Keeping Construction Debris Out of the Storm Sewer
Construction wastewater, waste and other debris should not enter the storm sewer.
Keeping construction wastewater, waste and other debris out of the storm sewer helps prevent storm sewer blockage, road flooding and harmful substances from entering local waterways where it can harm aquatic habitat.
Do not allow these materials to enter the storm sewer system through catch basins:
- Concrete/cement powder
- Oil/petroleum products
- Any construction material, debris or dust
Do not allow construction materials and waste to enter the storm sewer directly from the site or after material or waste has been tracked off-site by vehicles or other equipment.
To prevent construction materials and waste from entering the storm sewer system
- Wash vehicles off-site at a car wash/truck wash or establish a designated wash area on-site which will not create runoff to storm sewers.
- Ensure your company has an Erosion Sediment Control Plan and follow it. Implement measures to keep sediment in place where soil is being disturbed by the construction processes, such as the use of sediment traps, storm inlet protections, fibre rolls, silt fences, etc.
- Where land is being cleared, protect catch basins by covering the inlet with filter fabric or follow another approved method.
- Maintain good housekeeping by properly disposing of all construction debris.
- Properly maintain oil/water separators or change vehicle oil and antifreeze off-site at designated facilities.
- Design an effective construction exit to prevent dirt and waste leaving the site; this may include gravel, paving, rumble strips, wheel washing and a drainage system.
- Do not power wash construction dirt and waste onto the roadways or into catch basins.
- Ensure cement/ready-mix trucks do not hose down onto the roadways or into catch basins.
- Regularly sweep streets, sidewalks and driveways using dry method/vacuum sweepers and dispose of waste properly.
- In the event of a spill, ensure equipment and processes are in place to keep prohibited materials out of the storm sewer.
If you accidently allow any construction wastewater, waste or other debris to enter the storm sewer system, you should call a licensed waste hauler to have it removed (pumped-out).
The City of Toronto enforces the Sewers By-law (Municipal Code, Chapter 681) which controls the quality and quantity of substances discharged into the sanitary and stormwater sewer systems and natural watercourses. Storm sewers are for rainwater or melted snow only. You can report spills and suspected spills by calling 311. For updates to Municipal Code, Chapter 681, see here: www.toronto.ca/legdocs/municode/