For those who don’t already know the city of Toronto has created a by-law that will force property owners to disconnect their downspouts that lead into the city’s sewer system. A downspout is a pipe that carries rainwater/snowmelt from the roof of your home or eavestrough and discharges either onto your property or into the sewer system via a drain pipe connection.
The main reason this mandatory disconnect has been imposed is due to basement flooding. Disconnecting your downspout from the sewage system helps reduce the amount of storm water that is sent through the sewers. Less storm water in the system will help prevent wastewater from backing up through sewer pipes where is can escape through floor drains or any other low-lying plumbing fixtures in your basement.
The new bylaw will take effect on November 20, 2011 for properties in the central area of the city where storm water and Sanitary drainage are combined into a single pipe. The bylaw will roll out in two additional phases across the remaining parts of the city over the next five years. The due dates for the next two phases are December 3, 2013 and December 3, 2016. Please click on the link below to see what phase your property falls under and what due date you need to comply with.
If a home owner does not comply with the requirements of the bylaw, the city may use its authority under the municipal code to enforce compliance.
A major positive may come from this mandatory downspout disconnect. Keep in mind that if there are any cracks in your drain pipe leaks may occur in your basement and furthermore foundation damage can happen due to erosion and moisture seeping in without detection. Disconnecting your downpipes can potentially save you a lot of money when you don’t have to excavate your the side of your property to waterproof, fix foundation cracks, and repair any basement damage such a mould, rot, and other water relater damage.