Storm Pond Sediment

Storm Pond Sediment

"What ideas or solutions might the City of Calgary, industry partners and communities explore to reduce cleaning and disposal costs associated with stormwater ponds?"

Calgary has over 130 stormwater ponds that provide an invaluable service to Calgary's communities. The ponds absorb stormwater run-off during rain events and help to mitigate flooding risks from storms and prevent sediments from flowing into Calgary's creeks and rivers. Over time stormwater ponds fill up with sediment that is costly to remove and there is no current use for the material.

Challenge Champion: Francois Bouchart (Manager, Infrastructure Planning)


Storm Pond Challenge

Background Information on Stormwater Ponds

We are challenging you to think differently about our stormwater ponds. Did you know it can cost up to $5 million to clean, remediate and re-use our stormwater ponds? We understand there must be a better solution and we are asking for your ideas about how we might reduce the economic and environmental costs associated with the cleaning and waste disposal of our stormwater ponds. What ideas do you have?

Our city’s ponds are an integral part of our overall ecosystem. The ponds collect stormwater run-off during rain events and help to mitigate flooding risks from storms and prevent sediments from flowing into Calgary’s creeks and rivers.

A pond has an approximate 25 year life span and over time sediments accumulate in these ponds. The sediments are primarily silts and road run-off that may include hydrocarbons, heavy metals, nutrients and salts.

Depending on the volume and size of the pond, sedimentation can involve thousands of metric tonnes of material. But in order for these ponds to remain effective, they must be periodically cleaned. Pond cleaning involves the removal of sediments, possible remediation and in most cases transportation of the pond waste to a landfill. This is an expensive process and can cost from $2-5 million per pond. Disposing pond waste in landfills also reduces the volume available in landfill for other waste disposal.

The City recognizes there must be a better way to dispose of our pond waste. Do you have some ideas for a better solution? An idea that can help our environment and reduce the amount of pond waste going to landfills?

The City of Calgary’s Water Resources and Water Services department has identified a number of opportunity pathways to get us thinking more about our pond waste.

We would like to work with you, the citizens, who enjoy and use our infrastructure and spaces every day, and explore your ideas relating to these opportunities. Could you help us find potential solutions for our stormwater sediment? Could you help find the solution to any of the below situations?

  • How can we reduce pond cleaning costs and time?
  • How can we divert less pond water waste to landfills?
  • How can we reduce the travel distance to landfills or alternate use locations?
  • Can we identify new uses or applications for sediments?
  • Can we reduce clean-up, remediation and disposal costs?
  • Can we reduce sediment deposition at the source?
  • Could we modify existing or future pond designs to help reduce the amount of accumulated pond waste?
  • How can the City improve public and industry education and awareness about our stormwater ponds?

Related Links

Use these as a jumping off point, but don’t be afraid to push the limits with your ideas. Think big, think differently and think about how you can work with government to make Calgary a better place to live.

Our Commitment

Where possible, Civic Innovation YYC will support* the development of great ideas that come from citizens, businesses and City employees to improve civic services. We are committing to work with idea submitters to test at least three of the top** ideas submitted for each challenge on this platform.

* This program uses a "low cost/no cost" prototyping model to support the first stages of testing when exploring an idea. A small budget for materials and resources may be available for the testing at the direction of the Civic Innovation Program and the Challenge Champion.

** The final ranking of top ideas is determined in a 2 stage process – first by popular vote, and then through the evaluation by the Civic Innovation Internal Advisory and Challenge Champion.

Be bold, be creative and innovate with us!
We want to hear from you.
We want to work with you to help make our City a better place to live, every day.