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Lot Grading, Eavestroughs & Window Wells


Things to do outside your home


Lot Grading

  • Check and maintain your lot grading annually
  • Proper lot grading ensures surface water flows away from your home. A drop of 10-15 centimetres for the first 1.5 metres from your home’s foundation is recommended
  • Check for cracks in your driveway, sidewalk and patio. Use silicone to seal cracks in these concrete surfaces to prevent water from seeping into your basement
  • Maintain positive grading under steps and decks. This can be achieved by backfilling these areas with dirt and compressing the dirt by compacting it with a pole or a shovel







Photo courtesy of City of Edmonton  


Important Information: 

Lot Grading Permit: Lot grading is a necessary component of home construction to direct surface drainage away from building foundations to aid in preventing basement flooding.  It provides a means to control where surface drainage discharges from a property, the rate of flow entering onto public roads and minimizes the infiltration of surface water entering the sanitary sewer system. 

Lot Grading Bylaw: The purpose of this Bylaw is to stipulate the conditions, requirements, and fees for permits for the grading of a lot upon which a building is sited.

Land Use Bylaw 5700 pdf:  The purpose of the Land Use Bylaw is to regulate and control the use and development of land and buildings within Lethbridge.

Eavestroughs and Downspouts

  • Ensure that your downspout extensions are extended a minimum of 2.0m prior to any rain storm
  • Check and maintain your eavestroughs and rain gutters annually. Use silicone to seal holes or cracks in your eavestroughs, downspouts and extensions
  • Ensure eavestroughs are properly sloped to allow for optimum water movement. Regularly remove debris like leaves and twigs that can block water flow
  • Ensure elbows and downspouts are in good working order and are properly connected
  • Downspout extension should be a minimum of 2.0 metres (6') away from your foundation. Ensure your downspout does not extend to your neighbour’s property
  • Splash pads should be used to direct water that is discharged from your downspout

Downspouts should not be connected to your foundation drain as this can overload the stormwater system during heavy rainfall. If your downspout is connected directly to your foundation drain it is recommended that you have it disconnected.


Window Wells

Use window wells around basement windows, if necessary, to bring up your lot grading. An added benefit is that wells prevent dirt from rotting your window sills. Consider installing window well covers to help divert water from your foundation.

         Diagrams courtesy of: Copyright 2009 Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction, Author Dan Sandink


More Information



For more information

Online: Submit a service request
Phone: 311 or 403-320-3111 (if outside of Lethbridge)
Address:  City Hall, 910 4 Avenue South, Lethbridge, Alberta, T1J 0P6