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The big melt

The Town of Smithers reminds homeowners to prepare for all that snow turning to water.
Smithers crews trying to stay ahead of the melt last week. (Grant Harris photo)

The Town is advising residents prepare by chipping channels in ice dams, direct downspouts away from buildings and check sump pumps.

Work crews are clearing culverts, ditches and catch basins.

Homeowners are asked to assess conditions on their street to encourage proper drainage or to call the works department for assistance at 250-847-1649.

Full release from the Town of Smithers:

With the large accumulation of snow and with air temperatures warming, Smithers residents should start preparing for the ‘spring melt’.


Chipping a channel in the ice dam to allow trapped melt water to flow should prevent water from seeping under shingles into the attic and from there into the dwelling. Be careful to not damage roofing. A cautious use of salt may help keep the channel free running.

Direct downspout outlets away from the building foundation and get water away from the home and out towards the lane or street.


Foundation drainage at the footings should remove melt water from around your building if the home is connected to a storm sewer system. However, if there are excessive mounds of snow around the building be watchful for seepage into crawlspace or basement.


Check your sump pump’s operation - make sure its working! and have a replacement available.

Numerous streets do not have storm sewers and homes are equipped with sump pumps placed in shallow buckets or recessed culverts. Sump pumps must direct the pumped water outside the home to a street or lane and from there to a storm drainage ditch. A note of caution - ensure the pumped water does not run onto a neighbour’s property.

For your information, directing sump pumps into residential sewer drains is prohibited under the Sewer Regulation Bylaw No. 952.

There are 2 major reasons for this:

An overloaded sewer main line can cause a back-up, forcing raw sewage back into homes, and

At the end of the sewer collection system is the Town’s Sewage Treatment Plant which, if overloaded with storm water, can disturb the treatment process.


The Town Works & Operations crews are clearing culverts, ditches and catch basins on the streets with storm sewers. Homeowners are asked to assess conditions on their street to encourage proper drainage or to call Works & Operations (250-847-1649) for assistance with catch basin or ditches.

Spring is approaching!

Roye Lovgren

Building Official

Town of Smithers