Stormwater Management Pond Procedure

Purpose statement

The purpose of this procedure is to outline steps to be taken to support the stormwater management pond (SWMP) policy.


This procedure applies to all town-managed SWMPs, as well as unassumed SWMPs intended for assumption by the Town of Oakville.


  1. Standard warning signs shall be installed at all SWMPs. The purpose of the safety sign is to inform the public of safe practices within the SWMP area and the potential for water level fluctuations during certain events. The warning signs shall include a list of activities that are prohibited within the SWMP areas. These activities include swimming, wading, skating, boating, fishing and fish stocking.
  2. The town-approved sign shall be installed near all pedestrian traffic routes or pathways leading to or adjacent to the SWMP. The town-approved sign for SWMPs in developing subdivisions will be supplied and installed by the developer. Signs may be ordered and purchased from the Roads and Works department.
  3. In general, SWMPs have been designed in accordance with Ministry of Environment Guidelines and incorporated into Parks and Open Space areas and as such the installation of perimeter fencing is not necessary in most cases.  Perimeter fencing will be considered for installation in situations that do not meet the above conditions.
  4. On-going maintenance of town-owned SWMPs will be carried out by town staff or contractors to ensure these facilities continue to function as intended.  Maintenance activities, which include debris removal, repairs and maintenance of vegetation and structures, shall be carried out in accordance with the town’s “Stormwater Management Pond Monitoring, Operation and Maintenance Manual”.
  5. Maintenance activities shall also include wildlife habitat management.  Such activities include the removal of animals, such as beavers and muskrats that are found to be creating habitat that is disruptive to the function of the pond or that is a potential threat to the adjacent or upstream lands.   Such activities will be conducted in an economical, humane and effective manner.  Any such activities shall be carried out in accordance with following protocols: the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) “Ontario Operational Statement for Habitat Management Program” (DFO, 2007); the Ontario Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act; and the Ministry of Natural Resources “The Beaver Handbook” (MNR, 1995).  Permits or approvals, if applicable, will be obtained prior to any removal activities.


  1. It is the responsibility of the Development Services department to ensure that developers are in compliance with the SWMP Policy & Procedure in relation to unassumed ponds.
  2. It is the responsibility of the departments of Engineering & Construction and Roads & Works Operation to ensure that the town is in compliance with the SWMP Policy & Procedure in relation to town-managed ponds.

Procedure details

Procedure Number: MS-ENC-001-001
Parent Policy: MS-ENC-001
Section: Municipal Services
Sub-Section: Engineering & Construction
Author: Engineering & Construction Department
Authority: CAO
Effective Date: 2006 Jul 11
Review by Date: 2018
Last Modified: 2013 September 16


Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), March 31, 2006: Ontario Operational Statement: Habitat Management Program - Beaver Dam Removal Version 2.0
Ministry of Environment (MOE), March 2003: Stormwater Management Planning and Design Manual
Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR), Natural Resources Canada, and Northern Ontario Development Agreement, March 1995: The Beaver Handbook: A Guide to Understanding and Coping with Beaver Activity
Town of Oakville, April, 2006: Stormwater Management Pond Monitoring, Operation & Maintenance Manual