Tip Top Eaves Toronto Reminds Us to Disconnect our Eavestrough Downspouts from City Storm Sewers

Toronto City Council approved a mandatory downspout disconnection bylaw way back in 2007. The Toronto bylaw requires homeowners who live within the affected areas to disconnect their homes’ downspouts from the City’s sewer system within three years of the bylaw being passed. If you haven”t done this, you need to read on. Premiere eavestrough cleaning Toronto service Tip Top Eaves explains:

Homes in Toronto built before the 1960′s generally had their downspouts connected to the sewer system. While the intentions of this method were good, over time it has shown many flaws and problems. A lot of the old downspouts are connected to the sewer line with clay pipes underground, and many of these old pipes are more than likely damaged or blocked by leaves and silt and are not functional.

So what happens is a lot of the water is actually being directed right against your home’s foundation rather than into the sewer system. Since most of the older homes in Toronto have older foundations instead of with modern waterproofing, this means that you are adding to the risk of having moisture problems in your basement by not disconnecting the downspouts.

Over the years, the city has expanded and capacity of the sewer system has become seriously strained especially since much of the city has combined sanitary and storm sewers. This program is happening in 3 phases.

Phase 1– Central part of the city.

This area is the first to be enforced with the by-law inspectors because of its combined storm-water and sanitary drainage being combined into a single pipe.

Pipes and Water treatment facilities then become overloaded. This increases the risk of basement flooding, sewer back ups and pollution to our rivers and lakes.
The deadline for Phase 1 was November 2011.

Phase 2– The second phase includes Eglinton Ave to Steeles Ave. Studies show that these areas are prone to have basement flooding. This area has a more modern system; however there is still a problem with water run off in streams and creeks causing erosion and flooding. The deadline for Phase 2 is December 3, 2013.

Phase 3– The remainder of Home owners throughout Toronto must comply to the by-law no later than December 3, 2016.

The Building Code will have been altered to assure new homes and subdivisions are built to accommodate extra rainwater runoff, but at this time, everyone in the city will be required to have disconnected their downspouts from the storm sewers.

Depending on the property’s location, slope will play a significant roll in the proper solution for the homeowner.

There are a number of factors to take into account. The home owner and a knowledgeable contractor must determine which downpipes can be safely disconnected.

If there seems to be no safe solution after inspection, the homeowner must apply for an exemption. The city has also included financial assistance for those with a gross annual house hold income of $40,000 or less. There will be reimbursement up to $500.

If we would all abide by this law and do our part as home owners, we can reduce the strain we are putting on our environment! roof-gutter-and-down-spout