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Avoiding basement flooding this fall


Changing your landscape can help prevent flooding
Changing your landscape can help prevent flooding

Andrea Stockton, staff writer

October 5, 2011 — The City of Toronto offers water tips for preventing basement flooding this fall.

Heavy rain during the fall can lead to saturated grounds
Heavy rain during the fall can lead to saturated grounds

As the seasons transition, the Toronto Water division is reminding residents to save water and take the necessary precautions to prevent a wet basement.

Michael D'Andrea is the Director of Water Infrastructure Management with the city. He says one of the biggest things to consider in the fall is emptying swimming pools. Pool owners are encouraged to de-chlorinate the water before disposing of it in the storm sewer system.

“The alternative is to drain the pool indoors to an indoor fixture so that it discharges to our sanitary sewer system, so either a floor drain or a laundry tub. And the same applies if it's a salt water pool. You can't discharge salt water to the roadside because it ends up directly in our rivers and our lakes and it's toxic to the fish as well.”

D'Andrea adds that homeowners should also be aware of the condition of their house. He offers these tips to help prevent a leaky basement.

  • Check to make sure the eaves troughs and downspouts are clear of leaves and debris.
  • Disconnect downspouts from the sewer system to help with the release of polluted rainwater into local waterways.
  • Check around the perimeter of the house to ensure window wells are properly sealed and caulked and check for cracks in the foundation or ceiling.
  • Check to make sure the ground is sloped away from the foundation wall because as we get into the winter, that's a place where snow will accumulate, which can run the risk of water damage into the basement.
  • Over-seed the lawn with drought resistant grasses to reduce the lawn watering demands come spring and summer.

And if you experience a flood in your home:

  • You can contact the city if the leak is from a floor drain and officials will determine what caused the back up of the system.
  • If the water is coming in from foundation cracks or window wells, call a contractor for steps to take on flood proofing your basement.

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