With an increasing number of water retention ponds in Steinbach, the fire chief is asking us to stay off them this winter, even when we think there is a solid ice surface. 

Kel Toews says there are many factors that weaken the ice on these ponds. 

“A couple of days ago, we had temperatures in and around the zero mark and they probably haven’t frozen up enough,” he says. “Also, a reminder that runoff from the street goes into those ponds, you could have salt from the streets going in there. So, it's kind of unstable as far as the ice there.” 

Toews says that even if you think the ice is thick enough to walk on, there is a good possibility that it is not. 

While the Steinbach Fire Department is trained for cold water rescue, Toews says they would prefer to prevent such emergencies. 

Lifesaving Society Manitoba says one-third of drownings occur during the colder months from October to April.