During extreme weather events, properties and municipal infrastructure can be at risk of the effects of localized flooding. The Village of New Maryland is undertaking measures to help ensure the resiliency of our municipal infrastructure and to educate homeowners on methods to minimize risks of property damage due to flooding.
In February 2014 the Village solicited community input via a Wet Weather Flooding Survey to attempt to identify areas of concern observed by Village residents. The survey results identified isolated areas for improvement with respect to the function of municipal storm water infrastructure during severe rainfall events, and opportunities for the Village to promote public awareness and education in relation to storm water issues.
The Wet Weather Survey and flood prevention education measures are early stage components in the Village of New Maryland’s ongoing effort to develop revised standards, policies, priorities and strategies, working towards the future development of a Municipal Storm Water Management Master Plan.
Further general information about municipal water and sewer utilities and utility related by-laws is available elsewhere on the Village website. Specific questions, and the reporting of incidents of sewer back-ups or property flooding, should be directed to the Village office at 451-8508.
To report any problems after hours with the water and sewage system, please call 457-0695.
The following information and website links may serve as useful resources in expanding public knowledge on flood prevention measures and best practices to consider during the response and recovery stages if a flooding event should occur.
Frequently Asked Questions
What steps can I take to protect my home and contents from the risk of flooding?
There are many things you can do:
- Arrange for a licensed plumber to install a backwater valve on the sanitary sewer line in the basement of your home. This device, if properly installed, automatically closes if sewage backs up from the main sewer.
- Install a sump pit drainage system (includes a sump pit, a sump pump and a pump discharge pipe).
- Check and maintain your backwater valve and sump pit drainage system regularly.
- Don’t drain water from your sump pump into your floor drain. The sanitary sewer system is designed to manage only normal flows of wastewater, not sump pump water. Keep the end of the hose well away from your property line so that water does not flow onto the street, lane, boulevard, sidewalk, or your neighbour’s property.
- Improve drainage around your house.
- Build up the ground around your house so that water flows away from your basement walls. Also examine walkways, patios, decks, and driveways. These can settle over time and cause water to drain back towards your basement walls.
- Extend downspouts so that water flows away from your house and doesn’t pool next to the basement walls or basement windows. If your downspouts are connected to your home’s sewer system, disconnect them.
- Clean debris from eavestroughs regularly. If they overflow even when clean, replace them with larger size eaves troughs and downspouts.
- Don’t throw garbage down your sinks or toilets. Garbage (e.g., dental floss, diapers, cotton swabs) that gets into your sewer through your drains can clog your sewer and cause sewer backup.
- Avoid pouring fat, oil, and grease down your drain. Grease hardens as it cools and sticks to the inner lining of sewer pipes, eventually causing a blockage.
- Prop basement appliances such as washers, dryers and freezers off the floor by putting blocks of wood under them so they don’t get damaged by water. It is common for backups to be less than a few inches of water.
- Don’t store belongings in paper boxes on the floor in the basement. Store them on a shelf or in plastic totes.
- Don’t put grass clipping, leaves or other debris on the streets as they can plug the drains and prevent proper drainage, particularly during heavy rainfalls. Plugged drains cause water to build up on the street, which could cause water to drain into the sewer system through manhole covers and increase your risk of basement flooding. If you notice a plugged drain or catch basin, please contact the Village office at 451-8508.
If Snowmelt from my yard is approaching my foundation. What steps can I take to prevent the snowmelt from seeping into my basement?
- move snow away from your foundation
- ensure the snowmelt has a clear path to drain away from your foundation and can follow the normal drainage path off your property
- ensure downspout extensions are in place
- ensure water from your sump pump is directed away from your foundation
- place sandbags around your foundation where snowmelt could enter, such as around basement windows – place the bags far enough away from your foundation (at least two feet) so that you can ensure that snowmelt doesn’t collect between the foundation and the sandbags
What steps can I take to prevent water from seeping into my basement in the future?
It’s recommend you improve the drainage around your foundation so that rain, sump pump water and snowmelt drains away from your home.
What is a Backwater Valve?
A backwater valve is a valve which is self-operating. It only allows water to flow from one direction. If your backwater valves are properly maintained then they will prevent any water flow from the opposite direction. This prevents backups from a municipal sewer system during the rainy months. For those who live in areas prone to floods, this is particularly important. Once you have a professional plumber install backwater valve system you should clean it every six months to one year. This can be performed by the homeowner once they remove a few screws. Performing maintenance on backwater valves does not require particular skills or tools.
What is a Foundation Drain (Weeping Tiles)?
Weeping tiles may also be referred to as foundation drains. Foundation drains, or footer drains, are located underneath and around the basement walls. They collect ground water and divert it from seeping through to the basement floor and walls. Many homes have sump pumps that collect the water from the foundation drains and divert it elsewhere, like the lawn or storm drain. Some older homes in New Maryland have foundation drains that connect directly to the sanitary sewer lateral, the pathway to the sanitary sewer system. This practice is no longer permitted for new residential development.
What is a Sump Pump?
The sump pump is a small electric pump that is placed into a circular pit at the lowest part of the basement or crawlspace, where water would naturally flow to. Excess water from rain, melting snow, and the foundation drainage system can be piped into this pit. As the sump pump pit fills with water, the pump is activated. The water is then pumped out of the pit through piping that expels the water outside, away from the home.
Why install a backup power supply for your sump pump?
For those homes that already have an existing sump pump, it’s highly recommended that a backup power supply also be installed to allow proper operation if power is lost during a storm or power outage. Many backup systems have alarms to notify when the main power is off and the backup system is operating. Backup systems can also run in conjunction with the main sump pump, when they are set to automatically run once the water in the sump pump pit reaches certain levels.
Helpful Website Links Related to Property and Basement Flooding