The Region of Peel received approval to launch a Voluntary Downspout Disconnection Rebate program on July 1, 2014.  This program has been established to offer incentives for residential properties in the Region that were built before the year 1975 or have experienced flooding in the past, to disconnect downspouts which may be connected to the Region’s sanitary sewer system. The program was rolled out in two phases with notifications to identified areas on the East side of Peel received mid-2014, and identified areas on the West side of Peel receiving notification beginning mid 2015. The Voluntary Downspout Disconnection Program is available for homeowners to take advantage of until the end of June 2016 at which time we will begin the rollout of the Mandatory Downspout Disconnection Program

In July 2016, the Voluntary Downspout Disconnection program will transition to a Mandatory Downspout Disconnection program. Details of the program and its projected rollout/scheduling of designated areas, program terms and conditions and conditions for exemptions or exceptions will be available to homeowners in the designated program areas after Council approval. Our expectation is that the Mandatory Program when approved will include a mandatory disconnection requirement with the possibility of enforcement via fines for non-compliance; there will be an Exemption Process for those who cannot disconnect for technical reasons; as well as a Financial Assistance Program for Low-Income Seniors and Low-Income Disabled Persons. The disconnection program will decrease Stormwater/rainwater flows entering the sanitary sewer.

The Region of Peel’s sanitary system is designed to convey wastewater to the wastewater treatment plants for treatment. Rainwater does not require this level of treatment and should be discharged to permeable surfaces to be absorbed by the landscape and/or be conveyed through the storm water system and rivers/creeks or directly to Lake Ontario. Disconnection of downspouts from the sanitary sewer system is a best practice measure to stop the migration of rainwater, and helps prevent storm water from entering the sanitary system. Large volumes of rainwater that enter the sanitary sewer system in storm events may contribute to the capacity of the system being exceeded which may lead to basement flooding.

The Voluntary Downspout Disconnection program promotes disconnection that includes; permanent capping of the remaining standpipes, use of elbows and extensions for downspouts that ensure rainwater is discharged away from the foundation of the property, and use of a splash pad to prevent erosion at the discharge point. More information on the Voluntary Downspout Disconnection Rebate Program, including a “How to disconnect guide” and video, along with additional resources to help you disconnect may be found at http://www.peelregion.ca/pw/water/sewage-trtmt/downsput-disconnection-rebate.htm. Initial calls regarding voluntary downspout disconnection are being addressed through our Public Works Customer Service group at 905-791-7800 x 4409, if there are further questions the call will be directed to Staff who can answer program related or technical questions.

The Region of Peel has valuable information available on our website at http://www.peelregion.ca/flooding that provide an overview of sources of basement flooding, resources, and preventative measures that can be undertaken by property owners to minimize their risk of future flooding. The Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction http://www.iclr.org also provides beneficial resources that can assist property owners in identifying and mitigating risks of basement flooding.