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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.

Water pooling in low areas in backyard

Surface drainage problems that developed 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 (in-fill housing) can create drainage problems or highlight existing problems resulting in basement flooding, property damage or disputes between neighbours. However, property owners are required by the Drainage Bylaw No. 16200 to ensure that a lot grading plan for the premises is approved by the City Manager prior to construction of any buildings, additions to buildings or alterations of surface drainage on the premises.

What should you do when problems arise?

Most problems can be resolved with open communication. Adjacent property owners have an equal interest in effective drainage of surface water.

  • Check your own surface drainage, and see our Frequently Asked Questions for answers to your questions about common drainage disputes. 
  • Contact a Professional Engineer, a reputable landscaper or foundation drainage expert.
  • 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 – Phone: 780-423-0896 Website:

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. Drainage Planning will send you an Information Guide for Surface Drainage Problems for more information about lot grading requirements, and how to resolve surface drainage problems, 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 surface drainage conditions on both properties to identify bylaw violations. Non-Compliance notices will be sent for infractions of the Drainage Bylaw No. 16200. Property owners must then take steps to bring their property into compliance with the bylaw.

Water pooling on driveway

You may live in an area that has a Lot Grading Plan that was approved prior to the implementation of the Lot Grading Inspection and Approval program. If this is determined to be the case, then submission of a recent Lot Grading Certificate for the premises will be required to assist in the evaluation of Drainage Bylaw violations and conformance with the Approved Lot Grading Plan.

The Lot Grading section of Drainage Planning does not have a mandate to resolve disputes. We offer information and an inspection service to identify violations of the Drainage Bylaw No. 16200.

For More Information

Drainage Planning and Engineering

2nd Floor, Edmonton Tower
10111 104 Avenue NW
Edmonton, AB

T5J 0J4


311 or 780-496-5576

Fax 780-496-2865

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