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The City of Whitehorse strives to provide information to members of the media in a timely fashion that respects the print, radio and television deadlines.

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Whistle Bend Stormwater Management System Update

Post Date:08/05/2019 11:10 AM

Whitehorse – The City of Whitehorse and the Government of Yukon continue to work on implementing an effective stormwater management system in Whistle Bend. The primary function of the pond is to collect and store stormwater from Whistle Bend. It is the first stage of the overall system that will include outfall infrastructure as more people make Whistle Bend home.

Algae growth in stormwater ponds is normal but managing the nutrient (phosphorus and nitrogen) loads, which result in algae production, is an important part of ensuring a healthy aquatic ecosystem.

The Government of Yukon is leading the development of the overall stormwater management plan and the City of Whitehorse is responsible for the operations and maintenance of the current system. Addressing higher than normal algae production in the pond requires a coordinated and comprehensive approach by both parties. 

The Government of Yukon is exploring both short and long term management strategies to reduce, treat and manage nutrient loading at the pond. Pond water samples are being taken to characterize nutrient concentrations in the pond. This data will contribute to determining future upgrades or management strategies, which may include one or more of the following:

  • reduce nutrients entering the pond;
  • adding structures to inhibit algae growth;
  • enhanced aeration; and/or
  • additional riparian vegetation. 

The City has taken a number of measures to reduce or remove algae from the pond, including:

  • adding dye to the pond water to reduce heat and light absorption, which promote algae growth;
  • applying Algaecide to the water;
  • physically removing algae from the shoreline; 
  • planting aquatic vegetation to help stabilize the shoreline and provide nutrient uptake;
  • operating and repairing the existing aeration system, water fountain and intake screen, which has been overwhelmed by algae growth.

We thank Whistle Bend residents for their patience, as we develop an understanding of the nutrient loads and sources and determine the best set of solutions for the short and long term.

Residents can help do their part by reducing their use of fertilizers in areas around the pond and recognize that:

  • The primary function of the pond is part of the overall stormwater system and some algae growth is expected; and
  • Swimming and other recreational activities in or on the pond were never intended goals and are not permitted.

Residents can expect to receive further information from the City of Whitehorse as the work outlined above is advanced.

For more information, please contact Taylor Eshpeter, Manager Engineering Services at taylor.eshpeter@whitehorse.ca or 689-2143.

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