News / Edmonton

City of Edmonton launches safety review into all stormwater ponds following teen's death

City says the review will particularly look at whether or not officials need to improve signage around the sites

Khrystyna Maksymova, 14, drowned in a stormwater pond after trying to rescue a dog.

Screengrab / GoFundMe

Khrystyna Maksymova, 14, drowned in a stormwater pond after trying to rescue a dog.

The City of Edmonton is launching a safety review for all of its 183 stormwater ponds, following the death of a teen who drowned in one after she tried rescuing a dog.

Khrystyna Maksymova, 14, jumped into the storm pond at 76 Street and 179 Avenue on Saturday, but became caught in the deep mud. Emergency medical staff pulled her from the water, but she died in hospital the next day.

“Her parents Svitlana and Volodymyr and her younger sister are devastated, destroyed, crushed by the sudden loss of their precious girl,” read a GoFundMe page for Maksymova.

On Tuesday, city officials released a statement expressing their condolences — and provided an update on what they plan to do so others don't experience the same fate.

The city said crews visited the site where the teen died and found it contained no safety hazards. Crews inspected the water level, nearby vegetation, bank erosion, signage and drainage infrastructure.

“All were determined to be normal,” the statement read.

However, the city said it will conduct a safety review of all stormwater ponds to determine if more protection is required.

In particular, they will be reviewing safety signs, determining whether or not they are clear and if they require more information about the dangers of stormwater ponds. Officials will also examine how the signs are placed and if there are enough of them at each site.

“We are continuing to finalize the scope and timelines of our internal review,” the city said. “In the meantime, we continue to urge Edmontonians to remember that stormwater ponds are functioning drainage infrastructure, and to stay away from the water and marsh areas."

The city said crews inspect, on average, each stormwater pond 12 times a year. They analyze water levels, quality, bank erosion, infrastructure and signage.  

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