EPCOR PSA: Stop skating on Edmonton stormwater ponds!

If you’re an avid ODR player like myself, you’re going to want to listen carefully. PLEASE DON’T SKATE ON CITY STORMWATER PONDS! They’re bad! We had a nice conversation with our friends over at EPCOR and they really educated us on the dangers of it. So grab a seat, strap yourself in, and prepare to be edumacated.

Picture this: It’s -15 degrees, a cool winter Saturday in Edmonton (Please use your imagination when thinking of a -15 degree day here in Edmonton) and you feel like playing some puck… OR you’re not a big puck guy or gal and just want to go for a casual skate, OR maybe you’re taking the kids out for a spin on their new skates they got for Christmas?

Anyways, it’s perfect outdoor skating weather and you need some ice, asap. You find a cool looking, frozen, body of water just down the street from your place and you figure it’d be a good place to lace up the skates and go for a spin. I mean, you think it’s a little strange there’s a pond in such a residential neighbourhood, but what’s the big deal, right? WRONG!

The ice is DANGEROUS! It’s BAD! DON’T GO ON IT! As tempting and amazing as this beautiful piece of frozen water looks, it’s not that great at all. Grab your notepad, I’ll tell you why.

As you can see in the very informative image above, each stormwater pond in Edmonton (there’s a 198 in total by the way) has its own purpose. At a glance, you may think the pond is just there for aesthetics, but it’s actually an important part of our city’s drainage system. As someone who worked as a summer student for the City of Edmonton Drainage Department for two summers I can vouch for this.

The ponds collect rain water throughout the year from catch basins, snowmelt runoff, and yard runoffs. Instead of the pond growing bigger and bigger, it actually gets transferred back into the North Saskatchewan River to join its other water molecule friends in the natural stream. The water that initially fell from the clouds and onto your rooftop is now back in its natural habitat in the river! Cute story right?

So why can’t I skate on the pond you ask? Well since the main purpose of the pond is to transfer water to the river, it means that there is always a constant flow of water at the bottom of the pond. This is how it gets from the inlet pipe to the outlet pipe. Point A to point B, if you will. Because there is constant water flow in the bottom of the pond, there is really not that much solid ice at all on the pond. Instead, it’s just a thin layer on the top. So deceiving, I know!

So while your community pond/rink may look safe to skate on, it’s actually incredibly dangerous underneath. Epcor would like to remind everyone that if you see someone skating on a known stormwater pond, please contact 311 so that they can properly educate the pond-users about the potential dangers. Besides, how are you supposed to live your life and buy bitcoin if you’re spending all of it searching for your pucks at the bottom of a pond from not following instructions?

If you don’t know whether the rink in your neighbourhood is safe to skate on, please visit www.epcor.com/saferinks to find out. You’ve been warned!

  • AlexTheOilersFanSince2006

    When I lived in Alberta from 2005-2010, there was a storm water pond near my house in Sherwood Park. It was mainted by a guy who used to play for the Oil Kings and the Red Wings, and he maintained it. Thank god me and my friends never fell through. This sucks though.

  • Ginbaby

    I grew up in Northern Ontario and it was a general point of common sense that if it wasn’t a stagnant pond to be careful. Even the lakes had springs that could wreck your day/life. Even when Lake Superior would freeze over we were extremely cautious on any body of frozen water.

  • positivebrontefan

    Half the ponds in the city have Hockey nets on them and have lights and so on. The message isn’t getting out there, or people aren’t listening.