Utilities Kingston reminds homeowners of risk of basement flooding during spring thaw

With the warmer weather upon us and spring just days away, so too is another ‘season,’ of sorts: the spring thaw.

As the snow melts away, Utilities Kingston wants to remind homeowners about the risk of basement flooding.

“Every neighbourhood is at risk of basement flooding, even if it’s never happened before,” Utilities Kingston said in a press release on Tuesday, Mar. 12, 2019.

“Excess water – storm runoff or groundwater – is a main contributor to basement flooding and reduces the capacity of the sanitary sewer system.”

At the same time, Utilities Kingston wants to make residents aware of their Preventative Plumbing Program, through which Kingstonians may be eligible for financial assistance for preventative upgrades. Homeowners can get up to $3,000 through the 2019 Preventative Plumbing Program, with the funds to be used to install sump pumps, backwater sanitary valves and other eligible measures, including disconnection of illegal plumbing connections.

All homeowners are reminded to disconnect illegal plumbing connections, as these connections to the sanitary sewer contribute to excess water and to the overall risk of basement flooding. According to Utilities Kingston, property owners are responsible for their connection to the municipal system and should check downspout, sump pump, and foundation drainage connections to make sure they comply with the Sewer Use Bylaw.

To comply with the Sewer Use Bylaw and help surface water drain away safely:

– Disconnect downspouts that enter the ground and flow into the sanitary sewer. Ensure downspouts drain onto your lawn/garden, at least two metres away from your foundation.

– Direct your sump pump drain to your lawn/garden, two metres away from your home. It must not pump into the sanitary lateral or your sanitary plumbing.

– Direct your foundation drainage (weeping tile) so it is captured by a sump pump and not directed into sanitary plumbing.

– See a catch basin covered in debris? Please consider clearing it.

Since the Preventative Plumbing Program began in 2012, $2.3 million in financial assistance has helped 1,500 Kingston homeowners, including with the removal of 189 illegal connections to the sanitary sewer.

For more information on the program or to fill out the online application, click here, email [email protected] or call 613-546-0000.

Find Utilities Kingston’s tips to reduce the risk of basement flooding here, and learn more from Utilities Kingston on protecting your home from basement flooding here.

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