Utilities Kingston reminds homeowners to correct illegal plumbing connections, offers financial assistance program to help

With the start of fall just days away, Utilities Kingston is reminding homeowners to take steps to prevent basement flooding.

“If you have a basement, it’s at risk of flooding and sewer back-ups – even if it’s never flooded before,” Utilities Kingston said in a press release.

The utilities company is also taking the opportunity to remind property owners to disconnect illegal plumbing connections to the sanitary sewer, as they contribute to the overall risk of basement flooding. Homeowners needing to make upgrades or modifications may qualify for financial assistance through the Preventative Plumbing Program, according to Utilities Kingston.

“Property owners are responsible for their connection the municipal system (under bylaw 2008-192, the ‘Sewer Use Bylaw’) and should check downspouts, sump pump, and foundation drainage to make sure it complies with the Sewer Use Bylaw,” the company said.

Utilities Kingston urges homeowners to:

  • Disconnect downspouts that enter the ground and flow into the sanitary sewer and direct those downspouts elsewhere; the lawn is usually the best spot, at least two meters from the foundation.
  • Direct sump pump drains to the lawn or garden about two meters from the foundation; sump pumps must not drain into the sanitary lateral (which connect the home to the sanitary sewer) or sanitary plumbing.
  • Direct foundation drainage (weeping tile) so it is captured by a sump pump and not pumped into sanitary plumbing.

Homeowners who qualify for the Preventative Plumbing Program can receive up to $3,000 to install sump pumps, backwater sanitary vales, foundation drains, and other eligible measures. The program helps homeowners take measures to protect their homes from flooding and backups, as well as to comply with the City’s Sewer Use By-law. Financial assistance is still available to Utilities Kingston customers through the 2018 Preventative Plumbing Program, and customers are advised to apply as soon as possible in order to ensure there is enough time to implement plumbing measures before the end of the calendar year.

To date, the Preventative Plumbing Program has given $1,610,000 in financial assistance to local homeowners since the program began in 2012. This includes the removal of 163 illegal connections to the sanitary sewer, according to Utilities Kingston.

Those interested in the program can find an online application at www.utilitieskingston.com, or email preventativeplumbing@utilitieskingston.com, or call 613-546-0000.

Find out more about how the City’s sewers work (sanitary sewers, storm sewers, and combined sewers in areas where they still exist) at https://utilitieskingston.com/Wastewater/basementflooding/Sewers. Find Utilities Kingston’s ‘Flood Facts and Tips’ at https://utilitieskingston.com/Wastewater/BasementFlooding/FloodFacts.

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