Every home is at risk of basement flooding, even if it has not happened before. Water in your basement is most likely to occur during a heavy rainfall, or when snow and ice is melting.
The good news is that you can take steps to help reduce or prevent it from happening.
The City offers a Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy of up to $3,400 per property.
Homeowners are responsible for plumbing from the property line to inside the home. You can hire a licensed plumber who conducts specialized testing or inspections, if needed, to help you identify the location and condition of key features of your household plumbing system:
Ensure that your plumbing and drainage systems are in good working condition and understand how they function and how to maintain them.
*Sewage ejector pumps are not covered by the City’s Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy Program. The Ontario Building Code may not allow ejector pumps when the plumbing system is higher than the public sewer system.
Water can enter your home via many different places. The image below indicates how pipes can be configured; however, every home is different.
Backwater valves are designed to close the sewer line during periods of extreme rain to prevent water from entering your home. When the valve is closed you should not use any plumbing fixtures (i.e. toilets, sinks, dishwasher, washing machine) because water will not drain and will backup into your home.
Backwater valves should be installed by a licensed plumber and require a building permit to be installed. It is also critical that backwater valves are maintained and regularly inspected according to product specifications.
Before work starts, verify that your plumber has a valid City of Toronto business licence using the Business Licence Lookup tool or by calling 416-392-6700.
The City offers a subsidy of up to 80% of the invoiced cost, up to a maximum of $1,250 to help offset the cost of installing a backwater valve. Learn more about the Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy Program.
Install a properly-sized sump pump to help pump water collected by the weeping tile system to an area outside. Make sure the sump pump empties onto a permeable surface at least two metres from the foundation wall.
Sump pumps can lose power during severe storms, so you may wish to consider a battery back-up. They also need to be inspected and maintained according to product specifications to ensure optimal performance.
The City offers a subsidy of up to 80% of the invoiced cost, up to a maximum of $1,750, to help offset the cost of installing a sump pump. Learn more under the Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy Program.