The main purpose of the storm sewer system is to drain surface water and prevent flooding. Water from rainfall, snowmelt or excessive lawn watering enters a storm sewer system. The storm sewer system collects surface water into underground pipes and conveys it to a surface watercourse, lake, ravine or the river via 225 outfalls located throughout the city.
In newer neighbourhoods, water flow is controlled by more than 50 stormwater management lakes. These lakes also enhance the quality of the water prior to discharge through the natural settlement of dirt and other material that may be in the water.
Storm sewer specifications
Stormwater management lakes
Operating as holding pools for stormwater, these lakes serve to:
- Collect neighbourhood stormwater run-off;
- Improve water quality by allowing sediments to drop out of the water;
- Drain to a storm outfall;
- Service land economically by storing peak flows and allowing small outlet pipes to be used instead of very large pipes.
Dry ponds also act as catch basins for excess stormwater during heavy rainfalls, but are otherwise empty.