Stormwater Management

Coquitlam strives to protect properties from flooding while preserving sensitive aquatic habitats. Information on the City’s approach to stormwater management can be found on the page for Integrated Watershed Management.

Stormwater runoff is collected from homes and businesses and safely transported through a system of catch basins, pipes, pump stations, ditches and streams, and discharged to the Burrard Inlet, Coquitlam, Pitt and Fraser Rivers. Care should be taken to prevent harmful substances from entering catch basins, which will end up polluting our creeks and streams.

Some low lying areas of Coquitlam are protected from high river water levels by dikes.

You can help prevent flooding by ensuring your drainage pipes are working properly, and catch basins and ditches are clear of debris.

Catch Basins

Catch basins allow rainwater runoff to be safely collected to prevent road and property flooding.  You may notice that some catch basins are marked with a yellow fish.  The fish is a reminder that all catch basins, marked or unmarked, are connected to creeks, streams and other environmentally sensitive water bodies.  You can help protect fish and fish habitat by being aware of the following:

  • Dispose of household hazardous wastes like oil, paint and toxic chemicals at proper disposal facilities.
  • Don’t empty hot tubs or pools into the storm sewer system. Chlorine and pool chemicals are lethal to fish.
  • Avoid the use of pesticides and fertilizers – these cause excessive vegetation growth in streams which chokes out the oxygen needed for fish and aquatic life to survive.
  • Limit the areas of concrete, paving and other hard surfaces on your property.  Rain that soaks into the ground helps keep streams flowing during periods of low rainfall.
  • Wash cars on your lawn to prevent soap and other detergents from entering catch basins and polluting streams

Flood Prevention

Flooding can happen when extremely heavy rainfalls occur and the runoff exceeds the capacity of the drainage system. Flooding can also happen when a drain pipes become blocked by tree roots or debris.

Here are some steps you can take to avoid flooding around your home.

  • Clean your foundation drains and Sumps. These drains collect water from your house and property and direct it to the City storm sewer.  The pipes can become blocked by leaves, dirt, roots or debris and should be flushed out periodically, or in some cases replaced.
  • Clear Gutters and Catch Basins. Keep catch basins and gutters clear of leaves and debris.  Rake up leaves in the fall to prevent overland flooding caused by plugged drains.  Find the catchbasin nearest your home or business and check periodically that it is clean so the water can drain properly.
  • Clear Ditches and Culverts. If you have an open ditch along your property, check to see that it is clear.  Common items such as toys, balls, and milk jugs can often get lodged in the culverts and cause water to back up.
  • Repair Broken or Damaged Pipe. Broken or damaged pipe can cause blockages and flooding of your home.  Check that your home drainage system is working properly.


Sections of the Fraser River, Coquitlam River, Pitt River, Debouville Slough and Scott are diked to protect low lying land from flooding. Water levels normally rise during the spring freshet, when melting snowpacks increase river flows.

Report a Spill

Call 604-927-3500, 24 hours a day/7 days a week to report a spill or contamination in any catch basin, on any road or in any waterway.


Engineering & Public Works Customer Service

Engineering Emergency Services for Water, Sewer and Roads

24 Hours a Day, 7 Days a Week

Phone: 604-927-3500

If this matter is urgent, please call our Engineering and Public Works Customer Service line at 604-927-3500 (24 Hours / 7 Days a Week).

Engineering Customer Service Email:

Please Note - The Engineering and Public Works email address is only monitored during regular business hours (Monday to Friday:  8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.).​