Anita Alexander, a member of the Lacombe Lake Watershed Stewardship Society, sets up a table on the Trans Canada Trail near the lake. She is seeking signatures for a petition to stop a plan to allow stormwater to drain into the lake. (Photo by MURRAY CRAWFORD/Advocate staff)

Lacombe Lake petition gathering steam

Advocates want to prevent stormwater from draining into Central Alberta lake

Near the undeveloped acres of her family’s land overlooking Lacombe Lake, Anita Alexander setup a booth asking for petition signatures.

She is concerned about Lacombe County’s plans to make the lake, located between Blackfalds and Lacombe, part of a stormwater system that serves northwest Blackfalds.

She believes the proposal will contaminate the natural area she called it a potential environmental disaster.

“It’s a real special place,” said Alexander, a member of the Lacombe Lake Watershed Stewardship Society. “We know there’s still time to protect this lake. People are really giving us their heartfelt thanks that we have a petition and have a chance to say they want to keep the lake beautiful.”

She and her husband, Richard Thom, spent the Canada Day weekend gathering signatures for their petition. On Saturday, they were at the M.E. Global Athletic Park in Lacombe and say they gathered more than 400 signatures.

On Sunday, they set up a stand along the Trans Canada Trail that runs alongside the lake just north of Blackfalds and gathered more signatures.

Under the proposal, rainwater would be transported through underground pipelines to settling ponds and constructed wetlands. The treated water will then go through Lacombe Lake, Whelp Brook and into Wolf Creek.

Passing through on Sunday, a group of three cyclists from Red Deer were among those to sign the petition. Roxanne Kelloway, one of the cyclists, said she rides along the trail regularly and enjoys its beauty.

The petition expresses objection to the stormwater plan and asks Blackfalds, Lacombe County and Alberta Environment and Parks to consider alternatives.

The decision on the county’s proposal will be made by the province.

Stantec, which designed the stormwater management plan, has said it will meet Alberta Environment water quality standards.

“We are confident that the Lacombe Lake Watershed Stewardship Society will experience no appreciable decline to Lacombe Lake water quality as a result of treated stormwater that is originating in the northwest area,” said Stantec.

mcrawford@reddeeradvocate.com

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