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Utilities & Environmental Protection

What we do

We protect public health and the environment, and help all employees work safely.

Strategic Direction

We are working towards delivering on the sustainable environment goals identified in the 2020 Sustainability Direction and the Municipal Development Plan.

  • Reducing Greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) – we aim to reduce GHG emissions in Calgary by decreasing energy use, increasing our capture and treatment of landfill gas emissions, doing more with less energy and developing and using energy from sources that are renewable or low-carbon.
  • Supporting Brownfields - we encourage brownfield redevelopment and support efficient land use and environmental protection in Calgary.
  • Protecting Air Quality - we recognize the importance of air quality to health and well being and work collaboratively with partners to protect the airshed.
  • Managing waste - we promote effective waste management to protect public health and the environment.
  • Monitoring Water Quality – we ensure Calgary’s public health and the health of its watersheds are protected by delivering safe and reliable drinking water, collecting and treating wastewater, and minimizing the impact of Calgary’s urban form.
  • Managing Water Quantity – we promote the long term sustainability and resiliency of Calgary’s water supply to meet the current and future needs of a growing city and region.
  • Promoting Workforce Safety - our Corporate Safety Strategy fosters a culture of improved health and safety performance to provide quality safe workplaces for our employees.

2012-2013 Accomplishments

  • Utilities & Environmental Protection (UEP) engaged customers and stakeholders to inform the development of strategies and programs to support the achievement of the 80 percent diversion by 2020 goal.
  • Council approval was received to proceed with a City-owned composting facility that will be privately designed, built and operated. The facility will compost residential food and yard waste as well as biosolids, a nutrient-rich by-product from the waste-water treatment system and is a critical step towards a citywide Green Cart program by 2017.
  • The 2012 Water Report demonstrated UEP’s ongoing commitment to delivering safe, clean drinking water that protects public health and the environment. The plants produce drinking water that continued to meet provincial regulations even during the extreme conditions during the June 2013 flood.
  • In 2013, Council approved drainage financial policies that align with financial policies for water and wastewater.
  • The City is on track to reach the goal of 20 percent reduction of corporate greenhouse gas emissions from 2005 baseline by 2020. As of mid-2013, current annual emissions were predicted to be 43 percent below 2005 levels.
  • In 2013, The City of Calgary achieved its Certificate of Recognition (COR), successfully meeting audit requirements.
  • UEP realized lower lost time claims frequency as a result of the continued focus on safety in the operational business units including completing hazard assessments, increased leader field visits and near miss reporting.

Improving how we deliver services

  • Efficiencies achieved through the city-wide implementation of the automated garbage collection funded the delivery of the Green Cart Pilot program without impacting service levels for other programs.
  • New collection route designs were implemented in 154 communities to improve operational efficiency for both blue and black cart service.
  • The optimization of power generation at the Bonnybrook Wastewater Treatment Plant resulted in a reduction in natural gas and electricity costs of $1.2 million.
  • A reduced reliance on consulting services for utility infrastructure planning generated a savings of $425 thousand.
  • The development of a Utilities Master Plan provides for more effective monitoring and process controls of water and wastewater treatment plants, lift and pump stations and reservoir facilities.
  • A corporate review of Workers’ Compensation Board claims filed between 2009-2012, identified gaps in processes and achieved a reduction in premiums of over $500 thousand.

Flood 2013

  • The management of the Glenmore dam helped significantly reduce damage by managing flows on the Elbow River.
  • River bank stabilization efforts at various locations during the flood response helped minimize damage to critical infrastructure and private property. Safe, high quality drinking water was maintained throughout the flood event.
  • A customer service response plan was developed in collaboration with ENMAX that ensured waivers for late payment and disconnection fees for customers impacted by the flood.
  • Landfill fees were waived for customers with flood-related waste. Landfill hours were extended to accommodate waste disposal. The landfills received 98,000 tonnes of flood waste to the end of summer – which is equivalent to the amount of Construction and Demolition waste normally received in 12 months.
  • For 2014, Council approved a total of $65.9 million for flood related capital projects. An operating budget adjustment for flood related recovery and resiliency cost in drainage was also approved, including one time funding for an Expert Management Panel to review means of reducing the impact of future flood events in the City of Calgary.


Total Gross Budget 2014 – $687.6M

Tax-Supported Net Operating Budget 2014 - $47.9M


UEP Operating Budget


2014 Capital budget - $462M


UEP Capital Budget


Utilities net operating and capital budget is funded by revenue from sales of goods and services.

What services do we provide?

Environmental & Safety Management (ESM)

2014 Net Operating Budget - $8.7M

  • We develop and implement Corporate-wide programs aimed at the reduction of waste generation, fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
  • We develop, promote and pursue community initiatives that support Calgary’s Community Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan and the Mayor’s Environmental Expo.
  • We develop strategies and work with partners to protect air quality.
  • We develop and lead the implementation of Corporate Safety and Environmental policies to protect the health and safety of City employees, its contractors, suppliers, volunteers and the environment.
  • We coordinate audit and compliance programs for safety and environmental management including ISO 14001 standard which enables The City to manage the impacts of its own activities.
  • We implement the Brownfield Strategy aimed at the redevelopment of contaminated sites for the benefit of the community.

DID YOU KNOW? Citizens’ satisfaction with The City’s environmental performance remains high. In 2013, 91% of citizens reported satisfaction with environmental performance and 95% of citizens feel that the overall state of Calgary’s environment is good.

Waste & Recycling Services (WRS)

2014 Net Operating Budget - $38.1M

  • We deliver collection services for residential garbage, limited commercial garbage, community recycling depots and residential recycling.
  • We operate and manage the environmental performance of The City’s waste management facilities, including active and former landfills.
  • We develop and deliver education programs that support citizens to ‘Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.’
  • We implement community-based diversion programs including leaf and pumpkin composting, Christmas tree mulching, household chemical drop-off, community clean-ups, festivals, and electronics and paint recycling.

DID YOU KNOW? In 2013, a green cart pilot to collect food and yard waste was tested in four communities. Participants reduced their household garbage by 40% and collected 1.9 million kilograms of food and yard waste for composting, and 91% of residents supported a city-wide implementation.

Water Resources / Water Services (Utilities)

2014 Net Operating Budget - $0.5M

  • We manage our water resources and we work with other organizations to protect our watersheds.
  • We design, build, operate, and maintain The City’s water, wastewater and drainage systems.
  • We supply drinking water, and provide treatment and disposal of wastewater for residential and commercial customers.
  • We provide water and wastewater quality and compliance monitoring.
  • We maintain and repair water, wastewater and drainage infrastructure to safeguard public health, property and the environment.

DID YOU KNOW? 97% of citizens feel the quality of drinking water is very important. 94% of citizens are satisfied with the quality of drinking water.