Lot Grading Inspectors

The City of Edmonton and surrounding municipalities have bylaws in place to regulate lot grading and surface drainage requirements within private properties and municipal right-of-ways. The municipal bylaws (City of Edmonton Bylaw No. 11501) require all lots to be graded in accordance with an approved Lot Grading Plan.

It is the job of the Lot Grading Inspectors to enforce this bylaw. They do this by inspecting and approving rough and final grading for all new developments and responding to drainage complaints in older areas. The inspectors carry photo identification and often wear clothing identifying them as municipal employees.


The Municipal Government Act and Surface Drainage Bylaw No. 11501 authorizes Inspectors to conduct Lot Grading Inspections on any property in Edmonton.

The purpose of an inspection is to verify that the property is graded in accordance with the Lot Grading Plan, Lot Grading Guidelines and the Surface Drainage Bylaw No. 11501. When properties fail to meet the lot grading requirements, a Lot Grading Inspection Report will be issued and a time frame established to complete the outstanding work. Violators risk City fines starting from $300.00 until the property receives lot grading approval. On-site inspections also give the Lot Grading Inspectors the opportunity to address concerns for existing or potential drainage problems and provide information on Lot Grading Requirements.

What The Inspectors Look For In Newer Areas With An Approved Surface Drainage Plan

Inspectors first review the grading certificate (As-Built Certificate) submitted for either rough or final grade to see if the surface grades are within acceptable tolerance of the grades on the approved surface drainage plan and to determine the drainage servicing requirements for the property. A site inspection is done to verify compliance with site grading, restrictive covenants and servicing requirements. House construction, including exterior finishing, must be complete. Items the inspector will be looking for include the following:
  • Driveways and sidewalks are completed.
  • The site is clean and free of debris and construction materials.
  • Site grading is uniform and free of ruts, depressions or excess soils.
  • Positive slope exists away from the foundation walls.
  • Swales are well defined to convey surface drainage off the lot.
  • Side yards are graded, even if the adjacent lot is incomplete.
  • Any steps or decks are properly backfilled.
  • Window wells are installed to final grade elevation.
  • Site grading matches the top of curb or city sidewalk.
What The Inspectors Look For In Older Areas Which Have No Approved Surface Drainage Plan

Grading approval is a requirement for an infill development. Site inspections and grading approvals are initiated by the submission of an as built certificate to the municipality.

Inspections in these areas are usually done in response to a drainage inquiry or a complaint. Inspectors first review the history of the properties with respect to drainage concerns and then research the drainage servicing requirements. A site inspection is done to verify the grading concerns and to identify possible solutions. Typical areas of concerns are:
  • Roof or pumped subsurface drainage that is directed to a location where it will drain onto an adjacent property.
  • Landscaping grade changes at the property line that will direct surface drainage onto an adjacent property.
For more information refer to the "Lot Grading Requirements" guide. The following are steps that you can take to ensure that your property meets Lot Grading Requirements and to avoid disputes or problems with adjacent property owners.
  • Take consideration on potential impact or damage to your neighbour's lot. Consultation with the neighbour is recommended.
  • Ensure that drainage features, such as downspouts and sump pump discharges, are properly located. The downspouts should not be directed onto an adjacent property. In some areas, underground storm servicing is provided for these features. Please contact Drainage Services, Water and Sewer Servicing at 496-5444 or 496-5445 for more information.
  • Provide positive slope away from the foundation walls (see detail A).
  • Ensure internal drainage swales are well defined to carry surface drainage off the lot without impacting adjacent properties (see drawings {back to front} and detail F for more information).
  • Ensure that any steps or decks are properly backfilled.
Things to Remember
  • Inspectors do not require property owners to be present when conducting a lot grading inspection.
  • Check for settlement adjacent to the foundation walls and under decks and steps, especially after a rainstorm.
  • Repair settlements, especially under downspouts and sump pump discharges and leave the downspout extensions in the "down position".
  • Any pets or animals should be properly secured to allow for a trouble free inspection.
  • To initiate follow up inspections, the property owner must contact Drainage Services.
  • The property owner is responsible to maintain proper lot grading after approval has been issued for as long as they own the property.

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