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Flood Protection Plan

If you’ve ever experienced flood damage, you know how devastating it can be. Though parts of Saskatoon have always been susceptible to flooding, and flood protection measures to date have helped, climate change is expected to bring more frequent and intense storms. To be better prepared, your city has requested and received $21.6 million in Government of Canada funding to implement our nine-year $54-million Flood Protection Plan. Work has begun to protect as many people and properties as we can in 10 of Saskatoon’s most flood-prone areas between 2019 and 2028:

  • 3rd Ave & 24th StProposed storm water storage - WW Ashley Park
  • Ave W & 21st St
  • Cairns Ave & Ruth St
  • Cumberland Ave & 14th St
  • Cumberland Ave & Main St
  • Dufferin Ave & 1st St (includes Broadway Ave & Taylor St)
  • Dufferin Ave & Cascade St
  • Early Dr & Tucker Cres
  • J.A. MacDonald Rd & McCully Cres
  • York Ave & Ruth St

Why does flooding occur?

Many neighbourhoods were developed according to storm water infrastructure standards in place prior to 1989, which did not accommodate very high intensity storms.  Flooding occurs when rain falls more quickly than can be absorbed or handled by the catch basins and underground storm water pipes.  If the underground storm water pipes are full, water may flow back out of the manholes to low lying areas.

Seepage through cracks in basement walls and floors may occur when groundwater levels are high.  Sanitary sewer backups also may occur during heavy rain as a result of rainwater entering the sanitary system through cracks in the pipes, manholes, or from residential weeping tiles and/or sump pumps connected to the sanitary system.

How did you pick which areas to protect?

Our goal is to protect as many properties as we can as quickly as we can with the funding we have available. The areas being assessed for additional protection have had a history of basement flooding during intense storms, and the estimated cost to increase protection for each property is less than $250,000.

Why aren't you protecting my area?

We’d protect every home from every storm if we could. Unfortunately, upgrading storm water infrastructure in some neighbourhoods is more technically challenging and expensive. Keeping Saskatoon running smoothly takes a vast under­ground network of water and sewer pipes, power and natural gas lines, phone and other communication cables — it’s like a whole other city under the city!  In areas where flooding affects fewer properties, upgrades become cost prohibitive. We are going to protect the greatest number of homes and businesses as we possibly can with the funds we received. As funding becomes available, we will evaluate options for other known flood areas.

Why am I paying flood protection and storm water charges if you're not protecting my home from flooding?

With climate change expected to bring more severe weather, our objective is to protect as many people as possible from flooding. As with any public project to improve safety and/or quality of life in Saskatoon, such as road construction, policing, parks or libraries, the costs are spread among all ratepayers because it would be unaffordable otherwise. 

Do citizens have a say in what's being done?

Council’s decision to move ahead with the Flood Protection Plan came after hearing from citizens whose homes or businesses have been damaged by flooding. We’ve already consulted residents in some areas, and as projects move from the early planning stages, we’ll be holding open houses to gather residents’ ideas and input. 

I have a question/comment. Is there someone at the City I can talk to?

Yes! In addition to your City Councillor, you are always welcome to contact our Flood Protection Team at stormwater@saskatoon.ca or 306-986-9720. In an emergency, call our Customer Care Centre at 306-975-2476.

What can I do?

Fortunately, there are things we can all do to help protect our homes and families from flooding — many of them inexpensive or even free, while others are more costly.  Get tips to prevent home flooding.

What's next?

Work is currently in planning for upgrades in the WW Ashley District Park.

My home/business flooded during the storm on July 14. Is disaster relief available?

We’re very sorry to hear that. You may be eligible for funding through the Provincial Disaster Assistance Program. Apply for PDAP financial assistance. Your participation in a short survey about your flooding experience on July 14 will help us better understand the areas impacted - take the survey now

This project is funded in part by the Government of Canada.