Spring melt concerns

Spring melt is underway, and the majority of pooling along roadways and in ditches will be left to melt naturally over the next few days. 

When there is an immediate threat of flood to homes, businesses or roadways, please call the County 24/7 at 780-417-7100. 

All other non-urgent drainage concerns can be submitted through County Connect.

Last modified: March 13, 2024, 3:47 p.m.

Having water issues?

Water and drainage issues can result from a number of factors. If you are experiencing water issues on your property, please call one of the numbers outlined below.

Sewer back-up
If you are having a sewer backup or basement flooding please call the 24-hour emergency number (listed above) and an operator will call you back within one hour anytime of the day or night. Learn how to prevent sewer backups before they happen.

Culvert, catch basins or ditch maintenance
Blocked or damaged culverts or catch basins will prevent the proper flow of water.

Ponding on property or existing lot grading issues
Proper lot grading is required to ensure proper surface drainage away from structures such as your home or garage. 

For new home lot grading questions or inspections please call Planning and Development Services at 780-464-8080.

Beaver dam
Beaver activity can interfere with the proper flow of water in rural areas.

Spring snowmelt

As the snow melts, you can expect to see water accumulating in drainage ditches, parks, ponds and curb lines. Large amounts of water in farmers’ fields and other low-lying areas is common—it’s all a natural part of spring thaw.

To protect your property from potential drainage issues, take the following steps:

  • Check your culverts and open up any blockages
  • Keep stormwater drains clear of debris and ice
  • Clear debris out of eavestroughs
  • Point downspouts away from your home
  • Make sure your sump pump is draining
  • Double check that your weeping tiles are in working order

Frozen culverts and drainage concerns

When warmer temperatures hit, we see an increase in concerns about frozen culverts and blocked ditches.

Locations are prioritized as follows:

  1. Flooding to private homes/infrastructure
  2. Flooding and potential damage to public infrastructure
  3. Water in ditch and/or on land without risk to infrastructure

Please report any issues through County Connect or call Transportation Engineering and Operations at 780-417-7100.

Freeze-thaw conditions

Freeze-thaw cycles are common during winter months. Melting snow drains from roofs, yards and driveways and can create icy conditions when temperatures freeze again. Melting snow and ice from roadways can build up and plug the gutter causing water to puddle and run up and over sidewalks.

In early spring, underground stormwater pipes from catch basins can freeze. This may cause a blockage and prevent water from draining from streets. If you notice a frozen storm drain please contact Transportation Engineering and Operations through County Connect.

How you can help:

  • Spread sand/gravel to give pedestrians traction. Free rock chips are available throughout Strathcona County.
  • Keep sidewalks and gutters clear of snow
  • Don’t shovel snow on the road to prevent build up around gutters and drains.

Stormwater management

Strathcona County’s stormwater management system gathers rainfall and surface water runoff to help reduce flooding. Find out what you can do to help keep the water flowing where it needs to go.

Spring stormwater odours

Stormwater moving through the storm drains may have a rotten egg odour due to vegetation breakdown from the stormwater ponds. Once spring thaw is over, the odours will disappear.

How you can help:

  • Keep stormwater drains clear. Removing snow and ice from drains during the winter will help them do their job in the spring. Clearing away debris will also improve water flow to these areas. You can even make it official and adopt your storm drain.
  • Prepare for the melt. Ensure your eavestrough, sump pump drain and weeping tile flapper are in working order to prepare for the "big thaw." If you notice your sump pump discharge is spilling water out of the riser pipe coming out of the ground next to your house, the sump pump discharge line may be frozen. Attach an open trough to the line and direct the water at least 1.5 metres away from your foundation. Once the ground thaws, the discharge pipe will return to normal and you can remove the trough.

Heavy rainfall

During heavy rainfall, some ponding and higher water is normal. The stormwater system will catch up quickly and drain the water where it needs to go. Learn what you can do to help reduce flooding during heavy rainfall.

Flooding emergency

You can learn about how to stay prepared in the event of a flooding emergency by using our 72 hour emergency preparedness resource.

Further information:

Drainage issues
Transportation Engineering and Operations
Phone: 780-417-7100
Submit a County Connect related to Drainage and Flooding

Sump pumps, sewer backup and flooded basements
Phone: 780-467-7785 (24 hrs)
Email: scutilities@strathcona.ca

Related topics

Last updated: Wednesday, March 13, 2024
Page ID: 37461