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Water Week Focus on Flood Protection

For immediate release: March 19, 2018 - 1:50pm
TU18-215

March 19-25 is Water Week, a time to recognize the critical role water plays in our daily lives and how it contributes to the overall quality of life we enjoy in Saskatoon. The City wants to remind residents that any home in any neighbourhood is at risk for flooding.

“Knowing key seasons or weather patterns when the risk for flooding is at its highest play an important role in being ready for any possible flooding,” says Galen Heinrichs, Water & Sewer Engineering Manager. “We can reduce our flood risks by taking advance precautions in our homes and neighbourhoods.”

Flooding in Saskatoon happens most frequently during the spring snow melt, particularly when there is a large snow base and a fast melt. Flooding also happens during extreme weather events such as heavy rainstorms that cause some flooding in neighbourhoods and flooding from sewer backups in homes.

The City has a complex system for removing storm water and meltwater away from homes and neighbourhoods. To prevent flooding, rain or meltwater drains into roadway catch basins which then drain into storm sewer pipes. The water collected heads either to storm water ponds or goes directly to the South Saskatchewan River.

“The safe and efficient flow of snow meltwater and storm water away from homes and neighbourhoods is a top priority for the City of Saskatoon, as we know it is for our citizens as well,” says Heinrichs. “Our staff work hard and take pride in these services and are committed to ensuring precautions are taken to help reduce the risk of flooding for our citizens.”

As part of the Home Flood Protection Awareness Campaign, residents can visit the City’s Facebook page to answer the Water Week Question of the Day. This will encourage people to get involved, find out how to minimize their flood risk, and share what they learn with neighbours and family.  Correct contest responses will be entered to win a $250 City Leisure Gift Card. Answers can be found on the City’s website at saskatoon.ca/flooding.

Helpful flood reduction tips include:

  • Remove melting snow from foundations and window wells.
  • Make sure sump pumps are working properly and are draining away from foundations.
  • Clean and extend downspouts at least two metres from homes.
  • Never shovel snow onto roadways or over catch basins. Keeping catch basins clear helps promote the proper water flow away from your home and neighbourhood.
  • Call the 24-hour Customer Service Centre at 306-975-2476 if you have flooding in your home or neighbourhood.

In April, the Home Flood Protection Program will be launched in Saskatoon, offering residents the opportunity to get flood-reduction suggestions specific to their home and property.  The program has been developed by the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation at the University of Waterloo, is delivered by AET Group, and is available in Saskatoon with funding from the City of Saskatoon, SGI CANADA, and Intact Financial Corporation.

The City of Saskatoon and communities across Canada are celebrating Water Week, March 19-25. For tips and information on how to reduce your risk of flooding, check out saskatoon.ca/waterweek.