During these hot summer months, running to one of Hampton Roads many man make lakes, or barrow pits, and jumping in is tempting. However, look before you leap. It is considered trespassing, and you can get a ticket.
Also adding to the danger of swimming in a man-made lake is that there are no lifeguards and no water clarity. That makes it difficult for swimmers to judge how deep the water is. The depths, which range from just a few inches to over 20 feet deep, are not marked. Many inexperienced swimmers or children will wade out into ankle deep water only to step off a 20-foot drop off.
Unlike natural lakes these man-made lakes don't slowly taper off, instead there is a steep drop off into very deep water. So, what exactly is a borrow pit? Well, it's a large hole that has been dug by a construction company to harvest sand, rock, or soil. The hole that remains is called a "borrow pit." These pits sometimes fill with water and without proper maintenance a tragedy can occur.
If these "lakes" are on private property owners need to make sure certain safety precautions are taken. Parents should routinely remind children about the dangers of these seemingly harmless lakes.