The past few days’ torrential downpour had the City of Toronto reminding residents about home flooding.
The City has a basement flooding page that has tips on how to reduce flooding, but also has information on the Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy Program.
“While the City of Toronto is working to make improvements to its complex system of underground pipes, sewers and catchbasins, these improvements alone cannot completely protect a home from basement flooding,” reads the site.
With increasingly frequent severe weather events, the City states that it is essential that homeowners take appropriate action to reduce the risk of basement flooding on their own private property.
To help, the City offers owners of single-family, duplex and triplex residential homes a financial subsidy of up to $3,400 per property to install flood protection devices including a backwater valve, a sump pump, and pipe severance and capping of the home’s storm sewer or external weeping tile connection.
— City of Toronto (@TorontoComms) May 5, 2017
For each of the devices, the City offers about 80% subsidy on the total cost.
As this is a City program, there are a few rules, such as these subsidies are available only to existing homes, not homes in the planning stages or currently under construction. Residents also must apply to the City for subsidy before installation, and submitting an application does not guarantee a subsidy. Subsidies are issued on a “first-come, first-serve” basis, and are subject to annual funding approved by City Council.
The City of Toronto’s sewer system is designed to handle most storms, but not severe storms, such as last week’s intense rain.
Toronto also recommends homeowners to take these steps to help prevent their basements from flooding:
- Ensure the ground is sloping away from your home’s foundation
- Fix leaks in your basement and around windows
- Seal window wells
- Clear eavestroughs and downspouts of debris
- Disconnect downspouts that empty into the sewer system, making sure they drain at last 1.8 metres/6 feet from your basement walls
- Install soft-surface landscaping (e.g., shrubs, porous paving)
- Insert sewer connection backwater valves
- Install a basement sump pump
- Avoid pouring grease into your drains