Monday, June 25, 2012

Potential Basement Seepage: Bow and Elbow Rivers

The City of Calgary is advising that Alberta Environment’s River Forecast Centre is predicting an increased flow in the Bow and Elbow Rivers that could raise the groundwater table, and possibly cause basement seepage in low-lying areas in the following communities:

Bowness, Parkdale Sunnyside, Chinatown , Eau Claire, City Hall, East Village, Hillhurst, Downtown, Inglewood, Bonnybrook, Riverdale, Elbow Park, Stanley Park, Parkhill, Rideau Park, Mission, and Roxboro. Affected residents are advised to take the following recommended measures:

  • Install the cap in the basement sewer floor drain. If the cap cannot be found, stuff rags down the floor drain tightly enough to help prevent sewage from backing into the basement. Then secure the rags by placing a heavy object on top. Plug basement toilets, shower drains, sinks, and sewer standpipe openings in the same way. (The standpipe may be located by following the discharge hose from a clothes washer or a water softener) 
  • Move valuables such as paintings, photographs and personal and legal documents from the basement or a lower floor to an upper floor. 
  • Remove newspapers from basements because wet newspaper can stain carpets with ink. 
  • Do not sleep in the basement until the river level recedes.
  • Residents who have basement sumps should check them for water periodically and make sure they are working.

Businesses within the affected areas should consider moving business records and dangerous goods from basements or lower floors to upper floors. These businesses should also secure any waste stored at ground level.

If you need non-emergency assistance or more information visit or, call 3-1-1.

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