The City operates, maintains and repairs the City's stormwater drainage infrastructure, which helps prevent flooding and control the flow of contaminants into the Sturgeon River. The City also performs the recording of precipitation and infiltration and inflow of rainwater into the sanitary system for the purposes of reducing the unnecessary amount of water volume having to be treated.
Stormwater Management Facilities
Purpose of Stormwater Facilities
The primary function of stormwater management facilities (SWMF) is to collect stormwater in neighbourhoods, remove sediment, and reduce flooding of streets and yards during heavy rainfall or spring run-off. A secondary benefit is that SWMF can be used by birds and animals for food and shelter.
Stay Off Stormwater Facilities
PSSST! Your community pond has a secret. It's not a pond at all. It's a stormwater facility and it's unpredictable ice thickness make it unsafe for all activities. Pass it on.
Special care should be taken around SWMF. These facilities are not safe for any use, including sledding, skating, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and walking. They can be mistaken for a pond, but a closer look will help you understand why they are not safe to be one.
Once frozen, stormwater facilities may look safe but moving water is continuously flowing below the ice surface. This means that some areas may have ice while other areas may have little to no ice, making the SWMF very dangerous.
Stormwater facilities also experience fluctuating water levels, varied water quality (i.e. salt from roads and other pollutants), and temperature changes from weather conditions making these facilities unpredictable and not safe for use.
Safe Outdoor Ice Surfaces
The City of St. Albert offer residents a variety of outdoor boarded rinks and social ice surfaces throughout the city.
St. Albert Stormwater Management Facilities
Unsure if there is a stormwater management facility in your neighbourhood? The map below identifies the stormwater facilities in St. Albert. Keep off any waterbody you are unable to identify.
Preparing for Heavy Rainfall
Heavy rainfall or snowmelt can cause localized flooding, sewer backups and drainage issues to properties and neighbourhoods.
Grade and Landscape your Lot
Grade and landscape to make sure there is a positive slope away from the wall for at least the first 1.5 m (5 feet). The ground should drop a minimum of 75 mm (3 inches) in this area. Use landscaping to disperse the water more evenly. Aerate your lawn, especially if it is hard and compacted; this will help water soak into the ground.
Check and Clean your Private Drains
Clear drains such as driveway drains, area drains, gutters and downspouts before a rain event, and be sure to check them after the rain starts. While you may clear a grate or drain before an event, the rain may wash debris back over the grate, which could cause flooding. Water flows from downspouts should be directed at least 1.5 m from the basement wall. Seal any cracks between your house and concrete areas.
Make Sure your Backwater Valve is Working
Backwater valves (if applicable) are mechanical devices used in many homes to prevent backflow and reduce the risk of sewer backing up into basements. If your home is equipped with this device it is recommended that periodic inspections be made to ensure it is operational.
Remove the cleanout plug on top of the device and do a visual inspection.
Use a flashlight to see inside the device and inspect for debris build-up.
Flush away any debris found and inspect the valve 'O' ring to ensure it does not need to be replaced and that the valve is sitting properly.
Ensure the valve moves freely and moves up and down and reinstall the cleanout plug.
Check your Sump Pump
If applicable, check the pump by slow-pouring water into the sump tank. Watch for the "float" to rise and trigger the pump. Once the pump has started, the water level will quickly lower, and the float will shut off the pump. Have a sump pump backup (such as a battery backup) should you lose power during a heavy rainstorm. Ensure your sump pump discharge is directed away from the house and draining properly.
Reduce your Water Use
During times of heavy rain, conserving water in your home can help reduce the demand on the sewer system. This can help reduce sewer backups.
It is appreciated when residents remove leaves or other debris from catchbasin grates. However, if you notice that catch basin grates or other drains in the public right of way are covered or clogged, you may contact Public Operations (780-459-1557) and a Customer Service Request will be created.
Make sure your private laterals (sanitary and/or stormwater) are working properly and, if needed, have them inspected periodically.
Prepare for Winter
Sump Pump Discharge in Winter
A sump pump is an important part of your home's outdoor drainage system. Water draining from sump pumps in the winter can cause ice to build up. Below are some tips to help keep your sump pump in good working order.
- Check your sump pump discharge pipe regularly to ensure that it does not freeze. This is especially important when the temperature fluctuates frequently.
- The sump pump discharge pipe should be directed a minimum of 1.5 meters away from the foundation.
- Your pipe should be sloped so that water drains out and does not sit and freeze inside the hose. A frozen line could damage your sump pump.
- A positive grade from your house will also help minimize flooding in your home. Water that sits close to your home may flow down your foundation to your sump pump where it will have to re-pump it out. This can cause premature burn-out of your sump pump.
- Be considerate - make sure the water from your discharge pipe does not cause icing on a neighbor's property.
- Remember to remove/disconnect any sump pump extension hoses before winter.
- Most sump pump discharge hoses are connected with a simple pipe clamp that can easily be unscrewed and the extension hose removed.
- Some homes have a more difficult arrangement, or underground extension pipes. These must all be disconnected in the fall, once the weather drops below freezing, to prevent burnout of the sump pump and/ or back up problems.
Last edited: September 9, 2021