Together with the City of Mississauga, I am undertaking another initiative to mitigate water infiltration of basements on private properties in the Lisgar community: the downspout disconnection pilot program.

There are many homes in our neighbourhoods where the downspout (the vertical drain pipe attached to the roof’s eavestrough) is connected directly to the underground sewer system. Disconnecting the downspout lets rainwater and snowmelt flow away from a home’s foundation onto gardens, landscaped areas and lawns on the surface of your property. The water slowly soaks into the ground where it is naturally filtered and returned to the water table. Keeping water away from your foundation is a key part in mitigating basement flooding in your home.

From May 29 to June 9, staff from the contracted company I2S will be doing a field review of properties in the northern Black Walnut Trail catchment area, including Apricot Street, Gumwood Road and the westerly section of Cactus Gate, to determine where downspouts are connected directly to the underground sewer system. This field work should have little to no intrusion to residents as data can be gathered visually from the road.

The next phase of the project would involve contacting only those property owners where the downspout is connected and engage in a conversation around the benefits of disconnecting. The goal would be to enter into an agreement for the contractor to disconnect the downspout at no cost to the property owner. Properties where the downspout is already disconnected will not be included further in regard to this project.

Letters were hand-delivered to all 284 properties in the pilot’s catchment area in order to make residents aware that I2S contractors would be in the neighbourhood and that this is a legitimate city-initiated project and not a scam. If the pilot is successful, it may be expanded to other neighbourhoods where basement flooding has been reported.

The more people that disconnect, the less water there will be in the foundation drain collector sewer, and the less chance of a surcharge that could cause basement flooding. This really is a “one-for-all and all-for-one” community initiative, and I strongly encourage those with directly connected downspouts to agree to disconnect for their own sake and that of the neighbourhood.