Calgary Landscape Techniques for Flood Prevention

Calgary Landscape Techniques for Flood Prevention

Calgary Landscape Techniques for Flood Prevention

The beginning of winter proper may seem an odd time discuss Calgary area flooding issues as such events happen in the spring and summer, but winter is the time for planning.

If you are a Calgarian whose residential or commercial property abuts the Bow or Elbow Rivers, you will have seen some of the hundreds of millions of dollars poured into combating a repeat of the 2013 flooding disaster. Erosion control is an often talked-about subject here in Calgary, and professional landscaping companies like us at Mirage know a lot about it.

It doesn’t take the massive amount of water that washed through Calgary in 2013 to cause damage, however. All it takes for your own flooding nightmare is unmanaged water cutting through your property endangering the foundation of your home or business. You don’t have to be anywhere near near either the Elbow or the Bow to have a localised flooding problem. All you need is a hillside nearby or a low spot on your building site. One of the best ways to combat this issue – and control erosion – is to make use of retaining walls.

Why a Retaining Wall?

Bank integrity is pivotal along the Bow and Elbow Rivers, as well as in your back yard and on your professional property.

Mirage Landscaping uses the same techniques as river engineers, however, we use them to a much lesser scale. As water rolls down hill, if it is pouring uncontrolled through your property, it begins to carve channels and supersaturate the soil. This uncontrolled erosion can result in landslides, or more commonly, a flooding of your basement, or the erosion of the soil around your foundation.

A retaining wall, whether rip rap, a large concrete pour, or a series of terraced pavers, is designed and built to impound both the soil and water behind them to allow the controlled drainage of the water. Terraces are used where expected water volume is high, and unitary walls where it is more critical that the hillside is kept in check.

Retaining walls and terraces can also be very expensive to construct. We empathize, and it may be that a comprehensive strategy can manage your flooding risks more economically.

Less Expensive Options

There are cases where the retaining wall would be nice to have, but the expected water load is amenable to being controlled in other ways. Only a civil engineer can say for sure. One way of approaching a drainage problem is to leverage the city’s storm sewer system by better channelling your water problem towards it.

By controlling the rate of drainage in your property you can prevent its surface flooding. The first step is to make sure that where possible your rain gutter system is clean and correctly routes water to the street’s gutters as much as possible. Where that is impractical, say on the backside of your building, a local perforated drain pipe can be buried with a downhill grade so that the gutter spout doesn’t build up surface water beneath it.

Along any low laying area, or at the base of a rocky and cut hill side not prone to movement, a French drain may be a viable solution to water management. In a low spot, these drains, a perforated pipe surrounded by loose substrate, such as gravel, can keep surface water from pooling and supersaturating your yard. Beneath a hillside, these drains keep falling water from cutting rivulets through your yard.

Contact Mirage Landscaping of Calgary

Whether you already have trouble spots that can easily get worse, need a retaining wall or terraces built or inspected, Mirage Landscaping is your one-stop contractor in Calgary.


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