At the August 26, 2022 Committee of the Whole Meeting, the Committee recommended to Council that the County explore safer, land-based winter recreation opportunities and investigate the possibility of new ice surfaces in the Hamlet of Clairmont.

A pilot project allowing limited recreational use of two approved stormwater ponds in the Whispering Ridge and Westlake Estates subdivisions took place over the 2021/22 winter season to provide additional outdoor recreation opportunities for residents, and to clearly communicate ice conditions with users. The County encountered safety challenges during the pilot, including unexpected water on the surface of the ice, significant air temperature fluctuations through the season, the uncertain make-up of stormwater ponds, and ice thickness inconsistencies, especially around pond inlets and outlets. Considering that the County’s priority is the safety and wellbeing of residents, the Committee recommended that Council discontinue public access to stormwater ponds. The Committee of the Whole recommendations will be presented at the October 25, 2022 Council Meeting and are not official until approved by a motion of Council.

Winter 2021/22 stormwater ponds approved for recreational use include:  
  • Westlake Residential Stormwater Pond

  • Whispering Ridge Residential Stormwater Pond

Ice must measure 20 cm thick for recreational activities and 25 cm thick for walk-behind/carry snow clearing equipment. Watch for signage on site to display availability. 

Stormwater Pond Ice Depth Last Tested on
Stormwater PondTest Date (Month and day)Status
Westlake  March 9, 2022 CLOSED
Whispering Ridge March 16, 2022 CLOSED


Stormpond Closed for Season for Skating

Any use of stormwater ponds, for any purpose in the winter or summer, permitted or not, is at the users own risk.

Under a one-year pilot project, approved County stormwater ponds may be available for recreational activities. Council will review program in 2022.

Stormwater ponds are artificial bodies of water for the purpose of protecting residential properties from flooding. Learn more about Stormwater Ponds to keep you and your family safe.

Winter use 

Winter activities include activities like hockey, skating, shinny and broomball. The County will do ice testing to ensure the ice measures 20 cm thick for activities and 25 cm thick for snow clearing equipment use. 

While stormwater facilities may look like natural ponds, they contain moving water throughout the year, which can lead to unknown, unpredictable, and dangerous ice conditions. While the ice may appear thick in some areas, other areas may have little to no ice, and there are generally no visible surface indications of these unsafe conditions. Follow all notifications on posted signage

Signage 

On ponds designated for winter use, the County measures ice thickness until it reaches at least 20 cm of thickness for recreational use. At that time, the "No Skating" symbol on site signs will be replaced with a "Skating Permitted" symbol. All other stormwater ponds will have signage noting that no recreational use is permitted.

No winter use approved
Winter and Summer Use approved
Winter and Summer Use Permitted - Skating allowed sign
 General Rules for Recreational Use of Stormwater Ponds 
  • Obey all notices and posted signs   
  • No animals running at large  

  • Quiet time is 10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. daily   

  • No person shall disturb the rest, peace or enjoyment of any other person at any time   

  • No Off Highway Vehicles may be operated on the stormwater pond ice surface   

As part of the County’s Recreational Use of Stormwater Ponds Pilot Project, only authorized personnel/groups have been granted a permit to be responsible for maintaining ice surfaces using approved snow removal vehicles only when the ice thickness has been approved by County staff. 

  • No fire barrels or fire pits on the stormwater pond ice surface  

  • Litter deposited in provided litter receptacles only  

  • Discharge of fireworks is prohibited   

  • Harassment of wildlife is prohibited (Wildlife Act)  

  • Damaging, defacing or removing County property is prohibited (Criminal Code of Canada)   

  • Adherence to all traffic safety laws is required (Alberta Traffic Safety Act)   

  • Criminal breeches will not be tolerated (Criminal Code of Canada)   

  • Nuisance behaviour will not be tolerated. This includes:   

    • Use of obscene, offensive or insulting language;

    • Fighting or disorderly conduct;

    • Excessively loud or disruptive noise or music at any time; 

    • Any conduct that takes place either within or outside of a greenspace stormwater pond area, which in the opinion of a Peace Officer infringes upon the peace, quiet and enjoyment of any other Person.

Concerns about ice quality and thickness can be reported to the Parks and recreation department at 780-532-9727.

View a complete list of the County's active outdoor skating locations for this season.

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