Good lot drainage directs stormwater runoff away from and off permanent structures (homes and garages) to public roadways, landscaped areas, or drainage swales where runoff can eventually find its way into a storm drain.
When your neighbourhood was designed, a drainage plan was created for each lot. There are things you, as a homeowner, can do to ensure you have good lot drainage.
- Get a copy of your lot grading plan from the City by contacting 306-777-7000 or submitting a service request.
- Maintain your yard and property swales as originally designed. These are typically along the shared property lines.
- Keep swales and storm drains free of debris.
- Talk with and consult your Neighbours about work you plan to do that could impact drainage in any way.
- Talk to the City about any stormwater infrastructure in your yard that you don’t understand.
- Discharge water from your roof or sump pump directly onto sidewalks, stairs or neighbouring property.
- Block or fill a swale with anything that could obstruct or alter the flow of water.
- Raise or lower the landscaping of your yard along the shared property lines or swales. Changing the grades could harm your entire neighbourhood.
- Build raised garden beds or patios that could potentially change the flow of water.
- Use the fence as a retaining wall. Retaining walls should be at least 15 centimetres away from the property line or fence.
Neighbourhood drainage is designed using City standards by a professional engineer. The design considers how drainage works for entire blocks and for each individual lot. Once the lot grading plan has been approved by the City and the lot has been graded and sodded by the home builder, the City issues a lot grading certificate.
Since 1974, the City has required a lot grading certificate prepared by a legal surveyor. This certificate provides verification, upon grading completion, that the lot grades are correct to design. The approved lot grades contained within your plan are the elevations your lot should be at to be in compliance with the Bylaw.
The Wastewater and Storm Water Bylaw provides regulation for lot drainage on both residential and commercial properties. As a homeowner you should ensure to consult the bylaw for an understanding of compliance.
There are a few quick checks you can do to make sure you comply:
- Make sure that your downspouts are a minimum of 1.0 metre away from the foundations of buildings by using a proper downspout extension.
- If a downspout extension cannot be used, use a splash pad to direct the water a minimum of 1.0 metre away from the foundation.
- Make sure the water from the roof or sump pump is discharged on your property a minimum of 2.0 metres from the shared property lines.
- Do not drain your downspout or sump pump onto your neighbour's property.
- Ensure that you understand lot grades and that your yard is graded according to your approved lot grading plan.
- Do not alter or block a storm drain or any other publicly owned infrastructure.
If there are drainage issues, the City encourages you to discuss the issue with your neighbours to come up with a solution that works for everyone. Often a drainage issue can be resolved with a few hours of grading work with a shovel or other simple tools.
The City can provide information, surveying and an inspection to support you in working through a solution with your neighbour. If attempts to find a solution with your neighbour have not resulted in a satisfactory drainage solution, you can contact the City and we will investigate all properties involved.
If you request a lot drainage inspection or need support to solve your drainage issue, the City will investigate.
The City will begin the investigation with a visit to your property to discuss the drainage issue and observe it. You will be provided with a copy of your approved lot grades for your property.
If the issue cannot be resolved with a simple inspection and recommendations, the City will conduct a survey on your property and other properties as required. If your property is involved, the City will send a letter requesting access to your property to do the survey. The survey takes about 15 minutes to complete.
Once the survey information has been collected and reviewed, the City compares the results with the approved lot grading plan for your neighbourhood. All properties surveyed will be provided with the results for their property and direction if any action is required. The City will provide survey support for you to help determine where your lot needs soil removed or placed to bring your grades back into compliance. You are given 30 days from the date of notification to resolve any issues.
The City will work with you and your neighbouring properties to resolve drainage issues.
Homeowners will be given three separate written notifications with deadlines to either respond to the notification or bring their lot grades back into compliance. If a homeowner does not fix their drainage issues after the City has provided these three notifications, the City will start the legal process for enforcement to resolve the drainage issue.
Questions & Answers
View some of the common lot drainage questions and answers.
My yard has excessive water ponding every time a big rainstorm occurs. What can I do?
The clay soil in Regina tends to shift and settle over time. Check the slope of your yard, fill in low spots and ensure that your grading matches the approved grading plan. This plan can be provided by the City upon request. If the drainage issue cannot be resolved, you can request the City to assign a Drainage Control Inspector to investigate. The Drainage Control Inspector will contact you to conduct the investigation.
I have a problem with my neighbour’s downspout or sump pump discharge hose draining onto my property and causing issues.
The City encourages you to discuss the issue with your neighbour. The water needs to be 1.0 metres (3.3 feet) away from the foundation of the home and 2.0 metres (6.5 feet) as measured inside the rear property line.
For side yard drainage, the water must not discharge onto the adjacent property and be directed to the front or rear of the property. If this is not achievable, it must be directed onto a splash pad.
If requested, a Drainage Control Inspector can contact you to investigate.
My neighbour has built up their yard or landscaped and now I’m having drainage issues. What can I do?
The City encourages you to have a conversation with your neighbour to resolve the issue. Please examine your own lot grading and be prepared to make changes.
If the drainage issue cannot be resolved, the City will assign a Drainage Control Inspector to investigate. The Drainage Control Inspector will contact you and an investigation will be conducted.
I would like someone to inspect my lot elevations, as I’m not sure if I’m within the original design grade.
The City will send a Drainage Control Inspector to your property to investigate. A copy of your approved lot grades will be provided by the City. The Drainage Control Inspector will need access to your property to investigate and survey. The survey will take about 15 minutes to complete.
I want to landscape my yard. Do I need a permit to do so?
You do not need a permit to landscape your property. If the landscaping project includes the construction of a gazebo or other structure, please check with our Building Permits area to ensure you are in compliance of the Building Code. As the owner of your property, you are responsible during your project to maintain your lot grades according to the approved plan. If you require a copy of the plan, the City can provide a copy and assist with understanding it.