This multi-phase program will reduce the risk of basement flooding. It will also limit environmental concerns caused by directly connecting downspouts to the sanitary sewer system. These connections increase the flow of rainwater into the sanitary sewer system during heavy or long rain events. This can cause:
This program also enforces the existing City of Markham Sewer By-Law # 2014-71 (PDF) [Clauses 3.1D & 19.11]. It also enforces the Region of York’s Sewage and Land Drainage By-Law # S-0064-2005-009, which prohibits the discharge of roof drainage water into the sanitary sewer system.
This program will be done in five phases, but this is subject to change.
The first phase of the program began in May, 2013 within the Thornhill area. The investigations and testing work within the Phase 1 Area (PDF) was finished in April 2014. The downspout disconnection work has been finished. Flow monitoring within the area started in Spring/Summer 2016.
The second phase of the program began in May, 2014 within the Thornhill Area. The investigation and testing work with Phase 2 Area (PDF) was finished in April 2015. The notice of disconnection was mailed out to affected homeowners in June, 2015. The downspout disconnection work has been finished. Flow monitoring within the area commenced in Spring 2017.
The third phase of the program began in May, 2015. It covered areas within Thornhill, Milliken, and Unionville. The investigation and testing work within the Phase 3 Area (PDF) ended in April, 2016. The downspout disconnection work has been finished.
The fourth phase of the program began in May, 2016 within the Markham Area. The investigations and testing work within the Phase 4 Area (PDF) ended in February 2017. The notice of disconnection was mailed out to affected homeowners in September 2017.
The fifth phase of the program began in May 2017, which covers area within Thornhill and Unionville. The investigation and testing work within the Phase 5 Area (PDF) was completed in November 2017. The notice of disconnection will be mailed out to the affected homeowners in Fall 2018 and the disconnection period will end in Fall 2019. Post condition flow monitoring within the area will commence in Spring/Summer 2020.
The fifth phase expansion of the program began in September 2017, which covers area within Thornhill and Markham Village. The investigation and testing work within the Phase 5 Expansion Area (PDF) has been starting since November 2017.
The sixth phase of the program began in September 2017, which covers areas within Unionville and Markham Village. The investigation and testing work within the Phase 6 Area (PDF) will commence in June 2018.
Before any downspouts are disconnected, the City needs to confirm whether the downspouts that go into the ground are actually connected to the municipal sanitary sewer system. To do this, the City takes following steps:
After the investigations and testing are finished, the City will send a Notice of Disconnection to homes with downspouts connected to the sanitary sewer system. The notice will tell you which downspouts within your property need to be disconnected. We will send you more information about how to disconnect a downspout and use rain barrels when the downspout disconnection stage starts.
Markham Council has approved a Financial Assistance Plan for the Sanitary System Downspout Disconnection Program. This will help homeowners with the cost to disconnect downspouts from the sanitary sewer.
Only homeowners who receive a disconnection notice from the City will be eligible.
You can ask for part of your costs to be paid by the city. Follow these steps:
Rain barrels collect rainwater from downspouts and rooftops. They decrease the amount of storm water runoff that leaves your property. A rain barrel collects water and stores it for those times that you need it most. Using rain barrels can help you lower your water bill and improve your lawns, plants, flowers, and trees.
Rain barrels are easy to install and provide relatively clean water for non-drinking purposes. Here are some tips:
Help is only a phone call away! Waterworks staff will be more than happy to help you. Please call us at 905.477.5530.