The County of Grande Prairie reminds the public to stay off stormwater ponds as it poses a safety risk.
In December, the County launched a one-year pilot project so residents could safely enjoy winter activities on two approved stormwater ponds in County subdivisions, the Whispering Ridge and Westlake stormwater ponds in Clairmont.
The public is not permitted on other stormwater ponds in the County, including Maple Ridge, Taylor Estates, Carriage Lane, Clairmont and the Sportsplex ponds for this season.
While stormwater facilities may look like natural ponds, their purpose of collecting stormwater runoff means they contain moving water throughout the year, leading to unknown, unpredictable, and dangerous ice conditions. Ice may appear thick in some areas, while others may have little to no ice without any visual indication of the unsafe conditions. Even if recreation has taken place in the past, non-approved stormwater ponds are not safe for recreation.
County staff do regular inspections at the approved Whispering Ridge and Westlake ponds to ensure the ice remains safe for recreation as part of the pilot project. The same monitoring for safe conditions is not done at stormwater ponds which are not approved for recreation.
Throughout the winter season, Regional Enforcement Services will patrol the ponds and educate the public on the safe use of stormwater ponds.