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Water drainage bylaw for businesses

Below you will find highlights from the Drainage Bylaw that are specific to businesses in Calgary. This bylaw ensures appropriate water use and drainage for our stormwater system. You can also find more information in our Drainage Bylaw frequently asked questions.

What does the Drainage Bylaw mean to your business?

Highlights from the Drainage Bylaw include:

  • Minimum six inch (15 cm.) clearance between fences and drainage swales
  • Downspouts must end at least two metres away from any road or alley
  • You need a permit to pump water from a property to the storm drainage system
  • Water quality guidelines for drainage have become more stringent
  • Interceptors must be cleaned out regularly by the owner or occupier

For more information, view theDrainage Bylaw brochure.

What other changes are included in the Bylaw?

You need a drainage permit to pump standing water into the storm drainage system and a dewatering permit to pump groundwater into the system. For details on how to obtain a permit, see Drainage Permit Requirements under our erosion and sediment control page.

Prohibited substances
The following are examples of prohibited substances that cannot be put down the storm drain: soil/mud/silt, oil, gasoline, soaps, yard waste, cooking oils, grease, cement/concrete waste, or any substance(s) that emits an odour. Any substance that could create a negative impact is a prohibited substance and cannot enter the storm drainage system.

Reporting discharges
If a prohibited substance is released, intentional or accidental, it is your legal responsibility to notify The City of Calgary, Alberta Environment or Fisheries and Oceans, depending on the severity. This is so we can provide assistance and clean up where required. To report a discharge, please call 311.

Interceptors are required to be installed at gas stations, on commercial or industrial sites over two hectares, or on any heavy industrial sites. Interceptors that are not properly maintained may re-release sediments and other contaminants into the storm drainage system. It is up to the owner/occupier of the land where the Interceptor is located to maintain the Interceptor. For more information, please visit Fat, Oil, Grease Disposal.