Learn about our wastewater systems
The storm sewer and drainage system consists of 117 kms of main lines and approximately 2,000 catch basins and 1,460 manholes and is tied to the transportation network surface network. The Town has 15 main outfalls to the Sheep River from the storm sewer system (8 on the north, 7 on the south).
Swales & Storm Drainage
Surface drainage facilities, include concrete swales (channels or gutters), grassed swales, walkways and easements. The Storm Drainage Bylaw requires surface drainage facilities be kept clear of debris and obstructions.
In heavy runoff events, it's possible for these systems to become full of rainwater/snow melt; any obstructions could cause flooding.
Concrete swales commonly run along the back or side of residential properties. If a fence must be built over a concrete swale, you must provide at least 0.15 metres (six inches) of clearance between the bottom of the fence and the top of the swale.
The sanitary sewage system is operated as a self-sufficient rate based utility system. It consists of 123 kms of sewer mains, 1,450 man holes, 9,300 service lines, and a state-of-the-art Wastewater Treatment Plant.
Take a virtual tour of the wastewater treatment plant!
Grass or Concrete Swales are the Property Owner Responsibility
Grass or concrete swales commonly run along the back or side of residential properties. These swales are in place to help facilitate proper storm drainage. They help prevent flooding and damage to your property and your neighbour’s. If either you or your neighbour has a swale, you should be aware of the building restrictions related to it, as well as the guidelines related to its maintenance.
As per the Storm Drainage Bylaw, property owners are responsible for keeping swales located on their property clear of all debris. Swales must not be blocked or restricted in any fashion. Obstructions which are not allowed may include but are not limited to dirt, loam, gravel, plant material, snow, slush, and ice. If you have a swale on your side of the property line, remember that your neighbour behind or beside you must be able to drain their lawn and property to the swale. While these structures should remain clear throughout the year, it is especially important in the late winter and early spring months to remove any snow and ice which has accumulated within swales to help facilitate snow melting and associated runoff.
Overland Drainage Right-of-Way
Swales located on private properties are typically protected by Overland Drainage Right-of-Ways. These right-of-ways extend beyond the limits of the physical swale area. These right-of-ways must also remain free and clear of any obstructions and should also not be altered in any fashion. Alterations not allowed may include, but are not limited to, raising or lowering the grade or ground, planting trees and shrubs within the right-of-way, obstructing the right-of-way, or constructing any structure, such as a shed or retaining walls, within the right-of-way. Failure to maintain the overland drainage right-of-way may result in your swale within the right-of-way not performing as it is intended.
For more information, refer to your Certificate of Title registered against your property to determine if an Overland Drainage Restrictive Covenant applies and familiarize yourself with the responsibilities and obligations pertaining to the overland drainage right-of-way. Additional information pertaining to storm drainage can be found in the Storm Drainage Bylaw or by calling Operations.
More about storm ponds
Storm water is the water from rainstorms or melting snow that goes into the storm drains (or catch basins) in the road through an underground pipe system to the river.
It is the Town of Okotoks' responsibility to control the volume and quality of storm water that is released into the river. The Town helps ensure appropriate water use and drainage with the following:
Storm ponds are vital and necessary part of Okotoks storm water system. These ponds collect storm water and runoff, trapping sediment and other materials, helping to return cleaner water to our rivers and streams.
- Trout Unlimited Canada’s Yellow Fish Road™ program educates the public about the impacts of pollution entering urban storm drains. In most communities, water entering storm drains goes directly into local rivers, streams and lakes untreated. Storm drain pollution can harm fish and wildlife, as well as reduce water quality for human use.Yellow Fish Road™ volunteers paint “yellow fish” symbols and the words, ‘Rainwater Only’ beside storm drains and distribute fish-shaped brochures to nearby households. These activities remind people to properly use and safely dispose of hazardous household chemicals, rather than allowing these to enter curb side storm drains.