Reservoir Safety Tips

May 30, 2017

Aurora Reservoir, according to Trip Advisor, ranks number two (#2!) among the top 27 recreational things to do in and around Aurora. Residents of the master-planned community of Southshore don’t have to go far —  life at the lake is what it’s all about!

The reservoir has a swimming area roped off for kids to splash and paddle around, with plenty of room for adults to freestyle. And while you may be thinking more about life jackets and sunscreen, there’s something else to think about as a caution:  water temperature.

Reservoir Temperatures

Good swimming weather is debatable — just ask those crazy Polar Plunge people who took a reservoirdip at the reservoir in February! But for most of us, this Fun Times Guide probably just confirms what you already know:

  • A water temperature of 64 degrees and below is downright cold.
  • 65 to 70 degrees for a water temperature will likely feel cool.
  • Most pool temperatures range of 78 to 82 degrees.

The  water temperatures at the Aurora Reservoir have been between 50 and 55 degrees – good for fishing but a little chilly for some folks who want to swim. Now, water temps should go up with a string of warm-weather days, but even water temperatures of 65 degrees might still feel cool.

Live Strong recommends higher temperatures ranging from 82 to 86 degrees for children and older adults who have a hard time regulating their body temperatures. Since babies are smaller, the water should be 84 to 86 degrees. Of course, you should check with your doctor to determine the right temperatures for you and your family, so he or she can consider any health issues.

Before you dive in, which is especially tempting when the temperatures inch past 80 degrees (the forecast for this week), consider what cooler water temps do to the body and adjust your recreation accordingly.

Because cold water zaps your body heat 25 times quicker than cold air and a lot of splashing around and swimming causes a faster body heat loss, you might tire more easily trying to stay warm. Think, too, about how your body responds to a sudden plunge into cold water by making you involuntarily gasp. Be sure to wear your life vest or jacket when the water’s below 64 degrees, and take it slow!

Thunder and Lightning


Another safety consideration for Coloradans, especially this time of year, is thunderstorms. The National Weather Service sends out these reminders when you’re in or near a body of water like the reservoir when a thunderstorm threatens:

  • Don’t wait until the storm is right on top of you before you react. Always keep an eye on the sky during outdoor activities so you can avoid a dangerous situation.
  • If you are in the water or in a boat and you see a storm approaching, get off the water as soon as possible and take cover.
  • Quickly move indoors or into a hard-topped vehicle and stay there until after the lightning stops. Do not take shelter UNDER shelters.
  • Crouch if you are in an exposed area. Stay away from trees as lightning hits the tallest object. (And you might want to ditch that fishing pole!)

Lightning stays on the surface of the water rather than penetrating it so when lightning hits a pool, lake or reservoir, the electrical current zips across the surface in all directions. You don’t want to be swimming anywhere in the vicinity when that happens, or you’ll stand a good chance of getting zapped!

More Info

The Aurora Reservoir is at 5800 S. Powhaton Road in Aurora. For more information and a full list of rules, click here.

The Aurora Reservoir is open from 5:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. with life guards on duty from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. To check on weather conditions and to confirm that the swim beach is open, call the park office at 303-326-8425.

Car passes are $10 for a day pass and $55 for a season pass (residents of Aurora).

800 Acres of Water Near Southshore

The water wonderland of the Aurora Reservoir is within walking distance of the master-planned community of Southshore! Stop by and explore the brand new Delaney model from Richmond American Homes and Century Communities latest home designs at The Hills in Southshore! The brand-new ranch and two-story homes are priced from the upper $300s to the $700s.