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Water Week

Water Week logo

The City of Saskatoon and communities across Canada are celebrating Water Week, March 19-25.  This is 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.
This year we want to remind residents that any home, in any neighbourhood, is at risk of flooding.  Homeowners can play a large role in reducing their flood risk.  by knowing the key seasons and weather patterns that increase the risk of flooding.  Taking advance precautions in your home and neighbourhood also helps to reduce the flood risk
Flooding in Saskatoon happens most frequently during the spring snowmelt, particularly when there is a large snow base and a fast melt. Flooding also happens during extreme weather events such as the 2017 rainstorms that caused flooding in neighbourhoods and flooding with sewer backups in homes.

How  to Reduce the Flood Risk

Move Water Away From Your Home!

  • Remove melting snow from foundations and window wells. 
  • Make sure sump pumps are working properly and are draining away from foundations. 
  • Check to make sure the grading in your yard slopes away from the foundation, draining water away from your home.
  • Clean and extend downspouts least two metres from homes.

Move Water Away From Your Neighbourhood

  • Keep catch basins clear. Blocked basins prevent proper drainage. 
  • Never shovel snow onto roadways. This can block catch basins and prevent the proper water flow away from your home and neighbourhood. 
  • Always make sure to get a permit before building near or over a ditch.  Ditches play an important role in the stormwater drainage process and don't function properly if blocked.

Other Tips

  • Fill cracks in foundation walls and floors
  • Fill in gaps in and around any ground level opening including doors and windows.

Where does snowmelt water and rainwater go?

A  network of pipes collect any water that flows across the land from ponds, pipes, culverts, ditches, outfalls, manholes, and catch basins used to collect rainwater and snowmelt from streets, sidewalks, lanes, and private properties.  During normal rainfall, the water on the street, called Stormwater, naturally flows towards the low points into storm drains (catch basins ) located at the curbs of roads and then moved via a piping system to large stormwater sewer system. Eventually the stormwater flows untreated into to the South Saskatchewan River.

In newer neighbourhoods, the catch basins drain into large ponds surrounded by green space called Storm Retention Ponds. They are located at the neighbourhood’s low point and are designed to prevent property damage from flooding during a major rainfall.  During a major storm, when surface flooding can occur, the water flows overland to the pond.  The water collects in the pond and is slowly released into the storm sewer system through the storm sewer pipes to the outfall structure where it discharges into the river.  Learn more about residential storm retention ponds.