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​Protecting the E.L. Smith Water Treatment Plant from Flooding

We are working to protect the E.L. Smith Water Treatment Plant from the impacts of a one in 500 year flood. In the event of a major flood, we want to ensure we limit potential damage to the facility and can resume water treatment to the community as quickly as possible afterwards.



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​Both of Edmonton's water treatment plants (E.L. Smith and Rossdale) are located in the river floodplain where they bring untreated water out of the North Saskatchewan River, treat it, and pump safe, clean drinking water out to homes and businesses located in Edmonton and surrounding communities. As these river valley locations present an increased chance of flooding, we have a long-term plan in place to protect the source of Edmonton's drinking water supply.

Why this is needed

Over the next 30 years, climate change modelling predicts that extreme weather will be more frequent and air temperatures will increase. For the North Saskatchewan River, this is expected to lead to higher flows in the winter and spring, with earlier or multiple spring runoff periods, and lower flows during the summer and fall.

While river water quality and river flow is expected to change due to increased extreme weather events and climate change, we have a long-term plan in place to ensure we can successfully manage these changes. This project is part of that plan and will build the plant's resiliency by:

  1. Limiting potential damage to the E.L. Smith Water Treatment Plant; and
  2. Ensuring we can resume treating Edmonton's drinking water as quickly as possible after a flood.


Did you know?

Did you know? Together, the Rossdale and E.L. Smith Water Treatment Plants provide safe, clean drinking water to almost a third of Alberta's population. We're also working to protect the Rossdale Water Treatment Plant in the event of a major flood.

Find out more

What we are doing

Protecting the E.L. Smith Water Treatment Plant during a major flood event will include three kinds of work. Click below for more information about each one.


Increasing protection to critical assets 

All of this work will take place within our fence line and is currently underway. We expect to be finished in the fall of 2023.
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Preventing river water from backing up in the E.L. Smith Water
Treatment Plant

The planning for this work is currently underway and we expect all to be completed in the fall of 2023.    View more details


Developing barriers to protect equipment and water reservoirs if the river overtops its banks
We are in the early planning phases of this work and expect construction to begin in 2024. We want to hear your feedback about what these flood barriers could look like and how you experience them in your community.View more details

Let's talk

Your questions, feedback and input are important to us. We want to hear from you so that we can design flood barriers to protect the
E.L. Smith Water Treatment Plant that integrate into your community as much as possible while being mindful of costs.

Contact us

   Ph: (780) 412-3599