Lot Grading is the shaping and sloping of the land to direct surface runoff away from buildings and towards a City right-of-way (lane or street). Proper lot grading minimizes the risk of property damage due to rainfall, runoff, or snow melt.

Drainage Bylaw 18093 came into effect on January 1, 2018, replacing Drainage Bylaw 16200. This bylaw regulates lot grading, surface runoff, and site servicing for roof and foundation discharge and is enforceable for any property within the City of Edmonton.

Common Issues

Flooding caused by heavy precipitation, melting snow, or surface runoff may pose problems for all kinds of properties. Older and newer houses, residential and commercial developments may be at risk for flooding even if proper precautions are taken.

The City encourages all homeowners to take preventive measures to avoid flooding as grading on private property is the responsibility of the owner. There are sets standards for surface drainage and lot grading under the Drainage Bylaw.

Many mature neighbourhoods in the City of Edmonton do not have approved Lot Grading Plans and some that have approved plans were developed prior to the implementation of the lot grading approval program. While the bylaw came into effect in 1997, the standards are enforced retroactively for all properties.

Lot grading issues that develop slowly over a period of years, such as settlement at the foundation walls, can become evident after rainstorms or during snow melt. Also, re-grading or re-development (infill housing) can create surface runoff issues or highlight existing issues resulting in basement flooding, property damage or disputes between neighbours. 

Property owners are responsible for their own lot grading. Check out the following information and related links to ensure that you are taking the right steps to minimize or prevent flooding on your property.  

What To Do When Issues Arise

Most issues between neighbours can be resolved with open communication. All property owners have an equal interest in effective drainage of surface water. Remember that maintaining the grading area around your house and your property is your responsibility as a homeowner. Be ready and prepare your house for the potential of flooding even if it has never happened before. 

  • Contact a restoration company, professional landscapers, grading companies/contractors, private home inspectors or foundation drainage/repair contractors expert.
  • During snow melt, shovel snow away from window wells, downspouts, and your house foundation within your private property to provide a path for surface water to follow the natural grade towards City right-of-way.
  • Before a heavy rainstorm, ensure eavestroughs are clear of debris and downspouts are extended past the foundation wall.
  • Check your own lot grading, and see our Frequently Asked Questions for answers to your questions about common drainage disputes.
  • Talk to your neighbours to work out solutions. They may not realize there is a problem. To develop a collaborative solution, you can contact the Mediation and Restorative Justice Centre at 780-423-0896

If attempts to find solutions with your neighbours have not resulted in satisfactory drainage arrangements and you wish to have the City investigate, contact 311 to register your complaint. 

Development Services, Lot Grading will send you an Information Guide for Lot Grading Issues for more information about lot grading requirements, and how to resolve lot grading issues, along with a Witness Statement Form for you to complete for Bylaw violations.

On receipt of your Witness Statement Form, a lot grading inspector will examine lot grading conditions on both properties to identify bylaw violations. Non-Compliance notices will be sent for infractions of the Drainage Bylaw 18093. Property owners must then take steps to bring their property into compliance with the bylaw.

Subsequently, you should also be aware that EPCOR provides a complimentary Flood Prevention Home Check-up service that helps homeowners identify and resolve drainage deficits on their property to minimize the risk of flood damage to their homes. Call 780-944-7777 or e-mail floodprevention@epcor.com to determine program eligibility and to schedule your appointment by a Flood Prevention Advisor. However, note that Flood Prevention Advisors will not provide Lot Grading Information and will not respond to urgent requests.

For Lot Grading Requirements, Investigations and Enforcement of the Drainage Bylaw you must contact the City of Edmonton at 311. Please note, the Lot Grading staff of Development Services are not consultants and do not provide solutions. They also do not have a mandate to resolve disputes and do not respond to urgent surface runoff or drainage issues.

Lot Grading Inspectors only provide information on requirements and procedures and an inspection service to identify violations of Drainage Bylaw 18093. Lot Grading does not respond to urgent requests or active storm events. Homeowners must contact private professional companies.

Screengrab of Lot Grading Issues - Information Guide cover

Lot Grading Issues - Information Guide

Information on how to deal with common issues, what to do if there is a dispute with your neighbour and frequently asked questions.