In natural areas, rainfall or melted snow soaks into the soil, is absorbed by trees and plants, evaporates into the air and/or flows into streams, lakes, rivers, and wetlands. In cities, rainfall, and melted snow travel much more quickly over roofs, driveways and roads. Water runs off these surfaces, collects pollutants like dirt, oil, fertilizer, grass-clippings, pet waste and litter and carries them to our streams and natural areas. After storms, heavy rains or periods of snow melt, water levels can rise and cause flooding, erosion, damage to natural areas and water quality issues.
Part of the City’s infrastructure
Stormwater ponds are an important part of the City’s infrastructure that help maintain natural flows of water to wetlands, supporting the plants and animals that depend on this habitat. Storm drains and catch basins let rain and melted snow flow into the storm sewer system which then drains to a stormwater pond. There, water is temporarily stored providing an opportunity for pollutants to settle, time for water to slowly soak into the ground and recharge the groundwater, and assists in maintaining natural water flows to avoid erosion and downstream flooding. During heavy storm events, the overflow is directed to the Torrance Creek Provincially Significant Wetland.
How can you help?
- Do not remove plants from the stormwater pond
- Do not throw debris into the stormwater pond
- Do not release fish, turtles, snakes, or frogs into the stormwater pond
- Keep storm drains and catch basins clear of leaves, dirt, litter, and ice
- Clean up after your pet according to the City’s Stoop and Scoop By-law
- Use natural alternatives to safety salt, chemical pesticides, and herbicides
- Direct your downspouts away from walkways and driveways
- Dispose of your household hazardous waste at the City’s Waste Resource Innovation Centre