Stormwater Management Ponds

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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 Town of Whitby makes a conscious effort to protect the fish and wildlife that have inhabited stormwater management ponds.  Fish and amphibian rescue is completed prior to works and is an accepted practice by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.  Birds and mammals that are oftenfound around the ponds are mobile and will leave the work areas during the maintenance however, will return to the habitat when it is safe to do so.  The time frame chosen for the work considers bird migration and nesting in order to minimize impacts to the birds during sensitive times.

Stormwater management ponds are an engineered facility that requires clean out to be in compliance wiht the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change.

Please see the attached Stormwater Management Pond Clean-out Best Management Practices for more information.

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.

Storm Sewer Outfalls Study Update

Town of Whitby conducted a stormwater outfall study in 2001 to identify any locations where any additional quality and erosion control enhancement can be provided to improve the quality of the water released from the outfalls to the creek. Study revealed that majority of the outfalls constructed before the stormwater quality control concept, didn’t have any quality control mechanism and recommended few locations for quality enhancement in the form of pond leaving many locations without any enhancement due to constructability or land issues including non availability of emerging technology at that time (ex; mechanical structures such as oil & grit separators and LID technology). Based on the original study six new stormwater facilities had been constructed under the pond program. Under this project, all the outfalls will be revisited and report will be updated and new prioritized locations will be identified for quality enhancement which will assist the Town to prepare a new pond retrofit program and implement under capital works or though any other funding opportunities.

Stormwater Management Ponds Needs Study Update

This study includes 18 storm water management ponds to complete an overall inventory to quantify existing sediment volumes and identify short term and long term sediment removal requirements. Since the completion of pond needs study in 2011, Town has added many more ponds through subdivision projects. Under this project new ponds and ponds which are not cleaned under the previous study will be studied and bathymetric survey will be completed. Ponds will evaluated based on sediment accumulation and a priority list will be formulated. Based on this list, a pond cleaning program will be prepared and will be executed under capital works or though any other funding opportunities.

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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.


Safety Tips

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.