How to Prevent Flooding

You can help keep City storm drains clear and reduce flooding in your neighbourhood 

When it rains, street drains help remove excess water from the roads to help keep City neighbourhoods safe from flooding. Leaves and debris can collect in gutters and block storm drains causing the flooding of roads and some properties. Storm drains can become blocked anytime of year, but especially in the fall when the trees begin to lose their leaves.

Our drainage crews work hard to maintain 5,700 of the City’s storm drains. But with thousands of drains spread across the City, we need your help too!

Help keep your neighbourhood safe from flooding by:

  • Keeping leaves and debris out of storm drains
  • Using a rake or broom to remove leaves and debris from the tops of storm drains
  • safely clearing a chanel for water runoff if a street drain appears to be blocked by debris or snow
  • Avoiding piling yard waste like fallen leaves and sticks on streets or in a location where it could wash into city drains
  • Calling our Public Works Department If the drain cannot be cleared, or if the cause of the blockage or flooding is uncertain at (250) 361-0400

Storm Drain Safety Tips:

  • Clear storm drains only when it is safe
  • Clear drains from the curbside, not out in the street
  • Watch out for traffic and don’t clear drains that are in the middle of a street
  • Be careful of standing water to avoid slipping or stepping on sharp objects
  • Ensure adults are supervising children if present
  • Clean surface debris only - let our crews handle garbage or any hazards in the storm drain
  • Don’t try to lift storm drain grates, they are very heavy

Learn how to prevent flooding on your property

Due to climate change and natural climate events, we are experiencing more intense storms that can saturate soils and increase groundwater leading to soggy yards, standing water or flooding.  Learn how to prevent flooding on your property here.

Protect wildlife, waterways and our drainage system 

Our City’s stormwater drains help keep our neighbourhoods safe from flooding and often lead directly to wildlife habitat. To help protect our drains and waterways:

Avoid putting grass clippings, leaves or other debris into any of the drains or gutters in the city as this can block drains and cause flooding

Do not put hazardous materials like oil, paint thinners into the storm drain system, as they lead directly to our coastal marine environment. The City has a stormwater bylaw that regulates what can be put in the storm drain.  See bylaw  and Codes of Practice source control programs.

Emergency Contact Information

Flooding and Blocked Storm Drain Grates: Please call the 24-hour line at 250.361.0400 for assistance.

For non-emergencies please use the service request form.

Related Links

Rainwater Rewards Program
Stormwater Utility
Emergency Contact Information