Understanding and Assessing Impacts
Lot grading is the simple concept of creating a slight slope at the base of a home. This prevents rainfall from pooling at the edges of a house, which would then run the risk of seeping into the basement through cracks in the foundation, basement walls, or below-grade windows. Additionally, this kind of water pooling can contribute to stress on the municipal sewer system and lead to sewer backup flooding as well; which can be particularly damaging in a combined sewer system as household sewage from the entire neighbourhood can backup into a house’s basement. As climate change is expected to increase both the frequency and magnitude of high-intensity precipitation events, small but widespread changes such as effective lot grading can save many people from the hassle and expense of basement flooding. Edmonton has had in place a forward-looking and progressive flood reduction strategy since at least the 1980’s. The city has also enjoyed a strong and positive working relationship with surveyors, builders, and developers. This allowed for the City to work with those groups to create a lot grading enforcement strategy that is acceptable to all parties while still increasing the protection and resilience of Edmonton homes.