Stormwater management ponds are containment facilities designed to collect runoff from the local storm sewer system. Water enters the storm sewer system following either a rainfall or snowmelt event or from activities such as washing cars or watering lawns. Stormwater management ponds are built to temporarily hold this water, provide treatment to remove the pollutants, and then slowly release the water back into the natural waterway to prevent downstream erosion and flooding.
The Town of Whitby currently owns and maintains 35 stormwater management ponds throughout the municipality.
As owners of stormwater management (SWM) facilities or often called ponds, it is the Town's responsibility to mainain them in proper working condition. SWM facilities must operate in conformity to their original design requirements, allowing them to perform as intended. These facilities are constructed to collect stormwater runoff from the storm system and temporarily hold the water, provide treatment by settling pollutants, then slowly release the water back in the natural waterways.
Under the 2018 pond sediment removal program, six (6) ponds will be cleaned by an approved contractor. The sediment removal will be performed by using an excavation method within the timeframe of July 1, 2018 to September 15, 2018.
The Government of Canada has committed two billion dollars ($2,000,000,000) towards the Clean Water Wastewater Program (CWWF) for projects to improve water, wastewater and storm water systems across Canada. The Town of Whitby project has been approved under the CWWF and 60% of the eligible costs will be funded by the Federal and the Provincial governments.
Public Access Prohibited
Water levels in stormwater management ponds are subject to dramatic and rapid changes during and following periods of rain and snow melt. Public access to the stormwater management pond is prohibited due to site conditions such as murky water, sudden drop offs, subsurface currents, and the potential for entanglement with vegetation, sewer debris, or containment booms.
Here are some tips for safety around stormwater management ponds:
- Exercise caution at all times around frozen ponds or bodies of water.
- Even if a pond appears to be frozen solid never attempt to go on the ice. Fluctuating temperatures and the use of road salts can create thin or unstable ice and potentially hazardous conditions.
- Stay well back from the pond's side slope, vegetated barriers, and outfall areas.
- Be aware that water levels can rise rapidly, so never wade or swim in a stormwater management pond.
- Do not dump garbage or other household waste (including used medical products, fertilizers, soap scum , etc.) into storm sewers, creeks or stormwater management ponds. These pollutants represent a community safety hazard and compromise the environment.