Skip ribbon commands
Skip to main content


​The role of manhole covers and catch basins

EPCOR’s drainage system is hidden beneath the streets of Edmonton. Most Edmontonians would not notice drainage infrastructure even though it provides essential services every day. There are two components of EPCOR’s drainage system that are visible to customers:

  • Catch basins located along the roads that capture and move water from the streets into the drainage system.
  • Manholes which provide EPCOR employees with access to the drainage pipes for inspections and maintenance.

Catch basins

Discover what catch basins do, how to keep them clear and what to do if a catch basin is blocked.

Understanding catch basins

Manhole covers and manholes

Learn the purpose of manholes, how we service them and what to do if you notice a broken or dislodged cover.

Manhole covers and manholes

Report a concern

How to report blocked or frozen catch basins, or broken and dislodged manhole covers.

Report a concern


Catch basins

What is a catch basin?

Catch basins are located throughout Edmonton on streets and pathways. They are designed and placed so that they can move water into the drainage system where it eventually makes its way to the North Saskatchewan River. Catch basins are often referred to as stormwater drains, storm drains or storm sewers. You would recognize them as grates in the sidewalk curbs.

Only rain or melting snow should enter into catch basins. You can help protect the health of the North Saskatchewan River by avoiding the release of chemicals, fertilizers, yard clippings, invasive species and other objects down street water drains.


​​​ ​​​​​​​​
Enter content here.

Keep catch basins clear

Help keep water moving

Catch basins are the primary infrastructure used to capture and manage surface water drainage. There are more than 60,000 catch basins in Edmonton. Catch basins are curbside drains that move snow melt and storm water into the drainage system to prevent pooling of water or flooding on our city streets. You can help keep the water moving and off neighbourhood streets by clearing debris or removing ice and snow blocking catch basins.

If you see a blocked or frozen catch basin:

  • Move leaves or debris away from the catch basin drain to prevent blockage of the storm sewer and stop debris from entering the drainage system.​
  • Remove ice and snow from the face of the catch basin with a shovel or ice scraper. It is also helpful to create a clear trench leading up to the catch basin (around corners and along driveways).
  • If there are large snow windrows from street cleaning covering the catch basin or preventing the flow of water to a catch basin, call 311 or use the 311 app to request assistance with clearing snow from the City of Edmonton Parks and Roads Services Department.
  • Once the face of the catch basin is clean, peek inside the basin to see if there is water at the top of the basin that is not draining, or determine if the basin grate is damaged. If this is the case, call our 24/7 emergency line at (780) 412-4500 to have our drainage team release the catch basin.
  • You can report concerns about catch basin repair, replacement or other issues by calling our 24/7 emergency line.

With the large number of catch basins in the city, it may take some time for our crews to respond to blocked or frozen catch basins. We will respond to requests based on severity of the issue.

​Flooded roads or intersections

Flooded roads or intersections can occur with heavy rainfall or a blocked catch basin.

If you notice a catch basin is blocked and there is little to no rain, please clear debris if you feel it is safe to do so. If a road is flooded and you cannot see the catch basin, contact EPCOR and stay safe. Do not drive through a flooded underpass, road or intersection.

To report a flooded intersection please call our 24/7 emergency line at (780) 412-4500.



​Manhole covers and manholes

What are they?

Manhole covers are typically round, have holes to allow for ventilation of the sewer system and are removable plates covering manholes. Manhole covers can also be called sewer covers, sewer access covers or maintenance hole covers.

Manholes provide access to underground infrastructure of the drainage system. The manhole allows inspections, cleaning and removal of obstructions in the sewer line.

About manhole cover service and inspection

We maintain manhole covers and catch basins to ensure safety and proper drainage.

Dislodged or loose manhole covers can cause damage to vehicles and are a safety concern for drivers and pedestrians. Any issues with manhole covers should be reported by calling (780) 412-4500 as soon as possible.

For more information about our storm sewer, sanitary sewer and combined sewer system refer to our drainage system page.


Reporting a concern

To report concerns with manhole covers or catch basins please call us at (780) 412-4500.

Call to report