Lacombe Lake opponents of a Blackfalds stormwater plan to be out in force at an upcoming public meeting.
An open house is taking place at the Blackfalds Community Centre on June 27 to provide an update on the project and responses to a host of concerns raised last year.
Members of the Lacombe Lake Watershed Stewardship Society are among those who fear that connecting the lake to the proposed stormwater system will pollute it and upset its fragile ecosystem. Last summer, more than 1,000 names were collected on a petition opposing the project.
Society members and others submitted statements of concern to Alberta Environment and Parks. Blackfalds must address each concern to the satisfaction of the province before the project could be approved.
“I’ve been working 24/7 to make sure this doesn’t happen,” said Alexander, who family owns property on the lake.
“The reality is there are all types of concerns when stormwater gets to a lake.”
Blackfalds Mayor Richard Poole said the town will bring its responses to the concerns raised to the open house.
“We’re also going to explain to (the public) we are, in effect, going to be putting water back into the lake that is as good or better quality than is in there right now,” said Poole.
“We feel that because the water needs to go back into the Battle River Watershed this is an appropriate way to do it.”
Stantec, which designed the stormwater plan, says it will “handily” meet all provincial quality water standards.
Poole hopes to reassure those concerned about the project that the town is taking the necessary steps to protect the lake and environment.
“We believe that what we’re doing is within good environmental stewardship. And we’re going to be making sure that we’re good neighbours.
“We want everybody to understand that we are not trying to take advantage of anybody.”
Alexander and other society members are not convinced the lake can be protected from contaminants if it is linked to a stormwater system and Blackfalds should look at alternatives.
“We say look after your own stormwater and do not ship it off to contaminate other ecosystems and places.”
Blackfalds should build stormwater retention ponds rather than use the lake, as well as nearby Blackfalds Lake, she said.
The open house at the Blackfalds Community Centre at 4810 Womacks Road runs from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.