Now that spring rains are here, residents often start thinking about stormwater around their home. Many have questions about how the City manages stormwater from rain events.

The City’s stormwater system carries stormwater away from homes and businesses to keep people, properties and the natural environment safe. There are many parts to this complex system – some visible and some underground. The public may see roadside catchbasins, which are the metal grates and drains on the street, but there are also ditches, pipes, watercourses, creeks, the Credit River, stormwater management ponds and even roads helping to carry stormwater runoff to Lake Ontario. Because of the huge quantities of stormwater that drain during storms, stormwater cannot be chemically treated in the sanitary sewer system. Instead, it flows directly into our natural environment.

The City continues to invest in our stormwater system to ensure that it serves the residents and businesses of Mississauga. As one example, the City is building the enormous Matheson stormwater management pond to help contain and hold back stormwater and reduce the flood risk for homes in the Cooksville Creek watershed. The lands surrounding this pond will also serve as a park for the community. Many other infrastructure and maintenance projects are also underway. City staff inspect our creeks and the Credit River to identify erosion, debris and other issues that could impact our watercourses and aquatic ecosystems. In addition, City staff investigate and contain spills of contaminants in the stormwater system and our waterways.

Residents also play an important role in protecting their own home from flood damage and helping the stormwater system do its job. Simple steps include ensuring that stormwater flows away from your house through proper grading, disconnected downspouts and keeping eavestroughs clear of debris. Residents can also protect stormwater quality by cleaning up and properly disposing of oil, pet waste, cigarette butts and other garbage and contaminants. Remember, any chemical or waste that ends up on the ground will flow into the stormwater system (and into Lake Ontario) during the next rain. To learn more about the City’s stormwater system, visit: http://www.mississauga.ca/portal/stormwater/