildlife there
This is a bit of an obvious statement but, definitely avoid swimming in a lake that is known to harbor wildlife such as alligators, crocodiles, venomous snakes, etc… There are also certain places that can be infested with parasites or other microscopic pathogens.
Check out for signs that warn of such things and steer clear of these lakes.
These are the main three things to look out when trying to assess whether swimming in a lake is going to be safe or not.
It is also worth mentioning that you should try and stick with the crowd. If you see people constantly swimming in a lake that you know, it’s probably safe for you to do it too.