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​Stay safe. Stay off stormwater facilities.

You might know them as community ponds, but they are actually working facilities and they aren’t safe for any type of recreation including sledding, skating and walking. 

  • Ice thickness is unpredictable because there are working pipes that keep water continuously flowing beneath the frozen top layer. 
  • Ice depth varies across the whole surface. It might appear thick in some areas, while other areas may have very thin or no ice.
  • It’s difficult to see unsafe ice conditions from the surface.
  • Snow may be covering ice hazards.
  • Water continuously flows beneath the surface, reducing ice integrity.


Things have changed. 

While you may have used a stormwater facility recreationally before, we now know that these water bodies are not safe for recreation.

The University of Alberta has conducted research showing how hazardous these facilities can be. The more our city grows, and the more unpredictable winter weather becomes due to climate change, the more we need to take extra care around stormwater facilities.​

Keep your community safe.

If you see someone recreating on a stormwater facility, report the activity to us at (780) 412-4500.​


Skate safe in your community

​​Community rink grant

We want Edmontonians to embrace winter and be able to participate in some of our most beloved outdoor winter activities like skating and hockey. That’s why each year, we provide several $800 community league grants to help cover the costs of setting up an ice rink where community members can play and skate safely.

Interested? Learn about how your community league can take advantage of this grant by emailing

Find a ​​safe place to skat​e

Check out the City of Edmonton's list of outdoor skating facilities.​​​

How stormwater facilities work

Stormwater facilities have a job to do.

Stormwater facilities play a big role to keep neighbourhoods safe from flooding. They are built to catch excess water runoff from heavy storms and snowmelt. This water enters stormwater facilities from catch basins and natural surface drainage.  

Did you know that these facilities also improve the quality of stormwater that ends up in our rivers and lakes? Many aspects of a stormwater facility are constructed to filter the water. This includes the vegetation planted around the water as well as the way the water and sediment moves and settles.

While stormwater facilities might look calm and serene, there’s a lot going on underneath the surface. Water is constantly moving as it enters the facilities through pipes. 

While the constant water movement is good for stormwater management, however it creates unsafe conditions for recreational activities like skating and sledding in the winter, or boating and swimming in the summer.​​​​

​How stormwater ponds are different