Share this page Print

What The City does to prepare for flood season

What The City is doing

The City has two priorities during an emergency:

  1. Save lives and prevent injuries:
    The first and foremost priority is keeping citizens safe.
  2. Protect critical infrastructure:
    We must ensure water treatment facilities, electrical systems, communication infrastructure and public transportation remain operational, or we severely compromise response to and recovery from disaster.

One of the significant accomplishments of 2013 was the ability to continue to deliver quality drinking water despite the turbid condition of the rivers.

The City undertakes a number of activities each year to ensure that our critical business functions will either continue to operate or recover rapidly despite serious incidents or disasters, and that critical infrastructure and public safety are protected.

Temporary Barriers

Each spring construction crews responsible for installing temporary barriers review their plans, conduct site visits and identify obstacles that may be of concern. With this information crews can accurately determine which barriers need to be built first to maximize protection from potential flooding. This information is then shared with supervisors and foremen to ensure the Water team is prepared to act in event of an emergency. Construction crews will also assemble flood kits and practice deployment of barriers.

Field Readiness

Field crews operate and monitor outfall gates year-round to protect our infrastructure, and to mitigate potential damage resulting from ice jams and floods. Prior to flood season valves that control water mains adjacent to or under the river are tested to ensure they respond immediately should an emergency shutdown be required. Outfall Operation and Pumping Plans are updated as required to support temporary barrier plans, and lift station resilience plans are also reviewed. Finally, crews prepare and pre-position pumps and other emergency supplies to facilitate prompt response once barriers are in place.

Training & Exercise

The Incident Command System (ICS) has been adopted across the world as the premier system for managing emergencies regardless of their size, location or complexity. Since 2013, 175 Water Services employees have completed over four thousand hours training in ICS and emergency response, followed up with a series of exercises to put what they’ve learned into practice. This commitment to training and exercise ensures that Water Services is ready to quickly identify, evaluate and respond to any emergency. In the event of an emergency the Water Emergency Operations Centre is activated, who then work closely with Calgary Emergency Management Agency and the Municipal Emergency Operations Centre (EOC).