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Archived - City and residents working together to drain street ponds and pools

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March 14, 2019
Feature Stories


As temperatures are ready to rise over the 5-Celsuis mark over the new two days, a familiar element of spring will appear on the Ottawa landscape – melting water pooling and ponding on Ottawa streets.

If you notice water beginning to pool on your street and near your driveway, you can take immediate action -- if you can – by chipping the snow and ice from the catch basin on your street, freeing it up to drain the water into the stormwater sewer. The City of Ottawa‘s Public Works and Environmental Services department is continuing to work across the City to ensure the over 100,000 catch basins are free from snow and ice. To locate catch basins in your area, you can refer to the City’s Catch Basin locator map.

Residents who notice large pooling of water on their streets can report online through MyServiceOttawa – for quick reporting and service tracking features. If the request is urgent, please call 3-1-1.

In extreme cases of rapid melts and heavy rainfall, stormwater and wastewater sewer system can reach capacity levels – resulting in a risk of basement flooding.

Here are some tips on preventing basement flooding from both sewer backups and melting snow from around your home and property:

  • Sealing window wells and cracks in floors, walls and the foundation;
  • Ensuring that the ground is sloped away from the foundation;
  • Directing downspouts from eavestroughs away from the foundation;
  • Discharging sump pumps to the ground at least 1.2 metres from the foundation;
  • Installing protective plumbing devices, such as backwater valves, which protect against surcharging in City sewers;
  • and maintaining plumbing devices.

Water pooling and ponding is a normal sight in Ottawa during the spring. We continue to work to help alleviate the water collection and we are appreciative for those residents who have given us a helping hand by clearing catch basins near their homes.

More information can be found on the City’s spring maintenance and flood control webpage on

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