Lake Farmington's popularity prompts council to consider removing swimming limitations

Hannah Grover
Farmington Daily Times
From left, Eli Brown, Kaityn Brown, Matthew Brown, bottom and Megan Brown enjoy the day, Friday, May, 18, 2018 on Farmington Lake.

FARMINGTON — As Lake Farmington has grown in popularity, the City of Farmington has struggled to enforce rules limiting swimming to The Beach area where there are lifeguards and floating play equipment.

This prompted the Farmington City Council to approve drafting changes to the city ordinance that would allow visitors to swim anywhere in the lake at their own risk. If the city changes the ordinance, The Beach would remain open with lifeguards and there would be rescue boats located at the lake to help people.

There has not been a rescue boat at the lake before, City Manager Rob Mayes told the City Council during a meeting on Nov. 19. Mayes said the city has needed boats because people have already been needing rescue.

“Because we’re not really prepared for that, it’s a much more difficult scenario to respond to that,” Mayes said.

Both the fire department and the lifeguards will have access to the rescue boats.

More:Lake Farmington continues to grow as city adds new outdoor recreation options

Mayes said it is almost impossible to enforce the current ordinance limiting swimming, and that it is frustrating for people visiting the lake.

“We already have people out there, you know, in boats and so forth,” Mayes said. “And that’s a fine line between swimming and being out there on top of a paddle board.”

Swimmers play on inflatable structures, Thursday, April 14, 2018 at Farmington Lake.

After the ordinance is drafted, the City Council will then vote on whether to publish the drafted changes for public input.

“I think in the beginning when we opened up The Beach we saw the vision of eventually you’d be able to swim all across the lake,” Mayor Nate Duckett said. “I mean, it’s really difficult to manage the number of people that we have up there on a daily basis in the summertime, asking our police officers to go out there and try to stop people from getting in a body of water. So I like that we’re moving in this direction. I think it just opens up more opportunities at the lake for recreation.”

Matthew Brown and Megan Brown ride their kayak, Friday, May 18, 2018 on Farmington Lake.

He said the police, including the newly created Park Ranger division, will need to continue patrolling the lake.

More:Farmington City Council optimistic as park rangers complete training, begin work

Duckett said it is also good to have The Beach for parents with children who want an area with lifeguards and play structures.

“I think this is definitely a move in the right direction,” said Councilor Linda Rodgers.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at

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