Storm ponds protect our rivers by removing sediment, fertilizer, pesticides and other pollutants. Storm ponds also prevent flooding by controlling the release of extra stormwater.
Stormwater washes from your home, yard and street collecting dirt and pollutants along the way. Sand, dirt and other items settle in the storm pond. Cleaner water leaves the pond and returns to our rivers.
How do storm ponds work?
When it rains and snow melts, water flows from our rooftops, driveways, lawns, streets and sidewalks. This water collects dirt, sand, gravel and other pollutants along the way.
The water then empties into storm drains where pipes carry it away to storm ponds.
The storm ponds capture and hold this water for a while. This lets the water settle out the sediments and pollutants, helping return cleaner water to our rivers and streams.
Tips for your local storm pond
Our storm ponds are all work and no play - they have an important job to do. They protect your community from flooding and clean stormwater. Because of changing water levels and poor water quality, they are not for recreation.
Stay out of the water
Swimming, wading and boating of any type is dangerous and not allowed. Recreation programs are available at pools and leisure centres.
Keep your pets from the water
Keep your animals away from storm ponds for their health and safety.
Stay off the ice
Ice on storm ponds is weaker because of washed away road salts. Water levels change rapidly which makes skating and other winter activities dangerous. Outdoor rinks are located in communites across the City.
Do not add fish to a storm pond
It is illegal to stock or dump fish in a storm pond. Adding fish can harm our water ecosystem because the fish can become an invasive species.
Do not go fishing in a storm pond
Because of the poor water quality, fishing in a storm pond is a risk to your health. There are places to safely fish across our province.
Do not dump garbage in a storm pond
The storm ponds are not designed to handle garbage. Please place garbage in bins or take waste to a landfill. Visit calgary.ca/whatgoeswhere to learn about the proper recycling or disposal of an item.
Dispose of hazardous waste properly
Bring hazardous products like motor oil, paint and lawn chemicals to a designated drop-off location.
Five ways to protect our waterways
Help protect the water quality of our rivers with these water drainage tips:
- Point downspouts toward lawns and gardens or use a rain barrel
- Limit the use of fertilizers and pesticides
- Sweep up debris from your garage and driveway instead of washing it away
- Wash your vehicle at a car wash instead of your driveway
- Pick up after your pet at home and elsewhere
For more information, see our "What is a Storm Pond?" brochure, and our Storm Drainage System and Storm Drainage FAQ pages.