What is stormwater?
Stormwater is the rain and melted snow that flows from your property on to the City’s streets and down into the City’s stormwater network.
What is a stormwater network?
The City’s stormwater network is an extensive combination of pipes, open ditches, culverts and stormwater ponds that collect and divert stormwater, ultimately directing it into Big Lake.
Creeks and rivers are the natural backbone of the City’s stormwater network, but these watercourses alone are not sufficient to handle the volume of stormwater in an urban environment.
This is why every sidewalk and street in Spruce Grove is designed to direct stormwater into inlets, catch basins and storm drains. All residential, commercial and industrial lands in Spruce Grove drain into the City’s stormwater network.
Why is it important to have a stormwater network?
A stormwater network protects water quality and reduces the risk of flooding that could damage your property and the environment.
During rain or snow melt in a natural or more rural environment, approximately 90 per cent of the runoff will evaporate back into the atmosphere or be absorbed into the ground, with only 10 per cent remaining on the surface as stormwater.
In an urban environment, like Spruce Grove, where there are harder surfaces such as parking lots, driveways, roads and buildings, the amount of water that remains as runoff increases to 55 per cent.
Therefore, it’s critical for municipalities like the City of Spruce Grove to have a robust stormwater network. To keep our system in good working order, the City invests in planning, design, construction, operation, maintenance and renewal of the network.
Planning for the future
There are currently several challenges facing the City’s stormwater network.
As a growing community, there are more people and businesses living and operating in Spruce Grove than ever before, which means the amount of stormwater runoff is increasing.
There is also a mix of older and newer neighbourhoods in Spruce Grove. The older neighbourhoods were likely not built to address the stormwater realities of today, while newer neighbourhoods often have higher densities with less green space, resulting in an increase in runoff.
In addition, weather fluctuations can result in heavy rains or rapidly melting snow. As a result, there is more stormwater entering the City’s stormwater network than ever before, which puts costly wear and tear on our infrastructure.
The City currently operates 54 stormwater management facilities, 129 kilometres of pipe and 2,160 catch basins that all deal with stormwater drainage within Spruce Grove. The total value of these assets is approximately $79 million. Over the next 10 years, an estimated $37 million in planned capital projects is required to support the City’s stormwater network.
In order to minimize potential risks to you, your property and the environment, the City needs to invest in our stormwater system to keep it in good working order and avoid costly repairs in the future.
To do this, the City has been researching options to find a solution that would provide a fair and dedicated source of funding to manage stormwater both now and in the future.