Main content of the website

Flood Protection Tips

Spring runoff and heavy rains can affect us all. The provincial Water Security Agency has provided a number of tips to help residents reduce the risk of localized flooding and sewer backups due to seasonal weather changes and conditions.


  • Ensure your gutters and downspouts are cleared of any leaves and debris.
  • Extend all downspouts and sump pump hoses at least six feet away from your foundation.
  • Plan your landscaping to avoid root intrusion into sanitary sewer pipes. 
  • Ensure the ground around your foundation is sloping away from your foundation preventing pooling of water and seepage into the basement.
  • Clear snow away at least six feet from your foundation.
  • Remove any debris or snow from any window wells.


  • Check to make sure your sump pump is working. If you don’t have a sump pump, consider installing one.
  • If your home has a sump pump, make sure it does not discharge into the sanitary sewer. A licensed plumber can check it and make any necessary modifications. 
  • Consider installing a Backflow Prevention Valve to protect against sewer backups and ensure it is regularly maintained and clear of debris.
  • Keep basement sewer caps in place.
  • Check your basement regularly for signs of water and consider installing a water-sensing alarm.
  • Remove items blocking water drainage pathways to the floor drain.
  • Store hazardous materials in watertight containers or remove from basement.
  • Raise electronics off the basement floor.

Storm Drains

When storm drains are frozen or filled with debris, storm water and melting snow cannot drain away from alleys, streets, or greenspaces next to your property. Keep your gutters and the area around storm drains clear for rain, melting ice and snow to enter the drainage system and prevent flooding.

Everything that enters the storm drains goes directly into the watershed, untreated. Household products, like paint, oil, and fertilizers, that enter the drains can affect the health of our creeks, rivers and the land surrounding them, as well as the health of wildlife and fish that rely on them.

7 ways you can help protect your watershed:

  • Never pour anything down the storm drain.
  • Limit the use of fertilizers and pesticides.
  • Point downspouts toward lawns and gardens.
  • Use a rain barrel with your downspouts.
  • Sweep up debris from your garage and driveway instead of washing it away.
  • Wash your vehicle at a car wash.
  • Pick up after your pet.