Stormwater innovative projects

Suburbs

Best practices in stormwater management are always evolving, and our stormwater utility is enabling us to stay ahead of the curve - making us a municipal leader in the area of stormwater management.

Here are some of the honours we've received for our dedication to proper stormwater management:

  • In 2013, we received the Council of Federation Award for Excellence in Water Stewardship, which was directly tied to our stormwater utility.
  • In 2011, we received two Showcasing Water Innovation grants from the Ministry of the Environment to fund innovative projects in water, wastewater or stormwater that create opportunities to share working knowledge with other municipalities. The grants were applied to the following local projects:

Beneficial reuse of sediment

In 2011, we rehabilitated Victoria Park Lake. A partnership was built with the Region of Waterloo waste management division to study the sediment that was removed during the project. The goal of the study was to investigate potential uses for the sediment instead of sending it to the landfill. The following case study provides an overview of reuse options for sediment. A French version of the case study is also available.

RAIN: An ecological approach to stormwater management

RAIN: an ecological approach to stormwater management is a community-based social marketing program that engages property owners to better manage their stormwater, based on the three key messages: 'Slow it down; Soak it up; Keep it clean.'

The project showcased an enhanced version of RAIN, combining our user-fee stormwater utility and credit system for both residential and commercial property owners.

RAIN was a four-partner project, including the cities of Kitchener and Waterloo, local non-profit REEP Green Solutions, and the national non-profit organization Green Communities Canada. The partnership met its goal of improving the program model developed by Green Communities Canada. Together, the groups were able to and demonstrate RAIN's effectiveness in encouraging people to adopt on-site stormwater management best practices, including the use of green stormwater infrastructure. This case study provides an overview of the project. A French version of the the case study is also available.

Huron Natural Area permeable paver demonstration project

Huron Natural Area is one of the most popular places in Kitchener for people who want to hike in a scenic setting and connect with natural. Given its popularity, we've heard from the community that more parking is needed on the property to accommodate visitors.

As a result, we've constructed a parking lot with permeable pavement to manage stormwater and prevent negative impacts to the natural area and its wetlands. This work was made possible through a grant from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

Permeable pavers, which are like bricks, are specially designed to allow rain and melted snow to pass through the gaps between them. The stone reservoir underneath the pavers temporarily stores the water while it slowly percolates into the ground. The stone reservoir has naturally occurring micro-organisms that break down hydrocarbons and other pollutants.

Rainwater absorbed from the permeable parking lot then travels underground through the soil - further filtering and cleaning the water before it's released back to the wetlands and streams in the park.

We continue to monitor the effectiveness of this demonstration project to protect water and evaluate whether permeable pavers are a feasible solution for other municipal projects.

*This project has received funding support from the Government of Ontario. Such support does not indicate endorsement by the Government of Ontario of the content of this material.

Please note: All documents found on this web page are available in alternative formats upon request.

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