‘NO SKATING,’ ‘NO FISHING,’ ‘NO SWIMMING’ signs posted at City’s stormwater management ponds

The City of Guelph has posted signs at its stormwater management ponds (commonly referred to as ‘storm ponds’ or ‘drainage ponds’) advising that leisure activities are not permitted. This is due to the inherent safety risks that surround ice skating in the winter and swimming in the summer.

As of February 8, 2012, signs have been posted at the following stormwater ponds:

  • Behind Shadybrook Crescent
  • Behind Southgate Drive
  • N/W of Brookhaven Court
  • Behind Reid Court near Youngman Drive
  • Edinburgh near Koch Drive
  • Kortright Road West
  • Behind Koch Drive
  • Hazelwood Drive
  • Downey Road at Teal Drive
  • Rodgers Road
  • Niska Road at Ptarmigan Drive
  • Southcreek Trail
  • Carrington Place
  • Watson Parkway South at York Road
  • Imperial Road South at Railway
  • Elmira Road North at Tovell Drive
  • Watson Parkway North at Grange Road

Signs will be posted at all the City’s stormwater ponds in the next several weeks, weather permitting.

Water entering stormwater management facilities is untreated stormwater runoff that typically drains over a variety of surfaces including roads, driveways and parking lots, through a series of pipes and into the ponds. The water entering the ponds is untreated, and therefore, the suitability of the ice for skating and the suitability of the water for swimming is not known and is not monitored. Stormwater management ponds are not supervised and the City cannot take any responsibility for the safety of persons who attempt to use these ponds for leisure activities. Therefore, the City has taken the step of posting signs at the ponds to prohibit public use of the stormwater management ponds for leisure activities.

Facts about Stormwater Management Ponds

Stormwater Management Ponds are essentially construction facilities that are part of the City’s overall stormwater infrastructure system. These ponds receive rainwater and runoff from the surrounding neighbourhood including streets, driveways and parking lots. Dirt, debris and waste settle to the bottom of the pond, while water flows out to the receiving water body. Removal of dirt and debris is usually completed every 10-15 years, allowing the pond to return to its designed water volume capacity. Urban runoff is also subject to oils, road salt and other chemicals—plants in the pond area help to improve the water quality of stormwater runoff.

For further information regarding the City of Guelph’s Stormwater Management Infrastructure, please contact Rachel Ellerman at 519-837-5604 x 2671 or rachel.ellerman@guelph.ca.