A utilty company is hoping to clamp down on anti-social behaviour at its reservoir sites by introducing new byelaws.
Yorkshire Water is set to work with the police to introduce and enforce new rules at some of its beauty spots after increasing concerns about anti-social behaviour.
The pilot scheme, which will be implemented at 10 of its sites– including Ardsley, near Leeds – aims to stop people putting the lives of others at risk and harming the environment.
One of the byelaws that could be introduced would prevent people from entering the reservoirs’ waters in a bid to protect lives.
The new byelaw comes after more than 12 reported incidents this summer where people have put their lives in danger by swimming or playing in the reservoirs despite the company’s repeated warnings.
Hazel Clemmit, recreation officer at Yorkshire Water, said: “We’ve spent millions opening up some of our stunning reservoir sites, which attract thousands of people every week who use them for their enjoyment.
“Sadly, despite our best efforts, the irresponsible behaviour of a small minority can on occasion ruin it for the majority.
“We hope that these byelaws will encourage people to do the right thing and adhere to the rules, without us having to use them punitively.”
Other byelaws will also prohibit the consumption of alcohol, overnight camping and the lighting of fires and barbecues, dangerous driving, littering and flytipping.
Dog fouling will also be targeted after it became a major problem at some of the company’s beauty spots after dog walkers failed to clear up after their pets.
The byelaws, which will be clearly signposted, will give the water company the power to prosecute and fine those people who choose to ignore repeated warnings and even ban them from entering sites.
Other sites that will be included in the pilot include Widdop in Hebden Bridge, Ogden in Bradford, and Mixenden near Bradford.