URGENT safety measures will be taken at a Stairfoot quarry after reckless swimmers who flocked to the waters earlier this month.
On June 1, dozens of youngsters were caught taking a dip in the stagnant water, off Wombwell Lane, as the heatwave took hold.
Onlookers condemned those responsible who feared that it would encourage more people to risk their lives.
Coun Andrew Gillis, who represents the Stairfoot ward, has been working alongside Hanson UK - the site’s owner - and the council’s Safer Neighbourhood Service to secure the area and prevent others from taking the plunge.
He told the Chronicle: “Once this was flagged to me I started actions with both Hanson and the Safer Neighbourhood Service to get long-term safety precautions in place.
“We have met at the site to discuss these measures and got the wheels in motion - it is dangerous and should be secured quickly.
“It’s important to keep this area maintained and environmentally-friendly but to also deter residents from treating it as a swimming pool.
“I was told that Hanson had installed more than 30 signs around the quarry to warn people about the dangers but these were vandalised in a matter of days.
“Urgent work needs to be done to protect our residents - people must keep away from the water.”
Hanson agreed to install a steel fence in place of the original gate.
There will also be further steel fencing beyond the first fence to restrict access from footpaths that run alongside the quarry.
Coun Jenny Platts, cabinet spokesperson for adults and communities, told the Chronicle: “Reports of people swimming in this area have been taken extremely seriously.
“Our officers have been visiting the site and working closely with the site owners.
“We are pleased a number of measures have now been put in place to prevent anyone accessing the water.
“We urge all residents not to enter unsafe, open water, which is extremely dangerous.
“Jagged rocks, rubbish or strong currents could be hidden out of sight.
“People also need to consider this is a serious health risk - dead animals, toxic algae and industrial pollution all represent a threat to your health if you swim in stagnant bodies of water such as quarries.
“We will be monitoring the area and work to identify anyone trying to access the site.”
The council also confirmed they will be consulting the Environment Agency to look at options of dying the water which is an effective way to discourage people from entering.
The site owners will also be planting borders of hawthorn, brambles, blackberry and reeds around the swimming area’s edge.
Simon Day, regional director at Hanson, added: “We have been working with the local council to warn local people of the dangers of swimming in the body of water at our disused Stairfoot quarry.
“Unfortunately, the 35 new safety signs posted around the edge of the water were all destroyed within a few days.
“Additional fencing and signage are now being installed to try to prevent trespassers entering the site and coming to harm.
“Quarry lakes are dangerous - they frequently have very deep, cold water, sudden changes in depth and unstable sides that can be difficult to exit.
“Patrols at Stairfoot quarry are being stepped up to closely monitor the site and we urge members of the public to stay away no matter how tempting the water may seem, particularly in warm weather.”