Avoid riverbanks and lakes along Rideau watershed, conservation authority warns

People should avoid ice surfaces on riverbanks and lakes along the Rideau River watershed early next week, the local conservation authority is warning.

Significant rainfall and snow melt on Monday and Tuesday could cause waters to rise

The Rideau Valley Conservation Authority is warning people to stay away from the banks of rivers and streams because of unstable ice. (Trevor Pritchard/CBC)

People should avoid ice surfaces on riverbanks and lakes along the Rideau River watershed over the next few days, the local conservation authority is warning.

The Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA) says significant rainfall and snow melt on Monday and Tuesday could cause water levels to rise and the ice to become unstable.

The authority also warned that water could form small ponds on top of the ice, making it even weaker.

"Parents should ensure that children understand the hazards of playing around watercourses in the winter," the RVCA said in a statement.

Any flooding is likely to be localized near bridges or culverts, the authority said, but residents are still asked to be wary of water levels.

The Rideau River watershed stretches across eastern Ontario, from Frontenac County near Westport, Ont., to Ottawa. Roughly 620,000 people live along the watershed.