Mermaids Pool is famous for its beauty and natural resources, however its reputation is tainted with incidents of serious injuries and death.
The iconic Tahmoor location is a popular swimming hole in the summer months and Wollondilly Council hopes to prevent further serious injuries at the pools.
Councillors accepted a $75,000 grant from the state government to pursue a management plan for Mermaids Pool and Potholes Reserve at Monday’s council meeting.
Wollondilly mayor Judith Hannan said they hoped to discourage people from swimming at Mermaids Pool.
“Potholes Reserve is a great place to swim and it’s pretty close by,” she said.
“We’ll be putting up signage at the train station, at Mermaids and other areas to encourage people to go to Potholes instead.
“Having these signs in place could help to save lives.”
The grant funding is in line with the council’s masterplan for the Tahmoor watering hole in the 2018/19 financial year.
Earlier this year a 19-year-old Irish woman was injured at Mermaids Pool.
She was using a large rope swing when she hit the rock face and fell into the water.
The woman was winched into an Ambulance NSW helicopter and taken to Liverpool Hospital.
A Pakistani student died at the Pools after he jumped from the rock ledge in December 26.
In the same month, a Canadian backpacker was seriously injured at the site and became a paraplegic.
Cr Hannan said it was important for the council to do something to minimise the prevalence of injuries site.
“Obviously there have been a number of accidents and deaths there so we need to make sure people aren’t getting hurt,” she said.
“Potholes is a great place to swim.
“If you want to go for a bushwalk to Mermaids Pool and take a look at it – then please do because it is a beautiful site.
“But if you want to go swimming then please go elsewhere.”
Camden Police Area Command acting inspector Dale Abbott warned swimmers to be mindful of the risks at Mermaids Pool earlier this year.
“Mermaids Pool is a beautiful and popular area but it has hidden dangers, especially when people jump off the platform and use the rope swing,” he said.
“There is an inherent risk at the site.
“Ninety-nine times out of 100 there will be no problem but that one time someone will be hurt and we know the area can be fatal.”
Wollondilly Council has also entered into a partnership with Royal Life Saving NSW to encourage residents to be water smart.
Cr Hannan could not confirm exact details of the partnership however she expects there will be programs and a campaign as a part of the arrangement.