Wastewater Services

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 including, but not limited to, dirt, soil, leaves, snow and ice at all times. Retaining walls, terraces, gardens, play structures or sheds cannot be constructed or places in this area.

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.

For more information, please view the documents and information below:

If there are problems with the drainage on your property, your first contact should be with your builder.  If the issues are not resolved, contact Engineering Services or Operations.

Stormwater Management Master Plan & Flood Mitigation Plan

ISL Engineering and Land Services Ltd. (ISL) was commissioned by the Town of Okotoks to develop a Stormwater Management Master Plan and Flood Mitigation Plan for the Town. This project was initiated as a study to define the existing stormwater drainage system capacity along with the required upgrades, and to define the future drainage planning goals of the undeveloped areas within Town of Okotoks. 

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.

In March 2005, Okotoks' growing population posed a concern as the Town's existing wastewater plant was fully loaded and had discharge limits nearing regulatory upper limits. To address the situation, the Town invested in a new 10 million litre per day tertiary wastewater treatment plant that utilizes innovative technologies including; a new bio-reactor that doubles flow capacity, an ultraviolet light disinfection system, a biological nutrient removal process and a method to compost of the systems bio-solids sludge. 

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.

What is a Storm pond

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.

What is a Storm Pond Brochure

Learn More About Wastewater Treatment

The Town of Okotoks cares about the health of the watershed upstream and downstream of Okotoks. The Town has a watershed protection program to help provide a safe and secure drinking water supply and to minimize the effects on water quality and the aquatic ecosystem downstream of the wastewater treatment plant.