A record amount of rain fell in Regina on Monday, forcing the city to make an unfavoured move in order to prevent further flooding.
Environment Canada recorded 78.2 mm ( three inches) of rain in Regina – the most rain on any day in July ever. The previous record was set in 1909, which also happened to be on July 27 with 76.5mm.
It’s still a long shot from the most rain to fall on any given day in a year dating back to the 1800s. Environment Canada’s records show 160.3mm (six inches) fell on June 15, 1887.
The rain was heavier and came faster than expected. Although the lift stations held up well in south Regina, the stormwater system quickly overflowed in the northwest, flooding several streets.
City crews worked through the night and were out again Tuesday clearing catch basins as more rain fell.
In order to clear up space in the system, the city decided to allow partly-filtered sewage to bypass the McCarthy pumping station for four hours. It had only gone through the screening process that removes the large particles and was sent straight to the creek.
This sewage was also quite diluted because of all the rain; areas downstream have been notified.
“I want to emphasize that a bypass is one of our last options for removing excess water to help protect residents’ properties,” said Pat Wilson, director of water works.
Wilson explained the lift station in northwest Regina is due for an upgrade. Work will begin late this year and will be completed before next year’s storm season.
When storm water enters the system, it drops down but must be brought back up once it reaches a certain depth. Because of Regina’s flat terrain, these lift stations are in place to bring the water back up and starts to flow by gravity again.
As the city prepares for another round of heavy rainfall, it’s asking residents to limit water use for the next couple of days.
“The less water that is going into the system from deliberate use, the quicker that we can get back to a normal condition,” said Wilson.
If the city gets hit with enough rain Tuesday, Wilson warns they may have to do another bypass, which could stop more water from entering your basement.