Ontario Water News

Ontario Team Tackles Basement Flooding with Stormwater Tech Pilot

A group of local organizations in Collingwood, Ontario have come together to develop the first-ever stormwater technology pilot focused on reducing the risk of basement flooding during increasingly extreme weather events.

Partners of the Collingwood Smart Stormwater Project include The Environment Network, Greenland Engineering Consultants, Huronia Security & Monitoring, The Town of Collingwood, RainGrid and SafeSump.

The goal of this pilot study is to develop a smarter way to overcome basement flooding, an expensive and frustrating event that occurs in homes built in low-lying areas. “The average cost of repairing a flooded basement in major urban centres is $42,000 based on research by the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation at the University of Waterloo,” said Mark Palmer, President, CEO and Executive Director of GREENLAND® Group of Companies. “This is a major issue for many homeowners in places like South Georgian Bay, where heavy winter snowfalls, frequent snowmelt plus rainfall events have made flood mitigation a high priority.”

At the heart of the pilot is the SafeSump, a locally developed, first-of-its-kind internet connected, fail-safe sump pump. RainGrid, which makes storm barrels connected wirelessly to a central computer server, automatically manages their water levels to maximize their ability to mitigate flooding during heavy rainfalls. Valuable stormwater data will be collected from connected sump pumps, rain cistern systems as well as an array of sensors in rain gardens and other Low Impact Development (LID) features to assess their impact. Insights from the study will be used to scale sustainable stormwater solutions across the country with the goal of increasing flood resiliency in fellow Canadian communities.

“This is a cutting-edge technology pilot project that continues Collingwood’s long history of water technology innovation. It presents an innovative approach to reducing homeowner stormwater risks, while providing local companies an opportunity to develop high-tech solutions for markets abroad,” said Martin Rydlo, Director, Marketing & Business Development, Town of Collingwood.

The pilot is seeking homeowners located in neighbourhoods with higher risk of basement flooding to participate in the multi-year study. Participants will receive free cutting edge basement flood protection backed by best-in-class monitoring support. The Project Team invites interested Collingwood homeowners to attend the project’s Open House on November 23, 2017.