With the arrival of snow and colder temperatures the Water Security Agency is reminding you to ensure that ice is thick enough to safely walk, drive or snowmobile on.
The Agency reports ice thickness can be deceptive and unpredictable at times. It doesn’t freeze at a uniform thickness and its strength can vary considerably from one area to another.
To be sure, check the ice thickness before you travel on it. As a guideline, you need at least 10 cm of ice to walk on, 20 cm to drive a snowmobile or ATV on, 30 cm to drive a car or light truck on, and more than 30 cm to support a heavy truck.
Thickness is just one consideration when evaluating ice safety. Clear, hard ice is the only ice recommended for travel.
Ice should be re-evaluated on every date visited even if it was safe on a previous date. The date that ice becomes safe at a site varies from year-over-year requiring the verification of the thickness each year as opposed to relying on past experiences.
Also avoid ice that looks slushy, has thawed then froze again, is near moving water, is layered caused by sudden temperature changes or has structures on it such as pressure ridge.