Property Owners Advised of Increased Risk of Basement Flooding Due to Today’s Rainfall

March 15, 2016

Winnipeg property owners are advised that there is a higher risk of basement flooding due to increased river levels, as a result of today’s rainfall and the ground still being frozen and unable to absorb moisture. This leads to an increased risk of overloaded sewers backing up through house sewer lines and flowing into basements that aren’t protected. 

“Homeowners should check their sump pumps and backwater valves regularly to make sure they are functioning properly,” says Susan Lambert, Field Service Operations Engineer with the City’s Water and Waste Department. “All residents should ensure drainage is directed away from the home by extending downspouts away from the basement walls and ensuring the earth is built up around the house.”

Homeowners are reminded to take steps to protect their homes and property:

  • Inspect backup valves and sump pump drainage systems to make sure they are functioning properly.
  • Ensure drainage is directed away from the home by extending downspouts away from the basement 
  • To ensure maximum protection against basement flooding, arrange for a licensed plumber to install a sewer line backup valve and a sump pit with pump in the basement.

Property owners are also reminded that it is illegal to drain sump pump water into the basement floor drain or any other part of the house plumbing system, as it can overtax the sewer system placing their basement and those of their neighbours at risk of flooding and damage. 

Sandbags for protection against overland flooding are available at three locations for pickup by property owners. These sandbags can be picked up between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. daily at any one of the following Public Works yards:

·         1220 Pacific Avenue

·         849 Ravelston Avenue West

·         1539 Waverley Street 

In emergencies, sandbags are available outside the regular hours of10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. by contacting 311.

Identification showing Winnipeg residency is required in order to pick up sandbags.

More information on basement flood protection is available at

The City also reminds citizens to keep children away from fast moving rivers and creeks, and off frozen ponds and lakes.

For current Winnipeg river levels: