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

  • Monitoring and controls


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

  • Emergency response equipment

Flood mitigation investments: 2022 – 2024

In 2021, we received approval to invest $240 million in citywide flood mitigation measures in Edmonton between 2022 and 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. With the initial assessments of 31 proposed new dry ponds as part of the Phase 1 review with the City of Edmonton Open Spaces team in 2020, plans for Phase 2 community outreach/consultation and construction continued through 2021 for ponds moving to design. Initial design took place for a dry pond in Kenilworth, and construction was completed in Parkallen and Steinhauer. At any one time, we expect to have six dry pond projects active — two in early planning, two in design and two in construction.

​Flood mitigation work also includes the construction of Low Impact Development (LID) facilities. An investment of $53 million in this type of infrastructure will help capture, absorb and filter stormwater before it reaches the sewer system.

LID facilities are green infrastructure, and include landscaped features such as plants, grass, soil, rocks that help retain and slow the flow of rain water into the stormwater system (e.g. rain gardens).

In addition to progress made on the installation of LIDs in coordination with City of Edmonton led projects (representing 40 Greened Hectares of stormwater storage), 20 commercial properties were approached in 2021 to discuss the potential for LID infrastructure at their locations.

​Pres​erving 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. In 2021:

  • Approximately 1,700 culverts and 5 kilometres of ditches were inspected and repaired to better manage the movement of stormwater. This involved flushing culverts and removing debris to ensure drainage can continue unimpeded.

  • 676 manholes were sealed and relined, bringing the total to 966; and 9 km of sanitary and combined sewer pipes were relined, bringing the total to 56 km.

In addition, EPCOR’s internal SIRP Dashboard saw Phase 1 go live in August 2021, and Phase 2 completed in Q1 of 2022. This dashboard supports our operations by integrating multiple monitoring and control systems with geographic information system tools, and providing real-time data from a network of pipes, ponds and underground storage locations — increasing the ability to respond to flooding events. To support these efforts, sensors will be installed at 18 different monitoring stations. Design began on this part of the project in 2021, with completion expected by the end of 2022.

2021 also saw the initiation of emergency response plans for 16 high-risk sub basins in the river valley, two mobile emergency flood response trailers were acquired with equipment to provide flood protection for up to four pump stations in the event of a 1:500 year flood, and sandbagging attachment for the trailers to support the assembly of sandbags at a flood location.

Along with the assessment of flood risks provided to the City of Edmonton in 2020 on 1,300 city-owned properties, we provided similar data to the Edmonton Public School Board in 2021, which is now using the information to support their facility planning.

Award winning ​​​p​​lan

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 Honouree 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 Centre 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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