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Sump Pump Discharge

Sump pumps remove water that is collected from a building’s foundation and are commonly found in basements in Lethbridge.  A s​ump pump can sometimes create issues adjacent to the property. The property owner is responsible​ to address any issue identified by the City of Lethbridge. 

Homes built in new neighbourhoods, since 2005, are connected underground to the stormwater system.  This arrangement eliminates issues with adjacent properties.  


Looking for the Bylaws? 

Bylaw #5594,  ​Drainage Bylaw - Section 13.7

Bylaw #3250, Sewerage Service - Section 13.08


Check out Sump Pump Ownership Tips. Refer to page 28 for sump pump information, specifically. ​


Sump Pump Discharge Basics


What issues can be caused by sump pump discharge?

There can be a number of issues​ caused by sump pump discharge that might be causing problems in your neighbourhood, such as potholes in paved lanes, standing water in unpaved lanes, and excessive winter icing of sidewalks and lanes. City staff can help you to determine if there is a problem or not.​







If your sump pump runs frequently or year-round, the volume of water can cause problems with sidewalks, streets or lanes. 


Who is responsible for addressing sump pump discharge issues?

The property owner is responsible to address these issues, in accordance with the Drainage Bylaw #5594. 

For further information, check out the Sump Pump Background page. 

What will the City do? The City will not be involved in sump pump issues. It is the owner's responsibility to take care of this issue. Below are options on how to do this.

Why won't the City do more? The City has no control over the installation of sump pumps. We do not have a Bylaw stating that a resident must install discharge control devices. Therefore, it is the owner's responsibility to sort out the issue.

What Bylaws cover sump pump discharge?                                                                                                           

Bylaw #5594, Drainage Bylaw

Bylaw #3250, Sewerage Service

Options to Address Excessive Sump Pump Discharge


What are my options for reducing the impact of sump pump discharge to adjacent property?

  1. You may discharge your sump pump to your yard year-round.
  2. You may connect your sump pump to an existing floor drain through a controlled discharge connection*.
  3. You may connect your sump pump to a new or relocated floor drain through a controlled discharge connection*.

*a connection meeting the requirements identified in the City of Lethbridge Engineering Standards and Guidelines

Please note: Options 2 and ​3  will require that you hire a licensed plumber to perform the work. Option 3 will require that your plumber obtain a plumbing permit before performing the work.​​
If you choose to explore other solutions other than what we have suggested, all installations must comply with both the Alberta Building Code and the applicable City of Lethbridge Bylaws.​

What is a controlled discharge connection?

A controlled discharge connection is an authorized connection from the sump pump to the sanitary sewer system via a basement floor drain. It includes a small storage tank intended to allow a limited amount of water into the floor drain. During wet weather events, the controlled discharge is designed to move surplus water to your yard. This mitigates frequent or year-round sump pump discharge to your yard or adjacent property. 

Where am I allowed to discharge my sump pump water?

  • ​​You may discharge your sump pump to your yard year-round.
  • You may connect your sump pump to a floor drain through a controlled discharge connection.


Costs Associated with Fixing Sump Pump Discharge


Who pays for a controlled discharge connection?

​The property owner is responsible for any retrofitting costs. 

  • Are there grants available from the City of Lethbridge? ​

No, there are no grants available.

  • Would the existing Protective Plumbing Incentive Program (PPIP)​ provide assistance with a controlled discharge connection? 

No, the PPIP does not provide assistance in this situation.



Regulations and Guidelines


When modifying my sump pump, what guidelines do I need to follow?

​You need to follow City Bylaws and the Alberta Plumbing Code. 


Background Information

Click here ​to see the background regarding sump pump discharge​​, and supporting information and documents.​

For more information

Phone: 311 or 403-320-3111 (if outside of Lethbridge)
Online: Submit a service request