When the ground absorbs water, it's either absorbed by the soil like a sponge or raises the level of the underground water table.
This water can seep through the soil and reach the foundation of your home. Water can work its way into your basement through cracks and holes or through joints where the structure meets the foundation.
Basement flooding and seepage is one of the types of flooding that can happen in Calgary.
What to do during basement seepage or flooding
If water seepage happens, please stay out of your basement. There are a number of safety issues that can happen such as water level reaching electric outlets, possible contamination, or gas leaks.
To report basement seepage, please call 311 or complete an online 311 request below:
Water - Basement Seepage
Always call 911 in an emergency where you are in a dangerous situation, including if you can smell gas or if the water is above the electrical outlets. The safety of you and others is most important and you should evacuate immediately when necessary.
The City of Calgary is not responsible for basement flooding. The City will only assess the flooding situation. The City of Calgary Water Services also does not pump water out of basements. It is the responsibility of the property owner.
Tips for basement seepage prevention
- Clean and check eaves troughs
- Position downspouts away from your house and neighbours but towards the front or rear of your property (at least six feet from your foundation)
- Landscape strategically to allow water to drain away from the foundation
- Waterproof cracks in your foundation walls/sidewalks
Using a sump pump
Some houses have a sump pump, which redirects water away from the house to where it won't present a problem.
Sump pump tips:
Do not allow water to drain directly onto neighbouring properties, lanes, sidewalks, boulevards, streets, or into a foundation drain or weeping tile - per theCommunity Standards Bylaw.
If your property has a sump pump, it is the homeowners' responsibility to maintain it. Basement seepage due to a sump pump malfunction is also the homeowners' responsibility.
The city does not respond to these calls. If there is an issue with your sump pump, you may want to contact a certified professional such as a plumber.