City of Toronto staff recently held two open houses (Jimmie Simpson Community Centre on June 13 and the Mennonite New Life Centre of Toronto June 16) to present residents with the progress of their investigation of basement flooding in Study Area 32 (Eastern Beaches Area).
On hand were project staff who were available for one-on-one discussions with residents. A number of displays with the findings and recommended solutions were put up for public view.
The City of Toronto began an Environmental Assessment (EA) in November of 2009 after a series of heavy storms in the summer of 2008 caused many residences’ basements to flood. The study hopes to identify the causes and present solutions to prevent future basement and surface flooding.
Investigating the issue included the installation of meters to monitor rainfalls and flows in sewers, as well as an extensive field study of catchbasins, manhole covers, outfalls and downspout connection/disconnection status.
As a result, the study found that during extreme storms “stormwater flow exceeds the combined and storm sewer capacity and overloads the systems.” In the low lying areas water accumulation creates ponds which enter the sewer system through manhole covers.
Water that flows through the streets as a result of an extreme storm is likely to flood basements through windows and reverse slope driveways.
The recommended solutions included downspout disconnection, sealing of maintenance hole covers, and surface flow path diversion. They also recommend adding new road storm sewers in streets where only combined sewer exists, replacing and upgradinf existing storm sewers, and adding new sewers.
Sewer diversion and oversize inline pipes were on the list of recommendations as well.
“The more opportunity that water has to go into the ground the better,” that is Councillor Paula Fletcher’s take on the issue. “Don’t pave your yard…lots of trees and tree pits, that’s what we need,” said Fletcher.
“We don’t have a really fancy sewer system, it’s old infrastructure. This is the time to upgrade,” added Fletcher.
The EA is expected to be completed this year. The project will be available for public review sometime in the fall. Recommended solutions will be budgeted and implemented after a final approval.
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