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In May 2021, EPCOR initiated public and Indigenous engagement to understand how we can best integrate the required flood barriers into certain locations around the plants. We recently concluded the second phase of engagement. See past engagement opportunities and the materials we provided to the public. 

Thank you to everyone who h​​as provided feedback to-date

​This page summarizes the first two phases of community engagement activities. For more details, see the full what we heard reports​. We will announce additional opportunities for community and Indigenous members to get involved as the project progresses. 

 How we make decisi​ons

As a precursor to the Edmonton Water Treatment Plant (WTP) Flood Mitigation Project, EPCOR invited community members, Indigenous communities and First Nations, special interest groups, residents, recreational user groups, community league representatives and individuals who have interest in the WTPs to help es​tablish five shared outcome statements. These shared outcomes will guide our work at the Rossdale and E.L. Smith Water Treatment Plants moving forward.

 What we've be​en doing​

Following this shared outcome work, we conducted two phases of the community engagement process​ to the REFINE level in our public engagement framework, by seeking community members’ input to help us improve the quality of the project design.
  • We first sought to understand how community members use the spaces around the water treatment plants, and what they value most in terms of design. 
  • We talked with local community members, rights-holders and Indigenous Nations and communities, sharing information about permanent flood barriers planned for installation around the water treatment plants.
  • We collected feedback about how the barriers will be experienced by those who live, work and recreate in the areas around the facility. 
  • We heard from a number of community members who shared their perspectives on which design considerations are important for EPCOR to consider while building flood barriers. 
We conducted community engagement using a variety of techniques, including online and in-person workshops, one-on-one meetings, and regular project communications. ​

Project & engagement timeline

  • 2018 - Stormwater Integrated Resource Plan presented to Edmonton City Council
  • 2020-2021 - Shared outcomes created with the community
  • 2021 - WTP Flood Phase 1 community and Indigenous engagement
  • Early to Mid 2022 - WTP Flood Phase 2 community and Indigenous enagagement
  • Fall 2022 - Phase 3 community and Indigenous engagement (We are here)
  • Late 2022/Early 2023 - Present WTP flood barriers to Edmonton City Council
  • 2023 - Final design selection process for WTP flood barriers
  • 2024-2027 - Construction at the WTP

We are committed to working with community members throughout the planning and construction of these necessary flood barriers, and community and Indigenous engagement is ongoing. 
  • Following the Shared Outcomes development, EPCOR undertook the first two phases of community engagement between May 2021 and June 2022.
  • ​Phase 3 is planned for the Fall of 2022 to reflect back the input received. 
  • Two more engagement phases are planned to follow, one in 2023 to roll out the detailed designs prior to construction, and one through 2024-2027 to keep communities up to date on construction progress. 

What we heard​​

What we heard: Rossdale
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: 

  1. ​​What is EPCOR doing to support flood protection for local communities as a whole, such as through the Stormwater Integrated Resource Plan? 

  2. How is EPCOR ensuring that the proposed flood barriers will not adversely affect nearby homes in the event of a major flood? 

  3. 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​

What we heard: E.L. Smith

​A combination of grass-covered embankments and flood walls will be built around E.L. Smith to meet technical requirements, reduce the impacts to vegetation and minimize the cost to rate payers. There was a clear preference for maintaining the natural state of the area as much as possible, and participants also noted opportunities for sharing education and history with visitors. 

The following are key insights from community members’ feedback: 

  • Prioritize maintaining and enhancing existing environment.
  • Support existing recreational use through minimal amenities.
  • Include educational features that include Indigenous representation.
  • Align with City, EPCOR, and Community priorities.​

Read the full E.L. Smith Report

Indigenous perspectives

​We recognize the archaeological and historical significance of the sites of the plants; the importance of these areas in fostering communities predates the City of Edmonton itself. It was important to EPCOR that we seek out, hear, and include the perspectives of the 32 Indigenous Nations and communities with an interest in these lands and will continue these conversations throughout this project.

Feedback and responses were gathered from Indigenous Nation and community representatives during in-person walking tours, virtual information sharing and guidance-seeking workshops, monitoring activities and one-on-one conversations.

Did you know? 

EPCOR is aligning with the principles of OCAP® (Ownership, Control, Access, Possession) for this work, and continues to work with participating Knowledge Keepers and Indigenous Nations and communities to ensure protocols are in place for appropriate management of the Indigenous knowledge that is shared.​

The following themes emerged through Indigenous engagement: 

  • ​The importance of Water
  • Consideration for the Environment, tree removal, replanting
  • Allow for interaction with the land, maintain harvesting opportunities
  • The many histories and stories of the areas 
  • The importance of Treaty

As we move forward, we will continue to work with Nations to address these key themes. EPCOR will prioritize reconciliation: working collaboratively with Indigenous Peoples to reconnect with their historic lands, by creating opportunities for monitoring archeological work, shared learning, conducting ceremony, and traditional plant harvesting. 

In terms of specific feedback on the barriers, following is a summary of what we heard: 

  • Diverse perspectives on walls, berms and wall/berm combination. 
  • Stone was the preferred treatment, as brick can be a reminder of residential schools.
  • Storytelling plaques and artwork to adorn or be displayed along walls. 
  • Amenities including plaques and benches that speak to Treaty and Stories. 
  • Recognition of the use of the land by many diverse peoples throughout history. 
  • Emphasis on the importance of Ceremony before and throughout the project.
  • Continuous Indigenous Monitoring of ground disturbances.
  • Employment opportunities for Indigenous people.​
​Read the full Indigenous Engagement Report​



Now is the time to get involved!
Read through the flood protection plan website, and the above-linked what we heard reports. Then, let us know if there’s anything else you’d like us to consider by taking the online survey. ​

Take online survey

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Let's talk

​Contact us

   Ph: (780) 412-3599


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