Flooding Prevention Tips for Homeowners
Prevent flooding on your property and in your neighbourhood with these tips.
The fastest way to report a problem 24/7 is through our Surrey online Report a Problem service.
You can also call 604-591-4152 on Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 4pm. On weekends, call 604-591-4431.
Already dealing with a major flood? See our emergency flood preparedness and response page.
Prevent Flooding Around Your Home
On the west coast heavy rain is common, particularly in the fall. Follow the tips below to prevent flooding around your home during times of heavy rain.
Clean Your Foundation Drains
Most homes have perimeter drains installed slightly below the house foundation. These drains collect water from your house and property and direct it out to the City storm sewer. These drains are pipes and can become blocked by such things as leaves, pine needles, silt, dirt or roots. The drains need to be periodically flushed or cleaned and, if very old, may need to be replaced. If they are not maintained, the amount of water they can handle is reduced which can result in flooding inside the house.
Clear Gutters & Catch Basins
Another precaution is to ensure that the City gutters and catch basins (inlet drains) are clear of leaves, garbage, and other debris. During a rainstorm, it can take several hours for City crews to remove the debris that is blocking water from a catch basin. To help prevent flooding in your neighbourhood, remove debris that you see in your nearby gutters. After a snowfall, keeping the catch basins clear from snow will also help prevent flooding when the snow melts or when we have a “rain on snow” storm event.
Clear Ditches & Culverts
If you have an open ditch along your property, it is important to check that the ditch and culverts are clear. This includes inside the culvert. It is common for our crews to remove milk jugs, soccer balls, and other items from blocked driveway culverts.
Roof Drains & Splash Pads
If your down pipes are connected to a hole near the house foundation, your down pipes are likely connected to your perimeter drains. These down pipes take rainfall from your roof gutters to the perimeter drains around your house foundation. This can cause excessive flow to your foundation drains and result in flooding of your house. To prevent this, direct your home’s down pipes onto splash pads. This allows rainfall from your roof to soak into your lawn and garden.
After periods of heavy snowfall, these are some additional steps residents should take to protect their properties from flooding.
- If you are aware of a catch basin located on your street adjacent to your property, remove any snow from its surface. Snow covered catch basins prevent the melting snow from properly draining into the City of Surrey's storm sewer system. This may result in water ponding and potentially impacting properties within close proximity to the catch basins.
- Clear any drains you may have on your own property to help drain water away from your house.
- Motorists, take extra precautions when travelling. Puddles on streets may be deeper than what they appear and may cause loss of vehicle control.
Remember also following periods of heavy snowfall to stay away from all streams and fast flowing waters. The higher water volume will make water flow faster and stronger than usual. You should always watch for falling ice and snow from roofs because warmer wet weather can causes snow pack on roofs to become unstable and potentially dangerous to those passing nearby. Be sure to take every caution to ensure your safety and that of your friends and neighbours.
Dealing with a major flood? See our emergency flood preparedness page.