In fine weather, lots of people prefer to swim outdoors.

They often overlook the fact that bathing is usually not permitted in quarry ponds. Bathing in these waters is banned for two reasons: the dangers to your life and health, and the serious damage it can cause to the environment.

Bathing in quarry ponds is extremely dangerous!

Time after time, accidents occur in quarry ponds in Cologne and the surrounding area, sometimes with fatal consequences.

Therefore, only bathe in the designated bathing ponds!

Bathing ponds in Cologne

The dangers of quarry ponds

Insecure or excessively steep embankments

The banks, both above and below the water level, are not always stable. They can slide away, taking people with them, and people can be pulled down by the undertow.

Temperature differences

Quarry ponds are sometimes very deep, and the water is not always well mixed. Temperatures can fall unexpectedly quickly, even just below the surface of the water. This can cause sudden paralysis and cardiac arrest.

Injuries from industrial Equipment

There can be technical equipment both above and below the water’s surface. Abandoned equipment and mechanical parts can also be hidden in quarry ponds in which work is no longer carried out.

No fast help

There is no lifeguard at quarry ponds. It is difficult for ambulances and helpers to reach the accident location, because there is no sufficient access. Often, the available routes are blocked by parked vehicles.


The water quality of quarry ponds is not monitored. There are neither sanitation facilities nor waste disposal. People, animals, and plants produce a large input of nutrients, which can worsen the water quality. This can lead to infections, rashes and gastrointestinal illnesses.

Quarry ponds are important natural environments

Cologne's quarry ponds are protected, in accordance with the Landscape Plan of the City of Cologne, due to their major importance as a habitat for endangered plants, amphibians and birds.

They are designated as conservation areas, protected landscape elements or as nature reserves, and their use is restricted according to their value and the reason for their protection. The restrictions extend from the forbidding of entering an embankment area to a complete ban on entering the protected location.

Unauthorised bathing, surfing, sunbathing and barbecues cause often massive environmental damage. For example, the waters and watersides are permanently polluted as a result of the lack of sanitation facilities and inadequate waste disposal.

The existing ban on bathing or even entry has not been pronounced to spoil your fun, but instead to protect you and to offer a least a degree of protection to highly endangered plants and animals on the edge of a major city such as Cologne.

By refraining from unauthorised bathing in these waters you are protecting nature as well as yourself.

Further information