Stormwater Master Plan moving forward

Wed, 23 Oct 2019

Planning ahead so Oakville is always rain ready!

Last night, Oakville Town Council approved the staff report that highlighted the findings and recommendations in the town’s innovative Stormwater Master Plan (SWMP) called Be Rain Ready. The SWMP focuses on the town’s more established community areas where storm water infrastructure systems tends to be older and designed to a standard reflective of the era in which they were built. Understanding the condition and limitations of these systems allow us to determine what needs to be improved to ensure these systems remain stable and functional while minimizing exposure to the risk of urban flooding.

The SWMP identifies immediate and long-term actions to enhance the town’s approach to stormwater management and climate change issues. It also provides advice to property owners on what they can do themselves to reduce flood risk and flood damage on their property.

“While communities have routinely undertaken master plans for infrastructure, like transportation systems, to understand infrastructure needs and priorities, few have completed master plans for their stormwater system,” said Mayor Rob Burton.  “Staff have made great strides at building an Oakville plan that strengthens our knowledge of the town’s stormwater system, its vulnerabilities and its needs.”

The SWMP is responsive and considerate of the increase in extreme rain events in Southwestern Ontario associated with climate change. Minimizing the risk of flood impact on private property and our natural environment, the master plan will help guide the town towards a rain ready Oakville.

The SWMP has three key phases to the study. Phase 1 assessed the condition of the existing stormwater system and collected background data. Phase 2 (recently completed) assessed the performance of the stormwater system to identify vulnerabilities, opportunities to decrease flood risk, and advice on best management practices for managing our systems in light of land use changes (e.g. infill development, land redevelopment) and climate change (e.g. increased rainfall frequency and intensity).

Phase 3 of the study will examine funding opportunities and options to support the implementation of the plan.

As a quick start, Council approved funding to implement three projects that will improve drainage function and reduce flood risk exposure in select older areas of town:

  1. Installation of inlet control devices (ICDs) in street storm catch basins to reduce the potential for basement flooding.
  2. Increasing the inflow capacity at 21 storm sewer system locations to mitigate localize ponding.
  3. Improved inlet grates at eight locations to reduce the potential for debris blockages that can result in localized flooding.

Public consultation was a key component in developing the SWMP and the town wants to thank all those that took the time to participate and provide input.  The SWMP follows the Municipal Environmental Assessment Process (MCEA) process, and concludes with a Notice of Study Completion that allows the public to review the final study document for a period of 30 days ensuring the study complies with the MCEA process. Residents interested in reviewing the study will be able to find it on oakville.ca from November 15 to December 15, 2019.

For more information read the staff report (item #2 on the October 15, 2019 Community Service Committee agenda).