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Developing barriers to protect equipment and water reservoirs if the river overtops its banks

​We are early in the planning and design process to determine how to protect the E.L. Smith Water Treatment Plant in a situation where the North Saskatchewan River overtops its banks. The results of our preliminary engineering and design studies show that permanent flood barriers will be needed in key locations around the E.L. Smith Water Treatment Plant to ensure that the drinking water supply for Edmonton (and the surrounding areas) is protected in the event of a major flood. These locations are shown on the map below.

Watch a video about developing barriers at the E.L. Smith Water Treatment Plant.


Click on image to enlarge

Using a combination of earthen embankments and flood walls can help minimize impacts to existing treed areas. Design concepts for discussion are being coordinated with other initiatives, such as the City's Ribbon of Green master plan to ensure that the location and design of these barriers coordinate with other plans underway in the area.

Design concepts

Looking south west from the recreational trail located across the river from the E.L. Smith Water Treatment Plant. The yellow shaded area shows the approximate height of the flood barrier required to protect the plant.

 Looking southeast along the existing fence line. The yellow shaded area shows the approximate height of the flood barrier required to protect the E.L. Smith Water Treatment Plant.

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​When the work will happen

We are still in the early planning stages of this category of work. Over the upcoming months, we want to work with you to understand how we can best integrate these flood barriers into your community.

At this time we anticipate flood barrier construction to begin in 2024. While we will ask you for specific input at the stages noted on the timeline, we are committed to working with you throughout the planning process. Your input will be used alongside technical requirements for the project to create designs that are aligned with community values, are suitable for the Rossdale site, and are mindful of costs to water ratepayers.