Farmers say they didn’t drain lake province wants restored

Ponoka-area poultry farmers have been ordered to restore a Crown-owned lake that the province says was drained illegally. Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development issued an enforcement order under the Water Act against Henk and Gerrie Krijger on Feb. 18 for allegedly performing unauthorized work on the lake.

Ponoka-area poultry farmers have been ordered to restore a Crown-owned lake that the province says was drained illegally.

Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development issued an enforcement order under the Water Act against Henk and Gerrie Krijger on Feb. 18 for allegedly performing unauthorized work on the lake.

The province says the unapproved work included draining a 51-acre lake about 10 km east of Ponoka and a smaller wetland, excavating near a lake outlet and putting fill into the lake.

Under the order, the Krijgers must restore the lake to the condition it was in before any unauthorized drainage work was done. They have until March 2015.

Alberta Environment spokeswoman Nikki Booth said the lake was not included as part of the property when it was sold to the Krijgers in August 2011.

Two months later, a public complaint was received that the lake was being drained and water flowing into neighbouring properties. A provincial inspector went out in October and told the Krijgers to stop work. Another visit was made in February 2012 and the inspector noticed unauthorized work was continuing, said Booth.

Another complaint was made in November 2013 that more drainage work was being done. An inspector determined that a drainage trench had been widened.

“With these changes and the continued work on the lake, it was determined we would need to issue an enforcement order to get the remediation work to take place.”

If the landowners don’t do the work, charges could be laid under the Water Act against them and they could face fines or other judge-ordered penalties.

Gerrie Krijger said she and her husband have been trying to resolve the issue with the province.

“We’re still in conversations to see what to do.”

They did not drain the lake, which is shallow and grows and shrinks significantly depending on whether it is a wet or dry year, she said.

“There’s nothing drained. The lake is still there and there’s lots of water.”

What drainage work was undertaken was done on their own land, not Crown land, she said.

“We would never, never dig in Crown land. We know to stay away from Crown land.”

An existing drainage channel was on the land, which is not used as their home quarter section, when they bought it, she added.

“I don’t know if the owner before made it, I have no idea.”

Just Posted

Candlelight vigil in Red Deer honours Sri Lanka Easter bombing victims

Dozens showed up to the event at City Hall Thursday night

Several Red Deer businesses’ phone/fax lines taken over by ‘spoofers’

Same ‘prank’ calls were made as happened with RedCliff RCMP

Red Deer apartment project opposed by some neighbours

Two buildings proposed for a site in Normandeau with existing four apartment complexes

Red Deer’s osprey cam celebrities are back

FortisAlberta has webcam set up at nest created as part of avian protection program

Red Deer PCN Women’s Fun Run introduces Community Diaper Dash

Central Albertans will make a dash in diapers to bring lunches to… Continue reading

Cast your votes for the Best of Red Deer

Nominations for the Best of Red Deer Readers’ Choice Awards are officially… Continue reading

Opinion: Schools can’t be exempt from scrutiny

This weekend’s meeting of the Alberta School Councils’ Association promises to be… Continue reading

Bishop now the Stars goalie trying to beat Blues in playoffs

Ben Bishop grew up rooting for the St. Louis Blues before being… Continue reading

Nashville gets its chance to step up for NFL draft

NASHVILLE — Broadway in downtown Nashville is as lively a place as… Continue reading

The Cranberries, still in mourning, return for the last time

NEW YORK — Whether or not there would be a final Cranberries’… Continue reading

Dance studio owner in dispute with Burton Cummings fined for noise ticket

MOOSE JAW, Sask. — The owner of a dance fitness studio who… Continue reading

Gardening: Time and effort key to buying garden plants

Greenhouses, garden centers and box stores are set to start selling bedding… Continue reading

Montreal native Nicholas Latifi off to solid start on Formula 2 race circuit

Practice makes perfect for Canadian Nicholas Latifi. The 23-year-old Montreal auto racer… Continue reading

Most Read