Heavy Rains

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Richmond has one of the most comprehensive flood protection systems in British Columbia, and the City works continuously to improve and strengthen it's drainage system. However when a massive amount of rain falls in a short period of time, it puts extra pressure on our drainage systems.

To help prevent flooding, the City implements multiple measures to ensure the drainage system is in peak condition, including regular maintenance and continuous improvements to the drainage system so it can handle more water flow. The City is also implementing a comprehensive Flood Protection Strategy.

Property owners can also help reduce the risk of flooding on their property by following some simple steps.

Getting Ready for Rain

Prepare for Severe Weather

Here are some some steps you can take to prepare for severe weather:

  • Charge your phone and check the batteries in flashlights and radios in case of power outage.
  • Stock up on essentials now, including food and prescriptions, so you do not need to go out during the storm.
  • Check all of the items in your emergency kit and grab and go bag. For a list of what emergency supplies you should have, visit PreparedBC.
  • Help out your neighbours – ask if they need help getting supplies or clearing gutters and storm drains.
  • Download Canada’s WeatherCAN weather app to receive up to date information.
  • Register for Richmond BC Alert to receive alerts from the City with urgent public safety information during life-threatening emergencies.

How to Protect Your Property

You can help reduce the risk of flooding on your property and in our community by following some simple steps.

Clear leaves and other debris away from all drainage grates and catch basins on or near your property. Don’t block public drainage grates, catch basins, ditches and canals with dirt, leaves or any other materials.
Keep gutters and downspouts clear. Don’t blow or rake leaves, grass or yard trimmings onto the street.
Recycle leaves, grass and garden trimmings using your green cart. For tips on how to recycle large amounts visit richmond.ca/Green Cart Don't park vehicles or other equipment on top of drainage grates and catch basins.
Check for areas where the ground is sloping towards your house and build them up so water flows into drainage grates and ditches. Don’t ignore visible blockage or barriers in open ditches on or near your property. Contact Public Works at 604-270-8721.
If a culvert (pipe) channels water under your driveway make sure it is clear of debris and in good condition so water can flow efficiently. If it is in poor condition contact watercoursecrossings@richmond.cafor assistance.

Additional tips for properties that may not be built at current flood construction levels:
If you're not sure whether your home is built at current flood constructions levels, contact Public Works at 604-270-8721

Drainage Tips

Download Drainage Tips for Property Owners as a handy reference.

Protecting Your Property With Sandbags

What the City is Doing

The City of Richmond sits on fairly flat land, which means our drainage system is designed to both store and move water away from properties into safe channels. The City has been investing in drainage and flood protection improvements for decades, and continues to implement measure to improve and strengthen it's drainage system and help prevent flooding.

There are multiple components that work together in the City’s drainage system. If there are blockages at various points in the system, water can back up and pool on roadways and lower lying areas. This can also occur when the drainage system is full and can no longer move water through the system fast enough to avoid water pooling, such as during massive rainfall in a short period of time when there is an atmospheric event.

To improve drainage before the rainy season, we:
  • Clear out debris from ditches and canals to increase their capacity for water flow and prevent blockages. This is generally done every seven years extensive debris or excessive growth in vegetation is noted.
  • Clear debris from drainage screens that separate ditches and canals from main pipes and pump stations to allow for maximum water flow.
  • Flush out main drainage pipes to support water flow and increase capacity. The City then uses CCTV cameras to assess the condition of the pipes after flushing to identify and complete any repairs required.
  • Inspect and clean catch basins, manholes and other drainage chambers to remove sediment, and complete any required repairs to the drainage infrastructure.
  • Inspect and service pump stations, back-up generators and other station components to ensure they are functioning at optimal levels.
Learn more about how Richmond’s Drainage System works.

To improve flood protection, the City is:
  • Replacing and upgrading its drainage infrastructure including pump stations, pipes, box culverts and canals to increase the amount of water that can move through the drainage system.
  • Raising Richmond’s perimeter dikes to address rising sea levels.
  • Regularly inspecting and maintaining flood protection infrastructure to ensure it is operating efficiently and effectively.
Learn more about Richmond’s Flood Protection Management Strategy.

Contact Information

24-Hour Public Works Dispatch Line 604-270-8721 Report a Problem

For concerns about:

  • flooding in intersections;
  • water is creating a hazard for motorists, such as blocking a lane or restricting visibility; or
  • water pooling that could cause water damage.
  • downed or failing trees on public property
  • traffic light outages
  • potholes, cracks, and other problems with street surfaces, sidewalks, and curbs
  • and other concerns of this nature.

Please note that the blockage causing water pooling in your area may be somewhere else in the drainage system, so you may not see our crews, but they are working to fix the issue.