Site Accessibility Information Access Key 1 to Skip to Top Navigation Access Key 2 to Skip to the Three One One link Access Key 3 to Skip to City of Winnipeg Main Menu Access Key 4 to Skip to Left Navigation Menu Access Key 5 to Skip to Content area Access Key 6 to Skip to Right Sidebar content area Access Key 7 to Skip to Footer Links
City of Winnipeg
|  Link to the City of Winnipeg French websiteFrançais  |
COVID-19: City of Winnipeg response and latest updates on City facilities and services COVID-19 : Mesures prises par la Ville de Winnipeg et dernières nouvelles sur les installations et services municipaux

Residential lot grading

Lot drainage

Lot drainage

There are three types of lot drainage:

Rear-to-front drainage

Rear to front lot drainage image
Click to enlarge

  • The rear lot line is the high point on the lot.
  • Surface water on the property is drained to side yard swales along the common lot line and out the front of the property toward the street.
Split drainage to a back lane

Split drainage to a back lane image
Click to enlarge

  • The highest elevation is set near the midpoint on the property.
  • Surface drainage then flows to the street and to the rear lot line and onto the lane.
Split drainage to a rear yard swale

Split drainage to a rear yard swale image
Click to enlarge

  • The highest elevation is set near the midpoint on the property.
  • Surface drainage then flows to the street and to the rear lot line and onto a rear yard swale.

Note: It is very important to maintain elevations according to plan in a swale easement. Any change of elevation will affect not only the owner but also the neighbours.

Top of page

Swale easements

A swale easement is an agreement that is registered against a property. This agreement reserves a portion of land for land drainage purposes so that neighboring properties may properly drain their storm water runoff.

Swale easements:

  • are required for drainage swales in some areas,
  • are shown on the approved lot grading plan and lot grade permit,
  • must be maintained by the property owner.

Drainage swales:

Photo of a swale

  • are shallow-sided, sloped ditches designed to carry surface run-off from a property, towards the nearest street, lane, catch basin or stormwater retention basins,
  • are located along common property lines and sometimes at the back of a lot,
  • should be graded in accordance with the approved lot grading plan,
  • must be maintained by the property owner.

Do not cover any catch basins located in swale easements. Doing so will affect drainage on your property and possibly your neighbour’s. Surface water must flow to the catch basins as part of the overall drainage design.

Swales must be unobstructed and free draining.

  • Do not plant trees in a swale, as over time, a large tree can affect the drainage.
  • Do not fill in the bottom with decorative landscaping material above the design grade as it will dam water when frozen.
  • Keep fences at least 150 mm (6 inches) above the bottom of a swale to allow water to pass under it.
  • Shovel off the snow in spring to allow for earlier drainage as the snow melts.

Top of page

Perching

perching

  • is the sloping of soil away from a structure, directing surface drainage away from the foundation and window wells,
  • reduces the volume of water flowing to the weeping tiles.

Build up the ground around your house so that water flows away from your foundation. Also, examine sidewalks, patios, decks and driveways. These can settle overtime and cause water to drain back towards the house.

Top of page

Window wells

Photo of window well

  • are rounded metal or concrete walls installed around basement windows,
  • allow the ground around the basement/foundation to be raised to achieve proper slope away from the foundation.
Last updated: February 24, 2014

Did you know?

If you live in a condominium development, you and your fellow members of the condominium corporation are responsible for all drainage within the site.

Was this information helpful?

How can we make it better?

Any personal information included in your comments is collected by the City of Winnipeg under the authority of section 36(1)(b) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act for the purpose of improving our website and will not be used or disclosed for any other purposes, except as authorized by law. Contact the Corporate Access and Privacy Officer by mail (City Clerk’s Department, Susan A. Thompson Building, 510 Main Street, Winnipeg MB, R3B 1B9) or by telephone (311) if you have any questions about the collection of this information.

Ces renseignements sont-ils utiles?

Quelles améliorations pourrions-nous faire?

Les renseignements personnels qui sont inclus dans vos commentaires sont recueillis par la Ville de Winnipeg en conformité avec l’alinéa 36(1)b) de la Loi sur l’accès à l’information et la protection de la vie privée dans le but d’améliorer notre site Web et ne seront ni utilisés ni divulgués pour d’autres raisons, sauf dans les cas où cela est autorisé par la loi. Communiquez avec l’agent de l’accès à l’information et de la protection de la vie privée par courrier au Bureau du greffier, immeuble Susan-A.-Thompson, 510, rue Main, Winnipeg (Manitoba) R3B 1B9, ou par téléphone (311) si vous avez des questions sur la collecte de ces renseignements.