Mandatory Downspout Disconnection
What you need to consider before disconnecting
It’s important that the work is done safely and properly. When redirecting rainwater from a disconnected downspout, make sure it will soak into the ground or run off safely. Before starting, consider these important guidelines:
- Make sure you have a suitable area for the water discharging from your downspout. Don’t discharge water into an area too small to handle the flow of water.
- Water should be directed to flow away from your home’s or building’s foundation to keep your basement walls from getting wet.
- It is generally recommended that you extend your downspout at least 2 metres/6 feet away from your building’s foundation wall.
- Make sure the flow of water will not cause damage to your neighbour’s property or flow directly onto a City sidewalk.
- Use a splash pad to help direct the flow of water and protect against erosion.
- Avoid creating a tripping hazard; do not add extensions across a walk-way or in front of a gate or doorway.
- Be aware of the possibility for water flow to freeze during cold weather. Take steps to prevent creating dangerous conditions, including clearing ice to prevent slipping.
- Consider using a rain barrel to capture and store rainwater. It can also help reduce your outdoor water use. Keep in mind that the overflow from the rain barrel should be directed to a suitable discharge area. During winter months, remove and store your rain barrel to avoid freezing and breaking. After removing the rain barrel, add an extension to your downspout to ensure proper drainage away from your home.
- Extend downspouts under a deck or patio to a grassed or garden area.
- Consider creating a rain garden or removing impervious surfaces such as concrete pathways or patios to allow water to infiltrate.
- Once you’ve disconnected, be sure to cap the sewer connection − the open pipe remaining when the downspout is removed. This prevents water and debris from going in. It also stops animals from falling into the opening.
Proper maintenance of your eavestroughs and downspouts is key. Clean them at least twice a year to ensure they are working properly. Check all elbows and outlets for debris to prevent clogging. Fix any leaks and repair any low spots or sagging areas along your eavestroughs. Lastly, make sure all parts are securely fastened.