I’m pleased to share that 2022 was a very good year in Lisgar when it comes to the issues related to basement flooding impacting some properties near the Sixteen Mile Creek. There were zero incidents of flooding reported throughout the year. The High Water Protocol was invoked 89 times in 2022 and there were zero occasions when any of the pumps were activated, as water levels did not reach the point requiring activation. This could be due, in part, to a lack of severe storms, as well as the effective operation of the Automated Pump Station at the Cactus Gate parkette that regularly removes water from the Foundation Drain Collector sewer system in order to create capacity in the system during storm events.
Progress on the next two Automated Pump Stations is underway. The staff team leading these projects provided an update on the work and, like many capital projects impacted by supply chain issues and the labour market, the schedule is facing a slight delay. Pump Station #2, located at the Smoke Tree parkette along Black Walnut Drive, is currently in design phase with construction expected to begin in the Fall of 2023. The parkette will be closed to pedestrian traffic, however, the trail behind the parkette and the bridge that crosses the creek to Stonewood Park and the two elementary schools will remain open and accessible during construction. Pump Station #3, located south of Doug Leavens Blvd on the east side of the creek, is in the procurement stage and should be tendered soon. Of note, staff are hoping to work with a different contractor for this project in order to push ahead the construction of both #2 and #3 stations sooner.
Finally, the City will be launching a pilot project this year that aims at disconnecting downspouts that currently connect directly to the underground sewer system in favour of downspouts that allow for ground level run-off. Staff will inspect properties to see if the downspout is connected and, if so, request that the property owner enter into an agreement with the City for a contractor to disconnect the downspout at no charge. Letters advising of the inspection will go out this spring and any agreements would be signed following that, with work to be scheduled later in 2023. The target area for the pilot is about 400 homes in the Black Walnut Trail / Cactus Gate area of Lisgar. If successful, the program may be carried out in other impacted areas.
All of these measures demonstrate my ongoing commitment to advocate for residents in minimizing the risk of future flood incidents. I, my Ward 10 team and City staff continue to make this issue a priority. I’m also grateful to the many residents who have taken responsibility to do what they can in minimizing this risk to their own property, especially for installing a sump pump in homes that are susceptible to basement flooding.