Flood Protecting Your Home

Basement flooding is the most common type of flooding in your home. There are some important things to consider when flood protecting your home.

There is water flooding my basement. What should I do?

You must ensure the safety of yourself and your family, including pets. If water is filling your basement, it may affect electrical appliances and outlets, immediately remove everyone from the water and call a plumber.

Water in your basement is usually from these main causes:

Cracked Foundation

A heavy storm may cause water in your basement. If you have a cracked foundation, you may get water. Usually your weeping tile will collect this water and transport it into the storm water collection system. Some residents are not connected to the storm system and so flood waters collect on their property, seep into the ground and may come up through the foundation.

The Weeping Tile Map (pdf) will generally show you which residential areas are connected to either the storm or the sanitary collection systems.

Overland Flooding

A heavy storm may cause streets to fill and excess water comes onto your property entering a low spot which could be a doorway or a window well. There are ways to help flood protect your property.

Water Tank

Your hot water tank or water lines may have failed. If this is the case, it could be because the tank has ruptured or one of the fittings is leaking. Shut off the main water into the home. Ensure you are not at risk of electrocution. In all cases, call a plumber in immediately.

Broken Water Line

A broken water line within your house would be rare. If you feel this is the case, turn the water off to your house but only if safe to do so. Ensure you are not at risk of electrocution. Call a plumber immediately.

Sanitary Water

A sanitary backup in your basement can be from a few reasons:

  • The sanitary main has become surcharged (full) which then wouldn’t permit wastewater to leave your home. This can happen during times of heavy storm events as storm water can enter the sanitary main and fill them to capacity or it can happen when there are blockages in the sanitary lines which backs up the sanitary water. Every time you now use water in your house, the water backs up into your sanitary lines and you may notice toilets and sinks do not drain properly
  • Your back flow valve (if present) may be malfunctioning
  • A broken or lose clean out cap on your sanitary line. As sanitary sewage is a bio-hazardous material, all people and pets should remain clear. Residents are to contact a plumber immediately
  • Water coming up from your basement floor drain which permits water from the sanitary main to enter your house. People and pets should remain clear and residents are to call a plumber immediately

Storm Water

A storm water backup in your basement can be from a few reasons:

  • Your back water valve (if present) may be malfunctioning
  • The storm water main has become surcharged (full) preventing the storm water from leaving your home. This may happen during a heavy rainfall event
  • Your weeping tile (if present) may be crushed and /or service line is blocked or damaged and won’t permit the flow to enter the main
  • A broken or lose clean out cap on your storm water line which permits water from the storm water main to enter your house. People and pets should remain clear and residents are to call a plumber immediately

What prevention techniques can I use so storm water and wastewater don’t end up in my basement?

One of the best ways to reduce the risk of storm water and wastewater from entering your basement is to have a plumber install a back flow valve on each line. These valves work when either the sanitary or storm water mains are surcharged (full). The valve will then close and reduce the risk of water entering your home from the storm and sanitary mains once the valve closes. When the valve(s) are closed, it also does not permit water to leave your house until the mains are no longer surcharged.

There is water backing up on my street and yard. What should I do?

This is likely due to a heavy rainfall or warm weather creating a lot of snow melt. Some residents will clear the snow and ice away or remove any debris that is covering the catch basin reducing the flow. Resident who perform this action do so at their own risk and should always remain cautious of hazards. Removing the debris will allow the water to flow from the street into the catch basin. If the area does not drain after clearing the catch basin, this may be an indication of a different issue and Environmental Services should be contacted. Alternatively, contact Environmental Services at 403-342-8750 and we’ll send out a crew to clear the area for you.

It is important to note that catch basins are only designed to remove storm water. They transport storm water directly to the Red Deer River without treatment.

Some areas within the city are engineered to hold water on the streets and sometimes even on residential yards. If you determine that the catch basin in your area is clear and draining, the water ponding on the road is likely normal. If you believe that your property is at risk, please contact Environmental Services at 403-342-8750.

There is water coming out from the manhole on my street. What should I do?

This means that the main is surcharged (full). The water coming out is usually storm water during a severe rain event but at times it may be sanitary sewage because of a blockage in the main. In either case contact Environmental Services at 403-342-8750 and we’ll send out a crew to investigate. Ensure to keep all people especially children away from the area.

Download our Flood Protection Brochure (pdf) brochure, for great information on protecting your home.

You can also view our Flood Resources for information about what to do if you experience flooding.

Other Links

Backflow Permit Application

Developing your Basement

Protect the Pipes (pdf)

Utility Bylaw