Slope Stability Management

The City of Red Deer (The City) is built around three watercourses. The Red Deer River, Waskasoo Creek, and Piper Creek pass through City boundaries. Along these watercourses, there are slopes, some of which are considered unstable. Slope stability is greatly affected by the ground cover (forested areas vs. bare soils for example), the type of underlying soils, and the moisture content of the soils. A slope that may have appeared stable for many years can become unstable if vegetation is removed, or the soils become saturated with water from precipitation, irrigation systems or other sources.

Various slope stability investigations have been completed in the past. Links to slope stability reports are provided at the bottom of this page. For further information or questions, contact

Slope Stability on City Land

Unstable areas on City land are monitored by The City in the manner and interval recommended by a technical professional. If a natural slope has failed or is at risk of failure and will impact City infrastructure (pathways, roadways, structures, utilities, etc.) the slope will be assessed for repair. After public safety is secured, a geotechnical engineering consultant is hired by The City to investigate the cause of the failure and to recommend solutions for remediation. If a natural slope is at risk of failure but there is no risk to public safety or infrastructure, The City will consider allowing slope movements to occur naturally and reassess the slope if conditions change over time.

Slope Stability on Private Land

There is a desire by the public to own land adjacent to natural slopes due to the land’s aesthetic value. As there are natural risks associated with stability of slopes and adjacent land, the City restricts and/or places limitations and conditions on new development and redevelopment in areas near slopes. 

Landowners are responsible for addressing slope stability concerns on their own land and taking appropriate measures to mitigate or eliminate risks to persons and land. 

Preventive Strategies by Private Landowners

Landowners should be aware of how their actions may affect slope stability. The following list is offered as a guide to help reduce the effects of slope stability concerns, but is not all-encompassing:

  • be aware that if your property is in an Escarpment Area or within DC32, you must comply with Land Use Bylaw requirements for development, irrigation, landscaping, grading, excavation or other alteration of natural land and vegetation (e.g. removing deadfall);
  • obey all infrastructure closures and detours for your own safety;
  • avoid infiltration of overland water onto slopes and direct roof downspouts accordingly;
  • seek professional advice for lot grading, landscaping, and construction of retaining walls, large patios, or decks, and any other alteration of slopes; and
  • avoid placement of loads including loose soil and debris over the side of, and atop slopes.

Private landowners who are unsure how to maintain their site and prevent slope stability concerns, should seek the advice of qualified professionals.


2018 Slope Evaluation Project - Part One (pdf)

2018 Slope Evaluation Project - Part Two (pdf)

2022-2023 Site Inspections (pdf)