Stay safe around stormwater management ponds this winter

The City of London would like to remind residents to stay off stormwater management ponds this winter, as they are not safe for skating, hockey, sledding or any form of recreational activity at any time of year.

Stormwater management ponds are not naturally occurring ponds. They are constructed to improve surface water quality, provide flood protection and reduce erosion. There are more than 50 of these ponds throughout London, typically found in newer subdivisions and can be identified by their headwall, which is a concrete structure with a large pipe at one edge of the pond.

Residents are asked to stay safe and stay off of the ponds. Stormwater management ponds are unsafe for skating, tobogganing, and ice hockey for a number of reasons:

  • Due to the continuous flow of water in these ponds, the ice that forms in winter is unstable and dangerous.
  • The ice depth varies across the pond’s surface. While ice may appear thick in some areas, other areas may have little to no ice.
  • Many ponds collect road runoff that may contain salt, which lowers the freezing temperature of the water.
  • Snow often obscures holes or thin ice, and it can be difficult to see unsafe ice conditions. 

While stormwater management ponds are unsafe for winter recreation, they are safe to visit and walk around, as long as residents stay off the ice.

If you do see large gatherings of people on the ice and feel it is against the current COVID-19 restrictions in Ontario, you can e-mail


Last modified:Wednesday, January 13, 2021