Drainage Maintenance

When it rains or when snow melts, the water accumulates and flows across roads, parking lots, land etc. In rural environments, soil absorbs a significant portion of the runoff, but in urban, built-up areas, the increased hard-scaping (roads, sidewalks, driveways, roof-tops, parking lots etc.) reduces what can be absorbed by the soil. To decrease flooding risks, runoff is directed to the Town’s drainage system through catch basins, culverts, ditches, storm sewers and storm ponds.  Each of these elements is critical to ensure efficiency and effectiveness of the Town’s drainage system.

 Our drainage system consists of:

 Catch Basin
Catch basins are usually found at the sides of urban roads and are designed to drain excess rain and ground water from paved streets, parking lots, sidewalks into storm sewers, storm ponds and nearby natural drainage courses.

 

What We Do

  • Conduct routine patrols to assess the conditions of catch basins;
  • Repair / replace catch basins as required; and
  • Maintain catch basins that are damaged or plugged with surface debris.

 

How You Can Help

  • Remove privately generated leaves, lawn cuttings and other debris blocking catch basins;
  • Recycle and safely dispose of hazardous waste such as used oil, paint, paint thinners and batteries; and
  • DO NOT pour household liquids, paints or any hazardous wastes into catch basins as they are not filtered and lead directly into nearby storm ponds and/or directly into natural watercourses.
 Culverts

Culverts are typically short pipes that provide connection points and facilitate drainage between ditches, storm sewers, ponds or other drainage outlets.  Culverts are typically under driveways, roadways etc. They are required should a driveway / entrance cross a drainage ditch.

 

What We Do

  • Identify where culverts are required, at the property owner’s expense, through the Town’s Entrance Permit application process;
  • Replace damaged culverts; and
  • Maintain culverts that are plugged with debris, caved in or frozen (causing flooding).

 

*Note: If the property owner chooses to pave their driveway, the Town will NOT be responsible for replacement pavement and any hard surfaced landscaping in the event that a repair or replacement of the culvert is required due to frost heaving or as a result of construction.

 

How You Can Help

  • Remove privately generated leaves, lawn cuttings and other debris as it accumulates; and
  • DO NOT alter the ditch, culvert or drainage system in any way.
 Ditches

Ditches are inspected on a regular basis throughout the year to identify required maintenance. Ditches are located on the sides of roads and are specifically meant to drain water from adjacent lands / roadways.

 

Ditches hold water and, based on their design, control how fast the water enters the drainage system (i.e. storm sewers and ponds). Some ditches allow water to flow into the groundwater table, minimizing the amount of water discharged to natural watercourses.

 

What We Do

  • Maintain roadside ditches;
  • Remove leaves and debris, as it accumulates; and
  • Monitor the drainage efficiency of ditches.

 

How You Can Help

  • Remove leaves, privately generated lawn cuttings and other debris as it accumulates;
  • DO NOT alter the ditch, culvert or drainage system in any way; and
  • DO NOT pour household liquids, paints or any hazardous wastes into ditches as they lead directly into nearby storm ponds and/or directly into natural watercourses.

 

*Note: Property owners do not have the absolute right to outlet to roadside ditches. The Town reserves the right to remove or restrict any outlets to ditches that cause operational issues or damage to the drainage system.

 Storm Sewers

The main purpose of the storm sewer system is to convey surface water and prevent flooding. The storm sewer system collects surface water into underground pipes and conveys the (untreated) water to surface watercourses such as lakes, rivers, storm ponds. Because water conveyed in this system is untreated, it is not permitted pour hazardous substances in any component of the Town’s drainage system.

 

Storm drains are designed to keep some pollutants from entering the environment, by installing infrastructure such as oil and grit separators. To ensure the storm sewer system works as intended, storm drains need to be maintained and the debris removed so that it doesn’t block the pipes which potentially can cause flooding in the streets and nearby residents and businesses.

 

What We Do

  • Remove debris from culverts, catch basins, ditches;
  • Clean-out of oil grit separators and catch basins;
  • Inspect sewer lines using Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) to identify areas that need to for repair / replacement; and
  • Conduct sewer flushing to clear the sewer of debris and to ensure adequate capacity and flow.

 

How You Can Help

  • DO NOT pour household liquids, paints or any hazardous wastes into catch basins, ditches as they are not filtered and lead directly into nearby storm ponds and/or directly into natural watercourses.
 Storm Ponds

A storm water management pond is an engineered structure constructed to gather rainfall and surface water runoff. The pond temporarily stores water and then releases it at a controlled rate. Storm water ponds can provide erosion and flooding control while enhancing water quality.

 

Through a combination of landscape and structural features, a storm water management pond allow sediment and contaminates to settle out of runoff before it is released to a natural water course.

 

Storm water ponds also hold back water and release it at a controlled rate during large storms. Controlling the flow of storm water protects downstream lands from erosion and flooding.

In addition, storm water ponds are constructed to be attractive feature with an environmental benefit. Storm water management ponds are designed to be surrounded by natural vegetation and provide habitat for birds and animals. The Town of Gravenhurst has nine storm ponds.

 

What We Do

  • Maintain inlets, outlets and other storm water pond infrastructure to ensure functionality of the storm ponds are maintained; and
  • Conduct pond clean-outs, as required.

 

How You Can Help

  • DO NOT pour household liquids, paints or hazardous waste into catch basins, ditches or storm ponds as they are not filtered and lead directly into nearby natural watercourses.
  • DO NOT release any unwanted fish, game fish, or aquarium pets into the storm water ponds. Contact a pet store where purchased or the Ministry of Natural Environment for proper disposal options
  • DO NOT use a storm water pond for recreational activities (i.e. fishing, swimming, skating etc.) at any time.

 

Did you Know?

Over time, sediment will accumulate in the pond reducing the pond’s ability to improve water quality. The Town, as required, will clean out ponds to restore the water quality function.


The Town appreciates all inquiries relative to drainage concerns, including blocked culverts, damaged or blocked catch basins and / or plugged ditches.

 Report a Problem

To report a concern with Drainage, Storm water Management Pond contact s at: 705-687-3412 ext 256 or report a problem using our online form.

Complaints are addressed on a priority and scheduling basis.

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