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​Protecting our Water Treatment Plants from Flooding

We are working to protect the Rossdale and E.L. Smith Water Treatment Plants 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.




Learn more about how to participate with our projects
at our water treatment plants.

View engagement activities



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 and ​Rossdale Water Treatment Plants (including the Rossdale and Bellamy Substations); and
  2. Ensuring we can resume treating Edmonton's drinking water as quickly as possible after a flood.

 Types of flooding in Edmonton and our flood prevention program​​​

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.

What we are doing

Protecting our Water Treatment Plants during a major flood event will include three kinds of work. This project is funded in part by the Government of Canada and the Province of Alberta. Click below for more information about each one. ​

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

In May 2021, EPCOR initiated public and Indigenous engagement to understand how we can best integrate the required flood barriers into certain locations around Rossdale and E.L. Smith Water Treatment Plants. We expect to begin construction on the flood barriers in 2024. Although there are key decision points along the way, we will engage with the community throughout the project.

In early October, we wrapped up the first phase of public and Indigenous engagement for this project. We wanted to hear your feedback about what these flood barriers could look like and how you experience them in your community.

We are now in phase two of public and Indigenous engagement, and would like to hear the community's preferences for the type of flood barrier required in certain locations around the Rossdale Water Treatment Plant. We would also like to learn which design considerations are most important to the community as we build the flood barriers at E.L. Smith and Rossdale Water Treatment Plant.

Have your say by participating in our current engagement activities​, or learn more below.

The considerations for flood barriers are different at each water treatment plant. ​

F​​lood barriers at 
Rossdale Water Tre​at​​ment Plant

​​View more detai​ls​​​

F​​lood barriers at 
E.L. Smith​ Water Tre​at​​ment Plant

​​View more detai​ls​​​​

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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.
View more detai​ls



Preventing river water from backing up in our 
Water Treatment Plants​

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

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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 our Water Treatment Plants that integrate into your community as much as possible while being mindful of costs.

Contact us

   Ph: (780) 412-3599


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