As you may be aware, City Council, in 2007, approved amendments to Chapter 681 of the Toronto Municipal Code making downspout disconnection mandatory in the combined sewer service area of the city and, in 2008, approved the amendment for all other areas of the city.
If you haven’t already, get ready to disconnect your downspouts … it’s mandatory
If your downspouts have not been disconnected, rainwater runs off your roof and flows through your eavestroughs into a downspout that carries it directly into the sewer system. During heavy rainfall, the sewers become overloaded, increasing the risk of basement flooding and releasing polluted rainwater into our local waterways.
To help solve the problem, the City will soon require all property owners to disconnect their downspouts from the sewer system.
The new bylaw will take effect on November 20, 2011 for properties in the central area of the city where stormwater and sanitary drainage are combined into a single pipe. All property owners who receive this notice are required to disconnect their downspouts by November 20 of this year. The bylaw will be phased in across the remaining parts of the city over the next five years. A detailed map showing the three phases can be found at toronto.ca/water.
You can disconnect your downspout(s) on your own. Or you can seek the advice and services of a City-licensed and experienced eavestrough contractor or other experienced professional. Read the enclosed brochure for what to consider before disconnecting plus other helpful tips.
It’s important to take action and comply with the bylaw. In cases where it’s not technically feasible to disconnect your downspout or it would create a hazard, you can apply to the City for an exemption.
The City may also provide financial assistance to low-income property owners.
For more information on mandatory downspout disconnection, visit toronto.ca/water or call 311. toronto.ca/water