Essex Homeowners Asked To Disconnect Downspouts

Wednesday April 27th, 2016

Posted at 7:24pm

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Homeowners in Essex Centre are being asked to disconnect non-essential downspouts to assist in reducing the amount of storm water entering the sewer systems.

Door hangers providing information on how to disconnect in five easy steps are being distributed door-to-door starting this week. Homeowners should find a door hanger attached to a door or in their mailbox by the end of next week.

“The Town’s flooding reduction program includes two construction projects that are set to begin as soon as approval is received from the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change and the Ministry of Transportation,” says Chris Nepszy, Director of Infrastructure and Development. “Those projects are designed to increase the sewer system’s capacity to handle the level of storm water infiltration that occurs during severe rain events.”

The Town is also calling upon individual homeowners to take steps to reduce storm water infiltration on their property.

“The Downspout Disconnection Program allows us to work with property owners to identify non-essential downspouts that may be feeding rain water into the sewer systems and could be contributing to basement flooding in their neighbourhood,” says Nepszy.

A downspout is non-essential if disconnecting it would not create a freeze hazard over walkways or otherwise adversely affect neighbouring properties.

Even if a home doesn’t have a basement or has never experienced a basement flood, it could be contributing to incidents of flooding in other parts of the community if its downspouts direct water into the Town’s infrastructure. Downspout disconnection is an easy way for homeowners to help reduce basement flooding and system overloading.

“Council has established a Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy Program that provides financial assistance of up to $75 to disconnect downspouts,” says Nepszy.

In addition to downspout disconnection, the program covers the following works:

  • Backwater valve installation – Up to 50% of cost ($750 maximum)
  • Sump pump/pit installation – Up to 50% of cost ($750 maximum)
  • Backwater valve and sump pump installation – Up to 50% of cost ($1,500 maximum)
  • Investigative pipe camera work – Up to 50% of cost ($200 maximum)
  • Downspout disconnection work – Up to 100% of cost ($75 maximum)

The program is for retro-fit applications in existing homes only. Disconnection of non-essential downspouts is a requirement for receiving funding under the program.

All homeowners in the Town of Essex, including McGregor, Harrow and Colchester, may apply.

Applications for the Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy Program are available from Town Hall (33 Talbot Street South, Essex Centre) and the Building Department/

Applications are also available on the Town’s website.

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