Stormwater Management to Reduce Flooding Risks

Objective B2: Improve Stormwater Management to Reduce the Risk of Flooding to Residents

The following actions are needed to complete this objective:

  • Develop stormwater guidelines that:
    • Reflect Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) guidelines
    • Address stormwater retrofits in developed areas
    • Use modeling and best practices to map and apply best stormwater management practices (e.g. source control, end of pipe, pollution prevention), and determine where cash-in-lieu can best be applied
  • Continue to acquire data to inform the condition and functional performance of the network (i.e. fog testing, zoom camera).
  • Investigate funding mechanisms on a cost recovery basis for stormwater management.
  • Implement recommendations as outlined in the City’s Climate Change Adaptation Plan (2012).
  • Undertake low impact development (LID) projects and strategies such as rain gardens, porous pavement, bioswales etc. as part of road or parking lot reconstruction projects.
  • Confirm funding to maintain and monitor low impact development features.
  • Continue to use our parks for temporary excess rainwater storage and low impact development features to deter basement flooding.
  • Protect, preserve and enhance our urban natural areas and wetlands which naturally provide flood control.
  • Encourage downspout disconnection and basement flooding subsidy programs.
  • Acquire lands to enhance flood protection.
  • Work with Essex Region Conservation Authority (ERCA) to acquire lands in the city under the Clean Water, Green Spaces Program.

These indicators show the progress the City is making to achieve this objective:

  • Stormwater Guidelines
  • Amount of Wastewater Treated

Amount of Wastewater Treated Indicator

The City of Windsor operates two wastewater treatment facilities:

  1. Lou Romano Water Reclamation Plant (LRWRP): The LRWRP is a secondary, physical-chemical pollution control plant with a current capacity of 273,000 m3 per day for primary treatment and 218,00 m3 per day for secondary treatment.
  2. Little River Pollution Control Plant (LRPCP): The LRPCP has an overall capacity of 63,700 m3 per day.

Almost all of the water we use in our homes or businesses ends up "down the drain." Toilets, sinks, dishwashers and laundry machines all contribute to the water's need for treatment at our sewage treatment plants. In addition, large amounts of stormwater ends up being treated at the plants due to combined sewers, infiltration into older sewers, roof runoff, etc.

The treatment of wastewater is costly. The process involves expensive mechanical and electrical processes, requiring lots of energy to treat the sewage leaving your home.

How are we doing?

The amount of wastewater being treated indicates the amount of water each household is using. A lower amount indicates better water conservation and diversion of storm.

As shown in the chart above, the total amount of wastewater treated has remained relatively constant fluctuating between 700 and 900 litres per capita per day.

Note: In 2011, total rainfall in Windsor measured 1,568.2mm compared to the average total rainfall of 805mm. This well-above-average rainfall contributed significantly to the large amount of wastewater treated in 2011.

What is the City doing to reduce the amount of wastewater treated?

  • The City operates a wastewater collection system comprised of "separate" and "combined" sewers. Combined sewers carry storm water as well as sanitary sewage. The City is actively working to replace the combined sewer system and replace deteriorating older systems as is described in detail in the Sewer Master Plan. More information and updates can be found at
  • The City of Windsor supports Downspout Disconnection and the installation of rain barrels by homeowners. Under By-law 26-2008 (see By-laws Online), parts of the city require mandatory disconnection to decrease the frequency and impacts of combined sewer overflows. In 2011 and 2012, the City of Windsor offered free downspout disconnection to all areas of Windsor and also offered free rain barrels to residents who participated in the program. Since 2013, the program is still free for all residents, however rain barrels are no longer available.

What can you do to reduce the amount of waste water being treated?

Conserve Water:

  • Use water conservation fixtures (low flow toilets and shower heads)
  • Use faucet aerators to reduce water used as they are more efficient for hand washing and rinsing dishes.
  • Take a five-minute shower instead of a bath.
  • Disconnect your downspout. Allow storm water to run off onto lawns and gardens.
  • Switch from a standard toilet (19 litres) to a low-flow model (6 litres), saving approximately 75,000 litres of water a year.
  • When looking for a new clothes washer, look for an energy efficient front-loading machine. Front-loading washing machines use less than half the water of conventional washers.
  • Use a rain barrel to collect rain water for use in gardens.
  • If you need to repave your driveway, consider using a permeable surface, such as gravel, interlocking brick, or specially designed paving stones to stop storm runoff onto the road.

For more information on Environmental Initiatives

Phone: For general inquiries, call 311. For detailed inquiries, call 519-253-7111 ext. 3226.