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As recently as 2016, Edmonton experienced significant urban flooding caused by large rainfall events. The impacts of flooding to citizens, the environment, society and property were substantial.

In 2019, we presented our flood mitigation program to Edmonton's City Council. The Stormwater Integrated Resource Plan (SIRP) is a 20-year, $1.6 billion system-wide plan to protect homes, businesses and essential services by mitigating flood risk.

The plan requires less capital investment and delivers faster results than traditional engineering approaches. SIRP has led to Edmonton receiving national recognition, with the Intact Center on Climate Adaptation now ranking Edmonton first (tied with Toronto and Regina) among 16 Canadian municipalities for the quality of its plans to limit the risk of flooding.

Climate change brings greater risk of severe weather events and the potential for community flooding. Learn from Susan Ancel how EPCOR’s award-winning approach to flood mitigation is helping to protect Edmontonians and their community.

Through a mix of capital and operational program investments, the goal of SIRP is to slow, move, secure, predict and respond to flooding events to prevent or reduce their impacts.

The plan was developed through a detailed analysis of more than 1,300 drainage sub-basins in Edmonton, which were risk-ranked on health and safety, environment, social, and financial risks from flooding. The analysis was further refined based on public input, which was used to weight the risk categories and identify specific policies for the protection of vulnerable populations and community infrastructure deemed most important by the public.

Slow

Slow the entry of stormwater into the drainage network by absorbing it in green infrastructure and holding it in ponds, creating space in the collection system during storm events.

  • Installation of dry ponds to hold stormwater
  • Low Impact Development (LID) investments in green infrastructure

Move

Move excess water safely away from areas at risk, quickly and efficiently, by increasing capacity in the drainage system to handle peak water flow.

  • Stormwater tunnels, trunks and sewer separation

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Secure

Help secure individual properties in higher risk areas against sewer backups, overland flooding and river flooding.

  • Inflow and infiltration reduction, enhanced flood proofing, outfalls and control gates

Predict

Predict and manage the movement of stormwater through smart sensors and technologies that integrate into the collection system.

  • Monitoring and controls

 Respond

Respond through the fast rollout of flood barriers, traffic diversions and public communications to protect life, safety and property.

  • Emergency response equipment

​Proposed flood mitigation investments: 2022 – 2024

In a recent regulatory filing, we proposed investments of $240 million to implement citywide flood mitigation measures in Edmonton during 2022 – 2024. The largest investments are in the construction of new dry ponds that protect property by capturing and holding stormwater, and the low impact development program which uses green infrastructure to slow the entry of stormwater into the drainage system, preserving pipe capacity during storm events and improving the quality of stormwater flowing to the river.

Investments in dry ponds are expected to be $93 million, net of grants received from government. About one third is for the completion of infrastructure related to the Malcolm Tweddle and Edith Rogers dry ponds. At any one time, we expect to have six dry pond projects active — two in early planning, two in design and two in construction.

Low impact development work includes installation of green infrastructure at 18 commercial and industrial sites, and at eight additional sites that align with City of Edmonton projects. This investment of $53million will capture, absorb and filter stormwater before it reaches the sewer system.

Preserving capacity in the stormwater system during rain events helps reduce the risk of flooding and sewer backups. Nearly $42 million will be invested to reline 60 km of sanitary and combined sewer pipes, and seal and reline 3,000 manholes.

Award winning plan

EPCOR's flood mitigation efforts were nationally recognized with a Canada's 2021 Clean50 Top Project Award for our Stormwater Integrated Resource Plan and the team that developed it, and an Individual Honoree award ​for our Director of One Water Planning, who led the project.

The Clean50 annually recognizes Canada's leaders in sustainability for projects based on innovation, and their ability to inspire and inform. These awards highlight EPCOR's dedication to protecting customers and the communities they live in.

EPCOR's innovative community flood mitigation plan requires less capital investment and delivers faster results than traditional engineering approaches.

Introduced in 2019, the plan has led to Edmonton receiving national recognition, with the Intact Center on Climate Adaptation now ranking Edmonton first (tied with Toronto and Regina) among 16 Canadian municipalities for the quality of its plans to limit the risk of flooding.​

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