Your lot has been graded for drainage during normal rainfall. Your lot may also have drainage systems such as swales (shallow valleys), catch basins (depressions to collect water) or holding ponds designed to control and assist with overall surface drainage. In most areas of Saskatchewan individual lots are graded according to a municipally approved grading plan. Grading is carried out near the end of construction to slope the clay sub-soil away from the house and to direct water (i.e., rainfall) from the lot to the rear yard or front street. A second grading may take place just prior to application of topsoil to fine tune the grade before spreading the topsoil. The homeowner is normally responsible for the second (final) grading of the lot.

Water Pooling Near your Homeʼs Foundation

Standing water near the foundation of a home can cause serious problems in your basement. It is very important that water which pools or ponds be drained away as soon as possible. As a homeowner, you have an ongoing responsibility to make sure water continues to drain away from the house as well as away from your neighbourʼs property after you buy your home. Sometimes this can be as easy as filling any areas in your yard that may have settled after you bought the home. Your lot is graded for proper water drainage during normal rainfall. Heavy or prolonged rains may result in some standing water in your yard. Areas that were excavated during construction (i.e., where utility trenches or basements were dug) may settle, resulting in depressions or lower pockets in your yard. Water can collect in these areas if they are not filled in when settling occurs.

To fill a yard depression, remove the topsoil and add compacted clay to the hole. Do not use topsoil because rainwater will drain through it and the area will continue to collect and hold rainwater.

General Maintenance & Other Considerations

  • Do not alter the general drainage pattern of your lot without consulting the municipality;
  • Do not divert water away from your property and onto your neighbourʼs property – this is illegal.
  • Do not plant flowers in window wells.
  • Do keep window wells free of debris (i.e., leaves) that may hamper drainage (Note: some window wells feature a drain that directs water down towards weeping tile).
  • Do fill in yard depressions with clay – where soil settling occurs next to your basement wall, fill depressions with clay and slope away from the wall.
  • Do clear ice and snow away from drains each spring to provide a drainage pathway for melting water – these pathways should lead water away from your home.
  • Do maintain a minimum 5% slope away from the home using clay when landscaping or planting flowerbeds near the foundation of your home.