Rideau River ice breaking underway

Rideau River ice breaking underway

Ice breaking operations on the Rideau River began on February 9th between Rideau Falls and Hog’s Back. Blasting will follow starting on March 7, 2015.


Photo courtesy Wikipedia

The City, in partnership with the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority, undertakes ice breaking operations each year to alleviate possible spring flooding in flood-prone areas when water flow is at it’s peak in February and March.  These operations allow water to flow unrestricted and to alleviate possible spring flooding in flood-prone areas.

Rideau River flood control operations involve a number of steps:

  • Ice control
    An ice control boom is installed in the late fall at Strathcona Rapids to slow surface flow, promote an ice cover, and limit the volume of ice (slush), anchored ice and ice dams in the river. The ice control boom increases the efficiency of ice breaking and clearing operations in February and March.
  • Cutting keys

Starting above Rideau Falls, saws are used to cut keys to remove large pieces of ice along portions of the river.

  • Ice breaking operations

Charges (explosives) and amphibious excavating equipment are used in various spots along the river to break ice apart to create open water. Ice breaking operations continue daily until the river’s flow is stabilized.

Parents and teachers are reminded that ice breaking operations will create open water.  Residents are asked to remain a safe and reasonable distance from the river.

Children should be supervised at all times around water and warned of the dangers of open water.  During ice breaking and blasting operations, it is important to keep children away from the Rideau River.

Once started, these flood control operations will be carried out daily.

For more information, please call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401).