The Town of Penhold has a combination of an underground and overland storm system. There are 5 storm retention ponds and 1 storm water Lift Station location in Penhold. During a storm the first priority is given to situations threatening health and/or property.
The storm retention ponds are not measured for ice depth in the winter and as there may be water flowing into these systems in the winter months we ask that you stay off the ice during winter as there may be a present danger of thin ice.
Storm Ponds are not safe for recreation
Be Aware! Stormwater retention ponds are very different than your average pond surface and any ice that forms on top is extremely unsafe. We recognize restrictions on organized sports and indoor recreation centres has created minimal recreation activities for families to enjoy but the storm ponds are not safe for recreational activities.
The ponds in Penhold are actually stormwater facilities. Stormwater facilities play an important role in helping to move snow melt and storm runoff from our streets, through the drainage system. As a result, contaminants from the streets get washed into the facilities. These contaminants have been shown to increase water temperature, compromising ice quality by melting the ice from below. In addition, water is continuously flowing through the facility, which also makes any ice that forms on the surface very unstable and highly dangerous.
For anyone who may accidentally break through the ice, hypothermia is a real risk. A person's body loses heat 25 times faster in water compared to the same temperature of air. Stats suggest a person has 9 minutes to self-rescue.
As recently as October 2020, two young girls were rescued from a Calgary stormwater facility by local residents after falling through thin ice. In total, there have been three fatalities in stormwater facilities in Alberta in the past three years. Anyone that witnesses someone fall through the ice should immediately call 9-1-1. Try to keep an eye on the individual, and do not attempt to rescue them. This includes pets.
Tips for Proper Drainage
- Create a sump pit and install a sump pump with reliable back up power; ensure pumps are operational.
- Make sure your lot is graded to aid drainage away from your home.
- Ensure sump hoses and down spouts are directed at least 6 feet away from your home's foundation.
It is illegal to have any storm drainage discharging directly into the sewer system, check sump pumps for illegal connections. If they exist have them removed immediately as the extra flow can over load the sewer system and create sewer backups in your house.
Catch Basins in Spring
When spring arrives there are often a large amount of puddles forming around Town.
The Operations Department does it's best to minimize large puddles around Penhold but with the temperatures dipping below zero each night it is inevitable for the catch basins to freezing overnight night and have to be steamed daily to thaw them and have them running again.
Please be patient as we understand there are catch basins frozen in many areas of Town but we must give priority to those with water surrounding them that have potential to damage property.