The City of Calgary Water Services continues to address stormwater and sanitary concerns in Sunnyside. They are upgrading the stormwater infrastructure, improving the resilience of the sanitary system serving the eastern part of Sunnyside, and changing their operations to better respond to weather conditions. Water Services works closely with the Sunnyside Flood Task Force, a group of volunteers who provide valuable feedback and local experience.
• Water Services inspects the Sunnyside stormwater system daily. The inspections include checking river levels and ice formations coupled with weather forecasts to adjust the outfall gates. The gates are closed only if there is a risk of river water flowing back into the stormwater system.
• Work on automating the outfall gates will be completed by Spring 2014.
• During the recent snow melt, Water Services made sure that the catch basins and pipes within Sunnyside were clear of ice, allowing melt waters to flow out of the community.
• Water Services is updating the 2007 NW Inner City Drainage Study. This study identified improvements to the stormwater system to reduce the risk of local flooding caused by rain storms. The options being investigated include pumping stormwater when the outfall gates are closed and separating the stormwater flows from the upper plateau. Currently, a combined system is used to drain the upper plateau and the communities within the river valley. Creating a dedicated drainage line for the upper plateau might reduce the impact on communities in the river valley.
• Water Services is investigating the benefits of installing back-flow prevention valves. Installed at key locations in the pipe network, the valves could provide additional protection against backups (Note: these valves would be installed in the public pipe network; not in individual properties).
• A portion of Sunnyside is serviced by a sanitary lift station. During the June 2013 Flood, the sanitary system and lift station were overwhelmed by flood waters. When flood waters filled the sanitary pipes, sanitary flows had nowhere to go. Water Services is encouraging residents to install back-flow prevention valves in their homes to prevent sanitary back flows flooding their basements. The valves require annual maintenance to ensure proper operation.
• Water Services is investigating ways to help the sanitary lift stations remain operational during a broader range of conditions, and to bring the system back on line if overwhelmed during extreme events.
I will post additional updates as new flood prevention measures are considered.
This content represents the personal views and opinions of the Ward Councillor and should not be taken as a statement of policy of The City of Calgary. The inclusion of any external content does not imply endorsement by The City of Calgary.