What happens to rainwater after falling on the ground in urban areas? Most of the time it enters a storm sewer and flows directly into our local streams. This is called stormwater. As stormwater makes its way to sewers and drains it collects pollutants and if left untreated, stormwater will contaminate our waterways.
How Credit Valley Conservation Supports the Municipal Stormwater Network
Traditional stormwater management, also referred to as grey infrastructure, focuses on removing stormwater as quickly as possible from drains and sewers to prevent untreated, polluted water from entering local streams.
Stormwater management is important for the health of the local environment and municipalities are looking for ways to treat stormwater to remove pollutants before it enters local waterways and Lake Ontario.
Credit Valley Conservation a Leader in Green Infrastructure
An innovative approach to stormwater management is to retrofit existing areas with stormwater infrastructure such as green infrastructure (GI). This approach provides opportunities to remove pollutants by slowing down rainwater and letting it soak into GI systems to filter pollutants. Examples of GI include permeable pavement, rain gardens, infiltration chambers and green roofs.
Credit Valley Conservation (CVC) has been a leader in GI for over 15 years. In collaboration with Toronto Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) through the STEP Water partnership, CVC’s expertise helps their municipal partners with GI implementation, operations and maintenance.
Region of Peel Implements Green Infrastructure
Municipalities in Ontario are beginning to implement GI across their roadways, parking lots, parks and building properties. The Region of Peel’s efforts to implement GI are part of its Climate Change Master Plan (CCMP). The CCMP aims to increase GI and connectivity of natural areas across Peel region, while building climate change resilience and adaptation.
As a result of the plan, the Region of Peel has become a municipal leader in GI implementation. Currently, it has 15 arterial roadways and over 18 properties with GI assets including four roadway infiltration chamber systems, two roadway perforated pipe systems, three roadway infiltration galleries, four roadway bioretention systems, one roadway dry swale, 15 permeable pavement parking lots, six green roofs, two rainwater harvesting systems and the list continues to grow!
CVC, TRCA and Region of Peel Working Together to Protect our Watershed
To ensure its GI continues to work properly, CVC and TRCA are working with Region of Peel by providing oversight, inspection, operation, maintenance and life cycle analysis of all its GI stormwater assets. The collaboration focuses its work on stormwater GI assets within the road right of way and on Region of Peel owned properties.
As part of this work, CVC and Region of Peel are working together to inventory, inspect, assess condition, identify maintenance needs, coordinate the execution of maintenance activities, estimate lifecycle costs, design review and provide training to Region of Peel staff. This collaborative effort will ensure GI assets remain in good condition, meet Provincial regulations and cleaner stormwater is entering our waterways to sustain our natural environment.
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By Stephanie Wilson, Coordinator, Stormwater Science and Guidance