Reduce the risk of basement flooding...

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Option 1: Visit your municipal government's website or contact the public works, utilities or building department to find out about basement flooding

Review your municipality’s website or talk to officials in your municipal government about basement flooding. In most cases, they will be able to point you toward useful information on flood problems in your community, and what homeowners can do to reduce flooding in their homes and neighbourhood. Here are a few questions you should consider when talking to your municipal government:

What is your municipality doing to address flooding in your community and neighbourhood?

Has the municipality conducted any engineering studies on flooding in your community? If they have, do the studies provide recommendations on what homeowners can do to reduce flood risk?

Are any sewer system improvements planned in your area? Are there any upcoming flood related public meetings or workshops that you could attend to learn more about basement flooding?

Are there any opportunities to share your experience with basement flooding (for example, at public meetings)?

Does your municipality provide flood reduction guidance and education for homeowners?

In most cases, your municipal government is the best source of information on how to reduce flooding in your home and neighbourhood.

Does your municipal government provide financial assistance for basement flood reduction measures?

Some municipalities provide partial financial assistance for homeowners to install or alter plumbing and lot characteristics to reduce flood risk. Financial assistance may be provided for:

• Disconnecting eavestrough downspouts (see Option 12).

• Disconnecting weeping tiles from sanitary sewer laterals and installing sump-pits and sump-pumps (see Option 14).

• Installing backwater valves (see Option 15).

Talk to your municipal government to see if there is a similar program in your community. Your municipal government may also inspect and repair sewer laterals as a free service on a one-time basis.

Does your municipality provide a list of pre-qualified plumbers and contractors?

Hiring plumbers and contractors recommended by your municipal government will help to ensure that the right construction practices and materials are used when flood reduction measures are incorporated into your home. Using pre-qualified professionals will also ensure that the right plumbing devices are installed properly, and that you are getting a fair price for plumbing work.

Ask about all necessary permits, underground utility location services and inspection services

When talking to your municipal government, ask about all required permits, site visits and inspections that will be required for changes to your home’s plumbing and lot drainage. Remember to ask about underground utility locating policies and services, which may be required to identify the location of your home’s sewer laterals and other underground services before you dig up sections of your lot to access weeping tiles or sewer laterals.

Underground utility location and inspection services provided by municipal governments or utility companies may take several days or possibly weeks to complete, so inquire about them early in the process. These services may be free or may require a payment. As well, your municipal government may require work to be completed within a limited time-frame after underground utility location or inspection services have been performed. If you are hiring a professional to work on your home, ensure that they have discussed all of the necessary procedures with the municipal government, and that any site work that will be completed by utility companies or your municipal government is coordinated so that your flood reduction work goes smoothly.