The City of Leduc wants residents to be aware that they are no longer testing storm water or reservoir pond surfaces for ice thickness over the winter months.
For safety reasons the City has decided to no longer encourage the use of reservoir and overflow pond surfaces for winter sports. Fluctuating water levels create an unstable surface on these ponds due to the fact that water movement does not allow the water underneath to freeze evenly. This creates pockets of thinner ice in unknown areas, so even with the testing of a safe ice thickness in one section of a pond, there have still been reports of children falling through the ice.
So in an attempt to reroute the public to the many safe ice surfaces that have been created around town, the City will no longer be clearing the snow from pond surfaces or testing the ice thickness. All City operated ponds will have signs posted stating that they are closed. If Enforcement Services witness people using these ponds they will require them to leave immediately or risk being fined.
Neighbouring municipalities such as Edmonton and Spruce Grove have implemented the same policies on their storm water ponds.
Seventeen recreational ice surfaces have been created around the city for public use, including eight casual use ice surfaces and nine hockey ice surfaces with nets. A complete list of ice surface locations can be found on the City of Leduc website.
There is one exception to the rule though. The north and south ponds at the Civic Centre (Alexandra Park) will be made available pending ice thickness levels, with the north pond maintained as a hockey surface and the south pond as a casual skating surface. The water levels in these particular ponds can be controlled to a much better extent and will freeze solid in very cold weather.