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Be prepared: Spring cleaning and landscaping tips for flood prevention

For immediate release: May 10, 2018 - 10:00am

It’s finally time for spring yard clean-up and planting in Saskatoon with warmer weather and thawed gardens. Mid-May is when many people begin planning their landscaping projects and picking up planting materials. It’s also National Emergency Preparedness Week and the City is sharing spring cleaning and seasonal maintenance best practices to prepare for spring and summer rain storms.  

The theme for national emergency preparedness month this year is Be Prepared. The frequency and severity of extreme weather is increasing due to climate change, exposing many homes to possible basement flooding. A homeowner’s best defense is to understand flood risks and take preventative action before the next big storm hits. 

Tips for spring cleaning and seasonal maintenance (for a visual, see Top Actions for Home Flood Protection (PDF)):

  1. Remove debris from nearest storm drain for proper street drainage.
  2. Correct grading around your home to keep water at least 2 metres away from foundation.
  3. Clean eaves troughs and extend downspouts at least 2 metres.
  4. Install window wells that sit 10-15 centimetres (4-6 inches) above ground with a cover for extra protection.
  5. Test your sump pump each season to make sure it’s working and consider a back-up battery so that it keeps pumping in a power outage.
  6. Keep floor drains clear of debris and remove items that could block water flowing to your floor drain.
  7. Remove or place valuables stored in your basement in watertight containers that are raised off the floor.

Saskatoon residents are also eligible for a subsidized (free in some instances) personalized flood-risk evaluation of their property and home to identify risks and opportunities to minimize damage if flooding occurs. The City of Saskatoon and SGI CANADA are sponsoring the Home Flood Protection Program, a flood risk reduction education program developed by the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation at the University of Waterloo.  

Visit to register for the Home Flood Protection Program, and access flood prevention tips, tricks and resources for home flood prevention and mitigation.