Maricopa County Parks and Recreation

Water Safety

Water Safety

Below are several water safety topics to help better prepare you for your visit to the park, and any fresh body of water.

Carbon monoxide (CO) can harm and even kill you inside or outside your boat!

Did you also know:

  • CO symptoms are similar to seasickness or alcohol intoxication.
  • CO can affect you whether you're underway, moored, or anchored.
  • You cannot see, smell, or taste CO.
  • CO can make you sick in seconds. In high enough concentrations, even a few breaths can be fatal.

Most important of all, did you know carbon monoxide poisonings are preventable. Every boater should be aware of the risks associated with carbon monoxide - what it is; where it may accumulate; and the symptoms of CO poisoning. To protect yourself, your passengers, and those around you, learn all you can about CO.

To view NIOSH Engineering Reports on Carbon Monoxide and the dangers please visit the NIOSH website at:

To view The Center for Disease Control's NIOSH information page on Carbon Monoxide dangers, please visit:

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Cold Water Immersion. Cold water immersion creates a specific condition known as immersion hypothermia. It develops much more quickly than standard hypothermia because water conducts heat away from the body 25 times faster than air. Typically people in temperate climates don’t consider themselves at risk from hypothermia in the water, but hypothermia can occur in any water temperature below 70°F. Survival times can be lengthened by wearing proper clothing (wool and synthetics and not cotton), using a personal flotation device (PFD, life vest, immersion suit, dry suit), and having a means of both signaling rescuers (strobe lights, personal locator beacon, whistles, flares, waterproof radio) and having a means of being retrieved from the water. 

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Heat exhaustion. Learn the warning signs of heat exhaustion and heat related illnesses.

Naegleria Fowleri. What is Naegleria? Naegleria is an ameba (single-celled living organism) commonly found in warm freshwater (for example, lakes, rivers and hot springs) and soil. Only one species (type) of Naegleria infects people...Naegleria fowleri. To learn more about Naegleria fowleri and it's symptoms, visit:

Naegleria fowleri infects people when water containing the ameba enters the body through the nose. Infection is rare and typically occurs when people go swimming or diving in warm freshwater places, like lakes and rivers. Very rarely, infections have been reported when people submerge their heads or get water up their nose, cleanse their noses during religious practices, or irrigate their sinuses (nose) using contaminated tap or faucet water. Naegleria fowleri can grow in pipes, hot water heaters, and water systems, including treated public drinking water systems.

Personal actions to reduce the risk of Naegleria fowleri infection should focus on limiting the amount of water going up the nose and lowering the chances that Naegleria fowleri may be in the water.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Personal Flotation Devices (PDFs) and Life Jackets. Wear them!

Most boaters know they’re required to have a U.S. Coast Guard-approved wearable life jacket on board for every person on their boat. Boating safety advocates recommend that all boaters and passengers not only have a life jacket, but wear it at all times while boating.

Accidents on the water can happen much too fast to reach and put on a stowed life jacket. Drowning is the reported cause of death in 80 percent of all boating fatalities – and 83 percent of drowning victims in recreational boating accidents were not wearing a life jacket in 2016.

The good news is that today’s life jackets are much more comfortable, lightweight and stylish than the bulky orange style most boaters know. Life jackets that use inflatable technologies are cool and comfortable. They may resemble a pair of suspenders or a belt pack. Many inflate automatically when immersed in water. There are life jacket styles available for almost any boating activity.

Swimmer's Itch. Is a rash caused by a tiny bird parasite that can occur in natural bodies of water and have been reported in lakes throughout Arizona. To learn more, visit:

Swimming. Swimming and other water-related activities are excellent ways to get physical exercise. When planning a visit to the lake, swimmer should be aware of ways to prevent sunburn, illness, and drowning. Swimmers are advised to:

  • Always swim with a partner. Swimming alone can be unsafe.
  • Never leave young children unattended near water, and do not ask another child to supervisor your children near water.
  • Avoid distractions when supervising children near water.
  • If a child goes missing, always check the water first.
  • Non-swimmers and inexperienced swimmers should ALWAYS wear a life jacket or personal flotation device.
  • Protect your skin. While you're busy cooling off and having fun in the water, your skin is also soaking in the sun. Apply and reapply sunscreen frequently.
  • Wear a hat and sunglasses to keep the sun off of your face and out of your eyes.
  • Drink plenty of water regularly, even if you're not thirsty, to avoid dehydration. Just because you're floating in a cove of water does not mean your skin is absorbing enough to maintain your bodies water levels. Avoid drinks with caffeine and alcohol in them.

Weather. Weather conditions at the park can change rapidly. During the days when inclement weather is in the forecast, park visitors should...

  • Frequently check the weather, and adjust your visit accordingly. Current weather conditions can be found on the National Weather Service site.
  • Stay out of the washes. Just because the wash is dry where you are now, doesn't mean that water isn't rushing down from a storm several miles up stream.
  • If you are on a watercraft, head for the dock(s) before conditions become dangerous. Remember, if you wait too long, the dock(s) may not be able to handle the number of park visitors trying to remove their watercraft from the water. Also, ALWAYS make sure you have enough life jackets available for all members on the watercraft - emergency situations do arise.
In the event of an emergency, please call 911. Maricopa County Sheriff's Office: (602) 876-1000
  Lake Pleasant Regional Park: (602) 506-2930 ext. 1
  City of Peoria Fire: Emergency - 911 / Non-emergency - (623) 773-8311

City of Peoria Police: Emergency - 911 / Non-emergency - (623) 773-8311

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