The Dangers of Winter Flooding

Photo courtesy of Daniel X. O'Neil

Residents of the GTA are having a hard time deciding between winter boots or rain boots these days. Last week Environmental Canada issued an extreme cold weather alert for the area, with temperatures dropping to a shocking -17C. However, by Wednesday residents woke up to weather that reminded them that spring will soon be here. This unpredictable weather often brings rain and puddles, which can quickly freeze over. Stormwater runoff can make for difficult walking and dangerous driving conditions.

Credit Valley Conservation (CVC) has partnered with the City of Mississauga and the Peel District School Board to help reduce stormwater runoff with innovative low impact development (LID) practices. Permeable pavements and bio-swales allow stormwater to filter into the ground, removing pollution and reducing pooling. The adult education centre at Elm Drive in Mississauga is one example of where these innovative green technologies are being applied. The site uses LID approaches to reduce urban runoff and improve stormwater quality.

LID practice at Elm Drive in Mississauga
LID practice at Elm Drive in Mississauga

The Elm Drive site has permeable parking lay-bys, a permeable sidewalk, and six bioretention cells. The LID practices allow water to pass through specially designed soils below the surface, which filters and cools stormwater during the hot summer months. This is important because stormwater is eventually discharged into local creeks and many fish species need clean, cool water to thrive.

The LID practices at the Elm Drive site have proven to perform well.  Little to no stormwater runoff leaves the site during 95 per cent of all rainfall events (those with 25mm of accumulation or less).

When more communities adopt LID practices, they will benefit from lower infrastructure maintenance costs, reduced insurance losses and most importantly, an eco-friendly urban landscape.

Learn more about low impact development at, or contact us to learn how you can get involved.

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