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The original item was published from 7/18/2019 2:49:00 PM to 8/3/2019 12:00:00 AM.

News Flash

City News & Information

Posted on: July 18, 2019

[ARCHIVED] Heavy Rain Brings High Water Levels


Flooding occurs when the water flows faster than it can be stored. Several conditions can increase the chances of flooding such as saturated soil from many days of minor raining, as well as storm lines or ditches that are not cleaned properly. In Wetaskiwin we have both a saturated base as well as storm lines that have built up sediment from use over the years. In addition, the drainage ditch was constructed with pinch points where it crosses under a road or rail line. As an example, the ditch can handle a 1:100-year event but the culverts under roads may only be able to keep up to a 1:75-year event.

Did you know? We had a 1:150 year rainfall event the weekend of July 6 and 7. While City staff immediately attempted to contain the flooding while ensuring water was draining as fast as possible in affected areas, the high rate of water flow meant that flooding could not have been avoided entirely.

Worried About Flooding?
If you’re concerned about your home or business flooding, there are steps you can take to help prevent it from happening:

  • Extend your downspouts at least 2 metres from your basement wall and drain away from the house toward a street or back lane.
  • Ensure the ground slopes outward from your foundation for a minimum of two metres.
  • Individual and neighbourhood drainage systems prone to flooding should have a sump pump or backwater valves installed to keep rainwater and/or sewage from backing up into basements. Sump pumps should drain far enough from the house to prevent recirculation but must be at least 2 metres away from any sidewalks.
  • Have a qualified plumber inspect plumbing fixtures or backwater valves regularly to ensure they are in good working condition.

As a last resort to significant localized flooding, sandbags can be used to help re-direct water.

What We Are Doing
The City of Wetaskiwin has been focused on mitigating flooding risks as part of its 10-year Capital Plan—developed in 2017. It includes things such as: 

  • Regularly cleaning storm lines and inspecting them for failures
  • Annual repairs to storm lines and upgrades where feasible
  • The development of a utility master plan that will have a section on storm water management
  • Cleaning the drainage ditch to ensure capacity is optimized
  • Removing pinch points in drainage ditch to ensure optimal flow
  • Looking at other solutions, including:
    • Low impact development (rain gardens)
    • Increasing the number of storm retention ponds
    • Oil and grit interceptors will be installed where ponds are not possible

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