Kaukauna, Wisc. – The family of twelve year old drowning victim Dylun Tapio spoke with media to voice their concerns over what they feel is a lack of safety surrounding retention ponds like the one their son and his brothers entered on Tuesday.
“If we have to have ponds in here like this, we need to have some kind of restraints besides signs. If you have a pool in your yard, you have to have a fence around it. Why do all these properties have these…these massive ponds and just little signs protecting them?” said Dylun’s father Jason.
The city of Appleton alone has 50 such storm water ponds and Director of Public Works Paula Vandehey says fencing was initially discussed years ago but never adopted due to the recreational nature of many of the ponds.
“In talking we said we can use signage, we can design it with the safety shelf and do what we can to make them safe but still really have them accessible for that fishing and recreational component.” says Vandehey.
The ponds are already designed with a shallow shelf all the way around the edge in an attempt to safe guard against people simply slipping into deep water. But heavy rains or quick down pours can cause ponds to change several feet in depth within a very short period of time.