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Water safety reminders for people and pets

June 29, 2021 3:25 PM
(Red Deer, Alberta)

As kids are finishing up the school year and the heat wave is upon us, we are reminding you to stay safe this summer. Whether staying home, camping, enjoying the Red Deer River or other outdoor activities, please remember to take the proper precautions for your chosen activities to ensure you and your families remain safe.

If you are looking to beat the heat with some water activities, remember to use caution common sense to assess the safety and conditions of the river before entering.

Here are some tips for responsible river use:

  • Estimate your time of arrival and make sure someone knows your itinerary.
  • Be prepared for unexpected conditions and pack your raft/boat with suitable warm clothing, water and other necessities in case of emergencies.
  • Life jackets should be worn at all times.
  • Carry oars or paddles to navigate and avoid obstacles.
  • Use proper floating devices. Inflatable toys are designed for floating on lakes, not in flowing waters.
  • Do not tie rafts, tubes or dinghies together. When rafts are tied together, rafters run the risk of getting caught up around bridge pillars and floating debris.
  • Take your garbage with you, recycle beverage containers and dispose of discarded rafts responsibly.
  • Alcohol consumption along the river is illegal and violators can be fined.
  • It is illegal to park along highway embankments, including the QEII Highway.

With any activity, residents are reminded to continue to follow recommendations from Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health. This includes planning your activities and taking precautions to ensure physical distancing is possible, and practicing good hygiene.

Some other ideas to stay cool can be found on our website at

Those looking to help their pooch cool off are reminded that algae blooms are common during the summer months, especially during high temperatures. Signage is in place at Three-Mile Bend; however, users need to remain vigilant when allowing their dogs to enter any body of water.

Here are some tips to keep yourself and your pet safe when suspecting blue-green algae may be present:

  • Avoid all contact with algal blooms. If contact occurs, wash with clean water as soon as possible.
  • Do not swim or wade (or allow your pets to swim or wade) in any areas where algae is visible.
  • Do not feed whole fish or fish trimmings from this pond to your pets.
  • Use caution when consuming whole fish and fish trimmings from any water body where algae is suspected, as fish may store toxins in their liver.

As always, never drink or cook with untreated water directly from any pond or lake at any time. Boiling pond or lake water will not remove the toxins produced by blue-green algae (cyanobacteria). An alternate source of drinking water should be provided for pets as well.


Blue-green algae forms in water that is shallow, warm and slow-moving or still. It grows mostly in summer months and can contain the cyanobacterial toxins, which are poisonous.

If you suspect a problem related to blue-green algae or if you require further information on health concerns and blue-green algae, please call Health Link at 811. Additional information is also available online at

To report a blue-green algae bloom in the city, please contact The City’s Parks Section at (403) 342-8234.

For more information, contact:

Corporate Communications
The City of Red Deer

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