Municipal tips on how to prevent basement flooding

(Photo courtesy © Can Stock Photo / sorsillo)

The municipality of Chatham-Kent is issuing some tips to residents when it comes to avoiding flooding in your home.

According to the municipality, increased severity of the weather is impacting existing infrastructure and improvements to underground storm sewers are not enough to protect homes from flooding.

Actions that residents can take to help protect their homes from flooding include the following:

• Disconnect downspouts from your private drain connection (PDC) and add extensions to direct water to a surface it can travel through, such as lawns and gardens instead of driveways or sidewalks. Make sure water is directed away from your house as well as neighbouring homes.

• Disconnect your sump-pump from the PDC by directing the water to a permeable surface. The same precautions should be taken for the sump-pump discharge as the downspout. Your sump-pump can also be equipped with a check valve to prevent water backflow.

• Seal cracks in foundation walls and basement floor.

• Maintain your eavestroughs and downspouts. Ensure they are not clogged with leaves or debris to avoid water from spilling over the sides and running down your house’s foundation.

• If you live in close proximity to farmland, ensure there are no old field tiles in close proximity to your foundation. If found, they should be excavated and plugged as far away from your foundation as possible.

• Avoid pouring fats, oils and grease down any drains.

• Limit how much water you use in your home during significant rainfall.

• Ensure storm services (weeping tiles, downspouts, sump pump) are not connected to your sanitary PDC. This can overload the municipal sanitary system during heavy rainfalls and cause sewage backup into basements.

• Install a backflow preventer on your sanitary PDC once it has been confirmed no storm services are connected. This will reduce the risk of sewage backup into your home.

• Install window wells around all basement windows. This will improve drainage and prevent window sills from rotting.

• Ensure that both storm and sanitary PDC’s which connect your home’s plumbing to the municipal sewer system, are in good working condition. Things to look for include cracks, root growth, loose joints and clogging. The best way to inspect these is to have a licenced plumber take a look.

• If there is a rear yard catch basin on the property, ensure it is clear of debris and that the property is graded to direct water towards it. This will allow your site to drain at a rate that the municipal infrastructure can handle.

For more information on how to prevent flooding, you can click here.