Lacombe Lake Watershed Stewardship Society has been seeking assurances that the lake will be protected from runoff during floods.                                Photo contributed

Lacombe Lake Watershed Stewardship Society has been seeking assurances that the lake will be protected from runoff during floods. Photo contributed

Lacombe Lake residents feel contamination concerns have been heard

Lacombe Lake society worried lake could be tainted by agricultural runoff and Blackfalds stormwater

Lobbying efforts to ensure Lacombe Lake is protected from contamination appear to be bearing fruit, says a member of a local residents group.

Cliff Soper said the Lacombe Lake Watershed Stewardship Society has been encouraged by responses to its concerns from Lacombe County and Stantec engineering consultants, who are working on a stormwater management plan for Blackfalds that incorporates the lake into the design.

Society members have been lobbying to ensure that water from Whelp Brook (or Whelp Creek, as many locals call it), susceptible to agricultural runoff, is not diverted into Lacombe Lake.

Lacombe County council recently voted to maintain its diversion licence, which allows the municipality to divert Whelp Brook water into the lake if necessary.

However, the county says it does not plan to do that, and as well, will monitor the brook downstream for flooding.

“I think (Lacombe County) definitely will not divert water from Whelp Creek into Lacombe Lake,” said Soper, who has been among society members who have met a number of times with Lacombe County to discuss options.

Soper said the county has agreed to work with stakeholders to establish an optimal lake level to preserve the health of the lake.

Lake-area residents have also voiced concerns that a major stormwater project Blackfalds is pursuing, to allow development in the northwest part of town, has the potential to allow runoff to reach Lacombe Lake in flood conditions.

Blackfalds officials and Stantec engineers have assured residents that stormwater runoff will exceed Alberta Environment water quality standards even before it passes through a series of settling ponds, where it will be further cleaned.

A fail-safe has also been designed to divert water away from Lacombe Lake when flows are very high.

Soper said society members have been pleased with how receptive Stantec has been to concerns.

“I’m fairly confident we won’t get any soapy water going from Blackfalds into the lake,” he said.

“We were proposing that they have another site, where if there is a major flood, they could divert that water into a dry wetland kind of thing to at least slow it down and make sure it got filtered out and everything else.

“We’re waiting for a decision from the department of environment.

“Right now, things are in the works that will be acceptable to our members at least.”

Soper said concerns about major storm events remain, but progress has been made on reaching a compromise that works for all.

“They’ve certainly been listening.”



pcowley@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A nurse gets a swab ready at a temporary COVID-19 test clinic in Montreal, on Friday, May 15, 2020. Health Canada has reversed course on home test kits for COVID-19, saying it will now review applications for such devices. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Alberta declines Ontario’s request to send health-care workers

Alberta is “not in a position” to send health-care workers out of… Continue reading

The Red Deer Rebels allowed four straight goals from the Medicine Hat Tigers Friday night on the road. (Photo by Rob Wallator/ Red Deer Rebels)
Tigers hand Red Deer Rebels 10th straight loss

Tigers 4 Rebels 2 Through 17 games in the shortened WHL season,… Continue reading

Meghan Huizing has been selected by Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools as a finalist for the Alberta School Boards Association (ASBA) 2021 Edwin Parr Award. (Photo courtesy of Red Deer Regional Catholic Schools)
Red Deer Catholic names finalist for Edwin Parr Award

Meghan Huizing from St. Gregory the Great Catholic School in Blackfalds has… Continue reading

GrammaLink-Africa members are participating in the Stride to Turn the Tide campaign until June 30. (Contributed photo)
Red Deer group walking to raise money for African grandmothers

A group of central Albertans will be walking every day until the… Continue reading

Red Deer Public Schools will not pilot the new draft curriculum at its elementary schools. (File photo contributed by Red Deer Public Schools)
UPDATED: Red Deer Public Schools says no to piloting new curriculum

Alberta Teachers’ Association support school boards

Montreal Canadiens' Tyler Toffoli celebrates his goal past Calgary Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom during second-period NHL hockey action in Montreal on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Toffoli scores twice, Canadiens put some distance on Flames with 2-1 win

Toffoli scores twice, Canadiens put some distance on Flames with 2-1 win

Canadian prop Jake Ilnicki savouring life in Seattle, looks forward to facing Arrows

Canadian prop Jake Ilnicki savouring life in Seattle, looks forward to facing Arrows

Corey Conners, of Canada, hits out of a bunker on the seventh hole during the final round of the Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Ga., Sunday, April 11, 2021. Conners notched six birdies on his back nine to take the lead after his second round of the RBC Heritage on Friday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Matt Slocum
Canadian Corey Conners surges into lead at PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage

Canadian Corey Conners surges into lead at PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage

Patrick Marleau poised to break Gordie Howe’s games record

Patrick Marleau poised to break Gordie Howe’s games record

Leylah Annie Fernandez of Canada serves to Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic in round 1 of the Rogers Cup women's tennis tournament in Toronto, Monday August 5, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Blinch
Rebecca Marino propels Canada into 2-0 lead over Serbia at Billie Jean King Cup

Rebecca Marino propels Canada into 2-0 lead over Serbia at Billie Jean King Cup

Dalton Kellett pulls out of the pits during a practice session for the Indianapolis 500 auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, in Indianapolis, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020. Dalton Kellett is pleased his second career season in IndyCar will be different than his first, which started on an elaborate iRacing rig in his home office in Indianapolis because of COVID-19 restrictions. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Darron Cummings
Canada’s Dalton Kellett set for a more stable season as an IndyCar driver

Canada’s Dalton Kellett set for a more stable season as an IndyCar driver

Canada head coach Bev Priestman reacts during the women's international friendly soccer match between England and Canada at Bet365 stadium in Stoke on Trent, England, Tuesday, April 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Rui Vieira
Canadian women get peek at their possible road at Olympic soccer tournament

Canadian women get peek at their possible road at Olympic soccer tournament

Head coach John Tait talks to his team as Canada takes on Japan in women's sevens rugby action at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Rugby Canada says probe into complaint from members of women’s 7s team is complete

Rugby Canada says probe into complaint from members of women’s 7s team is complete

Most Read