Managing stormwater is a priority for the City. There is also a lot you can do to help reduce basement flooding and contribute to better water quality in our local waterways. By keeping rain and snow out of the sewers, and using it as a resource on your own property, you can also reduce your water bill. There are several ways you can help manage rain and melted snow:

Create a Natural Garden

Build a healthy, vibrant green space that promotes infiltration of rain and melting snow on your property.

Landscape to Allow Water Infiltration

Increase your amount of soft surface landscaping, such as a garden, wood chips or gravel. Where you require a hard surface, consider using pervious asphalt, pervious concrete or interlocking pavers to allow water to seep through the surface down to underlying layers of soil and gravel.

Disconnect Your Downspouts

By disconnecting downspouts from the sewer system and directing stormwater onto your property instead, you can minimize the risk of sewer overloads and use the water for your lawn or garden.

Wash Your Car Responsibly

The dirt on cars can contain toxic chemicals, heavy metals, oil and grease. Don’t let this dirty water run into the storm sewer system and wash your car wisely.

Learn How the Sewers on Your Street Work

Catch basins are for rain and melted snow only. Stormwater is collected through catch basins (the square grates on the side of the road). Catch basins lead to storm sewers which release this water – untreated – through outfalls directly into nearby waterways. There are two types of sewer systems in Toronto.

Know What Not to Flush or Pour Down Your Drain

Many items we use on a daily basis cannot go down our toilets or drains. If they do get into the sewer system, they can cause basement flooding, damage to the City’s sewer pipes and other City infrastructure, and impact the water quality in Lake Ontario, local streams and rivers.

Learn About the City’s Sewers Bylaw

The Sewers Bylaw sets strict limits on what can be released into sanitary sewers, storm sewers and our local waterways.