Addressing community concerns
During conversations with the Rossdale community, we heard a number of questions relating to the impact of the project, and EPCOR’s role as a neighbour in the community. To summarize these concerns:
What is EPCOR doing to support flood protection for local communities as a whole, such as through the Stormwater Integrated Resource Plan?
How is EPCOR ensuring that the proposed flood barriers will not adversely affect nearby homes in the event of a major flood?
What are the approval processes for the funding and project overall, and how can community members get involved in those processes?
A key commitment of our plans to protect the Rossdale Water Treatment Plant is that the flood barriers will not worsen flooding in the surrounding neighbourhood or negatively impact nearby homes. EPCOR relies on hydraulic modelling from the provincial government, which is based on work by the United States Army Corps of Engineers. The modelling, as confirmed by a third-party consultant, shows that there would be no change in the water level across the flood plain around Rossdale due to the treatment plant flood barriers.
EPCOR also has programs in place to help mitigate other impacts of both rainfall and river-related flooding.
- Stormwater Integrated Resource Plan, a 20-year, $1.6-billion plan that includes a variety of actions to slow, move, secure, predict and respond to flooding in Edmonton neighbourhoods.
- Homeowner Flood Prevention Program, which includes free home inspections and a backwater valve subsidy is also available to eligible properties.
EPCOR plans to review the project plan with City Council in late 2022/early 2023.
Flood barrier design
A combination of grass-covered embankments and flood walls will be built around the Rossdale Water Treatment Plant to meet technical requirements, reduce the impacts to vegetation and minimize the cost to rate payers.
At two locations facing east, we asked participants what kind of flood barrier they preferred. The three primary options explored were a grass-covered embankment, a flood wall, or a combination of the two. Responses were nearly evenly distributed between these options.
However, the community input did provide insights into how they want the barriers to look and feel. These design considerations, which we will take forward to detailed design, include:
- Create space for recreation and transportation.
- Blend into existing surroundings
- Consider how to discourage vandalism.
- Improve “institutional” look/feel of the WTP.
- Celebrate the history of the area.
- Add amenities that support recreation and community gathering
- Align with City, EPCOR, and Community priorities.
Read the full Rossdale Report