Stormwater is rain and melted snow. Generally, the more hard surfaces a property has the more stormwater will flow off it and into the sewer system. An increase in extreme storms, combined with more paved surfaces in the city is resulting in more stormwater making its way into the sewer system. This has led to an increase in flooded basements and is contributing to poor water quality in local waterways including Lake Ontario.
Making infrastructure improvements is necessary to manage the impacts of stormwater. To help manage stormwater, the City is creating new holding ponds, tanks and tunnels, and revamping some sewer infrastructure that is more than 100 years old. This work will help to decrease the number of basements that experience sewer back-up and improve the water quality in local waterways and Lake Ontario.
Update: public consultations were held, a survey was conducted, and the proposal was shelved after a vote at Toronto’s Executive Committee.
Toronto flushes plan for stormwater fee – Toronto Star, May 16, 2017