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Water drainage bylaw FAQs

The Water Drainage Bylaw works with the Lot Grading Bylaw and Community Standards Bylaw to regulate Calgary's stormwater system by requiring that both the public and industry manage drainage and water quality.

For more details, including highlights for homeowners and businesses, please visit our water drainage bylaw page.

Report a storm drain issue

To report a storm drain issue, call 311 or fill out the online service request below.

Water - Storm Drain Concerns

What are the drainage bylaws?

Failure to comply with the Drainage Bylaw could result in contaminants or pollutants being released into our rivers, obstructions in the storm drainage system (sewer backups in the pipe system), and flooding.

It can also result in fines ranging from $75 to $10,000 and/or remedial orders.

How do I report if my neighbour is violating the drainage bylaw?

Contact 311 to report a bylaw infraction.

Have the following information ready before calling:

  • Your name and address
  • A primary and alternate phone number
  • The address and exact location of the property for which you wish you register a complaint.
  • A brief and concise description of the complaint.

Can I still wash my car in the driveway or street?

We recommend using a commercial car wash to clean your vehicle. Commercial car washes drain to the City's wastewater treatment facility where the wastewater is cleaned and treated.

If you do wash your car in the driveway or street, you cannot use soap. Use water only and ensure that dirt or oil from your car does not get washed down the storm drain. For more information, see bylaws related to car washing.

What is an interceptor?

Some industrial and commercial properties have interceptors such as oil and grit separators, which collect and separate contaminants and particles to improve storm water quality.

The Bylaw requires the regular maintenance of interceptors to ensure optimum performance. For more details, see Fat, Oil and Grease Disposal.

Can I get a drainage or dewatering permit?

A permit is legally required before allowing any water other than stormwater into Calgary's storm drainage system.

For information on the permit process, please see drainage permit requirements under our erosion and sediment control page.