Flood Control Strategy
If you’ve ever experienced flood damage, you know how devastating it can be. Though parts of Saskatoon have always been susceptible to flooding, and flood protection measures to date have helped, climate change is expected to bring more frequent and intense storms. To be better prepared, your city has requested and received $21.6 million in Government of Canada funding to implement our nine-year $54-million Flood Control Strategy.
Work has begun to protect as many people and properties as we can with 9 projects to reduce flood risk in Saskatoon’s most flood-prone areas between 2019 and 2027:
- Dufferin Ave & 1st St (includes Broadway Ave & Taylor St) - W.W. Ashley District Park Dry Pond
- Cairns Ave & Ruth St - Churchill Park Dry Pond
- York Ave & Ruth St - Churchill Park Dry Pond
- Dufferin Ave & Cascade St - Weaver Park Dry Pond
- Early Dr & Tucker Cres - Brevoort Park Dry Pond
- Cumberland Ave & Main St - Cumberland Park Dry Pond
- Ave W S & 2st St W - Cahill Park Dry Pond
- Cumberland Ave & 14th St
- J.A. MacDonald Rd & McCully Cres
- 3rd Ave & 24th St
Project 1 - W.W. Ashley District Park Dry Pond
The first project to reduce flooding in the areas of Dufferin Ave & 1st St, including Broadway Ave & Taylor St is complete. The dry pond is open to the public. Learn more about the drainage upgrade in WW Ashley Park.
Project 2 - Churchill Neighbourhood Park Dry Pond
The second project to reduce flooding in the areas of Cairns Ave & Ruth St E, Munroe Ave S & Bute St, York Ave & Ruth St E, and Albert Ave & Bute St is now substantially complete. The dry pond remains closed until the new landscaping has established (fall 2023). Learn more about the drainage upgrade in Churchill Park.
Project 3 - Weaver District Park Dry Pond
Construction of the third project to reduce flooding in the areas of Dufferin Ave & Cascade St and Dufferin Ave & Bute St is now underway. Learn more about the drainage upgrade in Weaver Park.
Why does flooding occur?
Many neighbourhoods were developed according to storm water infrastructure standards in place prior to 1989, which did not accommodate high intensity storms. Flooding occurs when rain falls more quickly than can be absorbed or handled by the catch basins and underground storm water pipes. If the underground storm water pipes are full, water may flow back out of the manholes to low lying areas.
Seepage through cracks in basement walls and floors may occur when groundwater levels are high. Sanitary sewer backups also may occur during heavy rain as a result of rainwater entering the sanitary system through cracks in the pipes, manholes, or from residential weeping tiles and/or sump pumps connected to the sanitary system.
How did you pick which areas to protect?
Our goal is to protect as many properties as we can as quickly as we can with the funding we have available. The areas being assessed for additional protection have had a history of basement flooding during intense storms, and the estimated cost to increase protection for each property is less than $250,000.
Why aren't you protecting my area?
We’d protect every home from every storm if we could. Unfortunately, upgrading storm water infrastructure in some neighbourhoods is more technically challenging and expensive. Keeping Saskatoon running smoothly takes a vast underground network of water and sewer pipes, power and natural gas lines, phone and other communication cables — it’s like a whole other city under the city! In areas where flooding affects fewer properties, upgrades become cost prohibitive. We are going to protect the greatest number of homes and businesses as we possibly can with the funds we received. As funding becomes available, we will evaluate options for other known flood areas.
Why am I paying flood protection and storm water charges if you're not protecting my home from flooding?
With climate change expected to bring more severe weather, our objective is to protect as many people as possible from flooding. As with any public project to improve safety and/or quality of life in Saskatoon, such as road construction, policing, parks or libraries, the costs are spread among all ratepayers because it would be unaffordable otherwise.
Do citizens have a say in what's being done?
Council’s decision to move ahead with the Flood Control Strategy came after hearing from citizens whose homes or businesses have been damaged by flooding. We’ve already consulted residents in some areas, and as projects move from the early planning stages, we’ll be holding open houses to gather residents’ ideas and input.
I have a question/comment. Is there someone at the City I can talk to?
Yes! In addition to your City Councillor, you are always welcome to contact our Flood Protection Team (306-986-0914). In an emergency, call our Customer Care Centre .
What can I do?
Fortunately, there are things we can all do to help protect our homes and families from flooding — many of them inexpensive or even free, while others are more costly. Get tips to prevent home flooding.
The dry pond is substantially complete for upgrades in the Churchill Neighbourhood Park.
Construction is expected to begin in February 2023 for upgrades in the Weaver District Park.