Many municipalities in Southwestern Ontario, including the Peel Region, are encouraging residents to disconnect their downspouts. While newer homes are built with disconnected downspouts, many older homes still have their downspouts connected to the sewer line. If your home is one of the latter, you may be wondering why there is such a push to get these downspouts disconnected.
The purpose of downspouts is to move stormwater off roofs and away from your home’s foundation. A disconnected downspout will generally move water out onto your lawn or garden, while a connected downspout will divert water into the sewer system. Unfortunately, municipal sewer systems can not handle the large volumes of wastewater that now flow through them.
In areas where there are combined (stormwater and sanitary) sewers, the systems become overwhelmed with stormwater, meaning that the wastewater is not properly directed, and raw sewage ends up being deposited directly into lakes and sewers. As a result, fish and other wildlife populations are threatened.
Another issue caused by sewer overload is basement flooding. When your home’s basement floods as the result of a sewage backup, not only does it create a huge mess and damage to your property, but it can pose a health risk as well. Once you have had a basement flood, it can negatively impact your ability to get additional owner’s or tenant’s insurance.
How effective is the downspout disconnection?
While municipalities engage in multiple activities in their attempts at preventing flooding, simple downspout disconnection programs are among the most cost-effective. According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, by disconnecting a downspout on a home in Toronto with 140 square metres roof, it would prevent nearly 100,000 litres of stormwater from entering the sewer system each year. When a pilot downspout disconnection program was launched in Markham, the amount of wastewater requiring expensive treatment was reduced by nearly 50%.
Downspout disconnection program in Peel
Unlike many several other municipalities in Southwestern Ontario, Peel Region has not yet made disconnection mandatory. It has, however, offered incentives for homeowners to have their downspouts disconnected through its rebate or financial assistance program.
Eligible homeowners may be able to receive $25 for each downspout they have disconnected up to a maximum of $100 per home.
Low-income seniors, residents and those on disability may be eligible for financial assistance of up to $1000 for disconnecting their downspouts.
Disconnecting your home’s downspout
When disconnecting your home’s downspout from the sewer line, it is important to ensure the following:
- The standpipe where water enters the ground from your downspout must be capped to keep stormwater from entering the sewer system. Caps and plugs are available at most hardware and plumbing supply stores. Be sure to measure the correct diameter and then permanently seal the pipe with contact cement or silicone.
- Attach an elbow to your downspout so that stormwater is diverted away from your home’s foundation.
- Water should be diverted well away from your home.
If you would like to have your downspout disconnected by a professional eavestrough company to help ensure that you qualify for the rebate or financial assistance program, contact Studio Aluminum today.