What is a trap low?

Water accumulating on your street may be a result of a trap low

Some homes in Town are located near a trap low, an area in the street designed for surface storage during a rain event. For homes near trap lows, rainwater may accumulate on the road nearby, up to and sometimes including the driveway and a portion of the lawn. This is normal for areas with a trap low. The water should completely drain within 24 hours once the rain stops.

If water has accumulated on the road near your house, on your driveway or front lawn, you may be located near a trap low. If rainwater accumulation has not drained 24 hours after the rain stops, please contact Town of Cochrane Operations at 403-851-2590. (Information about the trap low may be on your property title.)

What is a trap low?

Trap lows are used in many neighbourhoods in Cochrane to slow the flow of water into stormwater facilities. We control the flow into stormwater facilities to reduce erosion and allow sediment to settle before the water flows into the Bow River. Alberta Environment requires the Town to control the flow of stormwater into the river to protect the overall environment.

In streets with trap lows instead of traditional storm drains, it may appear that the street is flooding. It is not. Trap lows are designed to hold the water on the street; properties on streets with trap lows are graded to keep the water from foundations.

Why the Town has trap lows

The Town began requiring trap lows instead of traditional storm drains in neighbourhoods built after 1998.

Because trap lows control the rate of release into the storm water system, it is easier to ensure the pipes will not become pressurized from upstream flows and cause potential issues downstream. If the flows are not controlled, downstream impacts could cause manhole covers to lift off, posing a serious safety concern. The stormwater facilities would also discharge the stormwater into the waterways at a rate that could cause erosion.

Is any action required?

In general, no action is required by homeowners who live near trap lows. If rainwater accumulation is not drained 24 hours after the rain stops, please contact Town of Cochrane Operations at 403-851-2590.

Show All Answers

1. What is a trap low?
2. What is a swale?
3. Can I build a retaining wall on my property?
4. What is a lot grading certificate?
5. When is the Town responsible for infrastructure?
6. Where can I get a Safety Codes permit application?