Stormwater & Storm Ponds
Storm Pond Safety EnforcementFor many years, the City has been educating and reminding residents that being on storm ponds is dangerous, and all activities on them are prohibited. In January 2021, the City began proactively preventing people from skating on storm ponds by putting sand on prohibited rinks. Read more about the City's storm pond enforcement efforts here. The City has also received a letter from Alberta Environment (who has jurisdiction over the irrigation inlet canal at the southwest end of the lake) stating that the public are not permitted to be on the canal.
On January 19, City Council passed an amendment to the Storm Drainage Bylaw that clarifies and strengthens expectations that residents must stay off storm water management ponds and facilities.
About Stormwater & Storm Ponds
Stormwater is water that flows over land from rainstorms and melting snow. When it rains and snow melts, water flows from our rooftops, driveways, lawns, streets and sidewalks. This water collects dirt, sand, gravel and other pollutants along the way.
The water empties into a storm drain where pipes carry it away to storm ponds. The storm ponds capture and hold this water for a while. This lets the water settle. The sediments and pollutants settle to the bottom of the pond, helping return cleaner water to our rivers and streams.
Our storm ponds (map available here) are all work and no play – they have an important job to do. They protect the community from flooding and help create cleaner stormwater. Because of changing water levels and poor water quality, they are not for recreation.
Why You Shouldn't Be on Storm Ponds:
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
The City maintains several outdoor rinks on land and on the Lake. 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.
Get Involved and Adopt-A-Rink: Help to maintain an outdoor ice rink by connecting with our Parks Team! Just call (403) 207-2807 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
For a full list of on-land or on-lake skating spots visit: www.chestermere.ca/skate
Additional Resources & Information
EPCOR's Stay safe around stormwater facilities this winter:
- Scientists study safety of skating on urban storm water ponds (Globe & Mail)
- On Thin Ice: Scientists study safety of skating on urban storm water ponds (Global News)
- Calgary Fire warns of storm pond skating dangers (660 News)
- Teens rescued with turbans, garden hose after falling through ice in northeast Calgary (Global News)
- Boy, 11, dies in hospital after falling through thin ice at Milton pond, police say (CBC)
- Investigators say child falls through ice, drowns in Isabella County (ABC News)
- City of London stresses stormwater ponds are ‘unstable and dangerous’ for skaters (Global News)
- EPCOR: About Stormwater Facilities (ECPOR)
- What is a Storm Pond? (Town of Okotoks)
- Stormwater Management Facilities Explanation (City of St. Albert)