Storm Pond Safety

The City of Chestermere does not endorse the use of storm ponds for any recreational activity. 

Note: At the January 15, 2018 meeting, Council heard a report from the Chestermere Fire Chief regarding the City’s rationale for prohibiting recreational activities on storm ponds. The presentation is available here. 

Council also directed staff to prepare a report for the February 20 Council meeting regarding the legal and liability implications of changing the existing bylaw to permit winter recreational use of storm water ponds and consider other options for additional outdoor skating areas.  


What are Storm Water Retention Ponds (storm ponds) used for?

Storm ponds serve three primary purposes: 

1. Prevent flooding by controlling the release of extra storm water. 

2. Protect our lakes and rivers by removing sediment, fertilizer, pesticides and other pollutants.

3. Can be surrounded by natural vegetation; provide habitat for birds and animals

How do storm ponds work?

Step 1: When it rains and snow melts, water flows from our rooftops, driveways, lawns and sidewalks. This water collects dirt, sand, gravel and other pollutants along the way.

Step 2: Water empties into storm drains where pipes carry it away to storm ponds.

Step 3: Storm ponds capture and hold the water, which lets the water settle out the sediments and pollutants, helping return cleaner water to our lake. 

Source: Epcor

Photo Source: EPCOR

Ice Safety

Due to the nature and function of storm ponds such as moving water, temperature changes and fluctuating weather conditions, ice conditions are unpredictable and dangerous. 

The City does not monitor the ice thickness on any storm ponds and therefore, ice conditions are unknown.

Stay safe: keep off the ice.

Safety on ice is your responsibility

Since ice conditions are unmonitored and unpredictable, safety on the ice is your responsibility. Remind your family to play safe, obey signs and stay off storm ponds at all times.

Remember, you cannot judge the strength of ice by appearance alone. Storm ponds have an inlet and outlet pipe with water flowing much of the year. This can make ice weak and therefore it is always best to use caution. Make sure to keep your pets away from storm water ponds for their health and safety.

Call 9-1-1 if someone falls through the ice!

If someone falls through the ice, it’s important to remember – DO NOT go on the ice to try and pull them out as you will likely end up falling in too. The best thing you can do is to get help fast!

Chestermere Fire Services is trained in Aquatic Rescue (both water and ice). If you witness an emergency call 9-1-1.

Other skating opportunities

Chestermere is home to a beautiful Lake which provides both winter and summer recreation opportunities when the weather permits. Lake ice is more consistent than storm ponds, since it is not constantly flowing.

Parks staff conduct weekly ice measurement at the south end of the Lake, Sunset Park, Anniversary Park and Cove Beach. 

View the Lake Activities page for summer and winter recreation opportunities on the Lake.