Stormwater

Stormwater is water that originates from precipitation events and refers to rainwater, melted snow or runoff from roofs, driveways and roads.

In Centre Wellington, stormwater flows directly into rivers or is directed through the storm sewer system to the Grand River and its tributaries.

There are many surfaces (parking lots, roads, buildings, sidewalks) that do not allow rain or melted snow to soak in and runoff is generated. Managing the quantity and quality of this runoff is called stormwater management. We manage stormwater to control flooding and reduce pollution flowing into rivers and lakes.

GRCA

The Township's storm water collection system collects rain water from roads catch basins and sump pump discharges from homes. The storm sewers move water directly to the Grand River.

Sanitary sewers collect sewage waste from sinks, showers and toilets. The wastewater is then transported through the sewer system to the Townships wastewater treatment plants, where it is treated before being discharged to the Grand River.

The Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA) manages water and other natural resources on behalf of 39 municipalities and close to one million residents of the Grand River watershed.

Preventative Maintenance

Township staff flush and inspect the stormwater system as well as inspect and clean out catch basins. This work is completed to ensure the system works as designed.

Protecting your water and the environment

A spill can be a threat to human health and can potentially harm the environment including streams, rivers and groundwater. If a spill is not cleaned up, it can impact the drinking water supply as well as potentially cause human health impacts.

The catch basin or grate in the roadway goes to the closest stream, pond or river. Any spill that happens on or near a road can drain into the catch basin and pollute the local water bodies.

Hazardous Waste: Do not dump or spill anything but water into these catch basins or grates. Residents in the County have a number of options to properly dispose of hazardous waste.

Discharge of Water from Swimming Pools and Hot Tubs: Discharge of water from swimming pools and hot tubs contains chemicals harmful to fish and other organisms that live in creeks, rivers and lakes. Here is what you should do:

Chlorinated Water:

  • Reduce chlorine levels to 0.5 mg/L before discharging water. This can be achieved by not adding chemicals and by continuously running your pump for two weeks before discharging.
  • Adjust pH levels to 6.0-9.0 for discharge to storm sewer systems.
  • Discharge pool water onto your own property at a controlled rate to allow absorption into the ground. This will eliminate potential damage on your property and neighbouring properties.
  • You or your hired pool service provider must report any spill of pool and hot tub water to the provincial and municipal authorities if it has flowed into a stream, river, lake or storm sewer system without prior treatment. 

Salt Water:

  • Before discharging saltwater pools and hot tubs to the sanitary sewer, please advise the Township 519.846.9691 Ext 905.

Off property impacts are the responsibility of the swimming pool or hot tub owner.

Report a Problem

Please report any problem you may see related to stormwater management.

Sewer Use By-law

The purpose of the Sewer Use By-law is to regulate discharges to the sanitary and storm sewer systems. This helps protect aquatic environments, public health and safety, and Township sanitary and storm infrastructure.

The Township By-Laws regulating the sewer systems are:

  • By-Law No. 2849 Fergus Sewer Use
  • By-Law No. 3000-90 Elora Sewer Use

The Township is in the process of combining these to complete one standard Sewer Use By-Law which will apply to the entire Township. By-Laws are available upon request.

Spills

A spill is any material that escapes from its proper container or structure and ends up in the environment. A spill is legally defined under the Ontario Environmental Protection Act. 

Common materials spilled include: gasoline, diesel, paint, oil, varsol, manure, industrial chemicals and materials. Spills can happen anywhere including at your home, at your boat, at your job, at the gas station, during a car accident.

Any spilled material that ends up in the Stormwater sewer system typically will discharge directly to a waterbody (I.e. Grand River, stream, creek, storm water pond etc.) which would increase the area of spill contamination.

All spills should be reported immediately to the Ontario Ministry of the Environment's Spills Action Centre at 1.800.268.6060. If the spill has happened because of an emergency (for example a car accident), please call 911 first.

Stormwater Management on Private Property

Residents and property owners can play an important role in Stormwater Management by using various tools and methods such as:

  • Directing roof eavestrough downspouts onto the surrounding property
  • Using rain barrels to collect rain water which can be used for watering gardens, flowers etc.
  • Reduce potential flooding by maintaining swales, ditches, drainage areas through the property
  • Keeping as much of the property surface as porous as possible.

Stormwater Ponds

When precipitation falls, there are three paths that it can follow once it reaches the earth: it can soak into the ground, return to the atmosphere, or flow over the surface as stormwater runoff. In urban areas, there are hard surfaces such as parking lots, driveways and roofs and the majority of precipitation becomes stormwater runoff.  This can result in flooding, posing risks to property or human life.  Stormwater management is the use of planning or engineering techniques to manage these risks in urban areas.

The Township manages and performs maintenance on the stormwater management ponds. This ensures the ponds operate as designed and maintain their appearance.

Stormwater management ponds are one of the tools that are used to help protect communities from flooding.  Stormwater runoff from a large area, such as a neighbourhood or commercial development, is directed to a stormwater management pond where it is stored until it can be released to the environment or into the municipal storm sewers at a safe rate.  

There are two main types of stormwater management ponds that you may find around the Township:

  • Wet ponds, which are designed to retain a certain amount of water between precipitation events and are usually characterized by dense vegetation
  • Dry ponds, which drain completely in between storm events

Residents must obey all signs posted around the ponds and not dispose of trash, leaves or grass clippings in and around the pond. As well, leisure activities are not permitted in stormwater management facilities as the water entering the ponds is untreated and the suitability of the water for swimming or ice for skating is not known and is not monitored. The Township does not take responsibility for the safety of persons who attempt to use the ponds for leisure activities.

Contact Us

Township of Centre Wellington
1 MacDonald Square, Elora, Ontario, Canada, N0B 1S0
Phone: 519.846.9691
Email Us
Map this location