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Storm drains in Calgary

There are over 60,000 storm drains in Calgary

Storm drains (or catch basins) are the main way stormwater drains from our sidewalks and roadways into the underground pipes of our stormwater management system, and eventually to our rivers.

Water entering our storm drains travels to Calgary’s rivers and streams without water treatment. Never sweep debris, dump chemicals down or use ice salt on storm drains.

Reporting a storm drain concern to 311

If water pooling on the road has not drained after 90-120 minutes, please contact 311 via the app or online request. Don’t forget to include a photo as this helps our crews respond on a priority basis.

Why is there water in the street after a heavy rainstorm?

While our stormwater system manages most of the rain and snowmelt we experience every year, it has a limited capacity and may be overwhelmed during severe storms. With a changing climate, we know that intense rain and hail will happen more often.

To manage capacity of the stormwater system during heavy storms, many streets in Calgary are designed to have a low point where rainwater is temporarily stored on the street.

We also install inlet control devices in storm drains to manage how fast water flows into the pipes.

They’re designed to prevent overland flooding by keeping water away from houses, garages and businesses and to avoid water backups into basements.

Following intense rains, temporary ponding of water is normal around many storm drains.

To address areas with ongoing drainage issues, often due to the age and capacity of the stormwater system in older communities, The City has undertaken a community drainage improvement program.

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Inlet Control Device slows down stormwater flow  

Protecting your home

There are many ways you can help protect your home during heavy rains and storms:

  • Maintain positive drainage on your lot without impacting your neighbours or public property.
  • Inspect grading around your foundation and fill any settling or depressions.
  • Regularly clear debris from eavestroughs and downspouts.
  • Ensure downspouts are pointed toward the street, lane or a swale and direct water a minimum of two metres away from sidewalks, pathways and building foundations.
  • Keep any grassed or concrete swales on your property free from debris, ice, or obstructions.
  • Maintain your sump pump. Ensure it discharges two metres from building foundations, and do not impact your neighbours or public infrastructure.
  • When cleaning your yard keep leaves, grass clippings and any other yard waste away from storm drains.

Storm drain locations

The map below shows where storm drains are located across Calgary.

  • If the storm drain is blue, it has an inlet control device which purposely pools water on the street until the stormwater system can accept extra water.
  • In these areas, allow up to two hours for the water to drain prior to calling 311.
  • IF water is entering a building or vehicle or there is a safety concern contact 311 immediately.

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