The cold weather is here which means people are looking to get out of the house and enjoy the winter.

That also means skating however the Town of Okotoks wants to remind everyone to be safe and stay off the storm ponds around town.

Manager for the Town of Okotoks Municipal Enforcement Peter Stapley says plain and simple it's dangerous and will result in a fine.

Stapley says there have been issues in other jurisdictions that the town is working hard to avoid.

"Airdrie, Calgary, Edmonton and Morinville have all had incidents with their storm ponds that have ended in near misses or death and that is not a tragedy that we want to see within our town."

The Town has made it clear that they will not be tolerating any people on the storm pond ice, Stapley says because of the rising and falling water levels as well as the flowing nature of the ponds the ice is naturally weaker than stationary ponds.

"It is extremely dangerous, I can not stress that enough, they should be avoided for your own safety. The storm ponds are a water collection system to prevent the neighbourhood from flooding and they collect all sorts of contaminants that can weaken the ice. With the control of the water rising and lowering, it is unpredictable where that water is and the ice can be unsupported, if the ice is unsupported it is weak. It's also flowing, it enters one end of the pond and exits the other so it is not stationary which again makes the thickness of the ice unpredictable. It's just way too dangerous."

Stapley says the town has lots of options for those who want to skate on their maintained outdoor rinks.  


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