Runoff from eavestroughs
Manholes and catch basins are designed exclusively to capture stormwater. That water is then directed towards a waterway, generally untreated. Thus, it is prohibited to dump any substance that could alter the quality of the environment.
When it rains, eavestroughs that are directly connected to the foundation drain can saturate the sewer system and cause:
- waterways to overflow. That untreated water contains pollutants such as fertilizer, oil, grease and pesticides that can severely harm wildlife and vegetation;
- flooding that can damage properties; and
- additional costs to the wastewater treatment plant for unnecessarily treating large volumes of water.
What can you do?
- First of all, disconnect eavestroughs from the foundation drain.
- Then adjust eavestrough downspouts to direct water from impermeable surfaces such as asphalt to lawns, hedges or flower beds where the ground can absorb the water. Downspouts should extend at least 1.5 m from structures.
- Collect rainwater in a rain barrel. A rain barrel with an average capacity of 200 litres will save approximately 6000 litres of tap water annually! The water from the barrel can be used to water the garden or the lawn, wash the car or top up ponds and pools.
Gatineau by-law 406-2007 concerns the discharge of wastewater and sludge into water treatment plants. For additional information, check the pamphlet on the by-law on the use of sewers.