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Erosion and sediment control

Erosion and sediment control is an important part of how we protect the environment. Sedimentation (the settling of material carried by wind and water in to our waterways) can destroy fish habitat and affect our water supply, infrastructure, flood control, navigation and recreational activities.

To obtain a Drainage Permit or to request an erosion and sediment control inspection, please contact 311. You will be provided with a service request reference number and one of our staff will contact you. For other questions about City services related to erosion and sediment control, please call 311.

Our erosion and sediment control work areas are split into five geographic zones. For more information, please refer to the attached map.

Erosion and sediment control guidelines

Please find a variety of resources below regarding City of Calgary guidelines and reference material for erosion and sediment control.

Drainage permit requirements

Under the Drainage Bylaw, no person should discharge, release or cause to be placed any substance other than storm drainage into a Storm Drainage Collection System unless they are authorized to do so, in writing, by the Director of Water Resources or the release is authorized under a City of Calgary Bylaw.

For information on the Drainage Permit process, visit our Stormwater Disposal Permits page.

How sediment gets in our waterways

Turbidity Examples
Turbidity Examples

Water from rainstorms or melting snow enters street drains and flows through the underground pipes of the stormwater system to nearby rivers and creeks or temporary detention ponds. Our stormwater system can act as a major conduit for the movement of sediment and other pollutants to our natural watercourses.

Silt and sediment enter the stormwater system from a variety of sources - work in or around watercourses, lack of protection of exposed soil and soil stockpiles, and dirt washed from city streets. Because the water in the stormwater system is not treated before it reaches its destination, anything that goes down a street drain has the potential to end up in our rivers.

How sediment impacts water

Water quality

Increased turbidity (cloudiness) is expensive to treat. Fine sediments damage fish habitats and freshwater ecosystems.

Air quality

Dust from exposed soil and stockpiles is a significant problem in dry, windy weather. Dust reduces air quality and affects health, safety, and the environment.

Infrastructure and property

Sediment clogs our stormwater system and leads to flooding, expensive clean-up and repair needs, and other problems.

Annual stormwater management courses

There are opportunities available to participate in short courses in stormwater management, low impact development, and erosion and sediment control in Calgary. This training is generally delivered by the Alberta Low Impact Development Partnership (ALIDP). For more information (including information on 2016 courses), please refer to the ALIDP website at