Advisory of the Day
TORONTO, ON: STORM WATER PREPAREDNESS ESSENTIAL FOR MAJOR METROPOLIS, ON
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Water has played an integral part in shaping the city of Toronto. Its citizens depend on it greatly for drinking, taking away our waste and keeping our city green. That being said, it's also important that it's controlled to some extent, for as life giving as it can be, it has the potential to be quite destructive in an urban setting if not harnessed
Adverse weather conditions can result in tremendous damage to public and private property in a metropolis the size of Toronto. Residents won't soon forget the flooding that happened in the summer of 2013 when 3.5 inches of rain dropped in a single evening. Subways were flooded, above ground train tracks were submerged, power in large swaths of the city was lost and a lawyer abandoned a $200,000 Ferrarri side mirrors deep underwater
It was the most expensive natural disaster in Toronto history, with PCS-Canada Service estimating the damage at over $850 million. This reporter had an opportunity to speak with Mani Seradj, a Team Leader and Project Manager who specializes in Water Engineering for Cole Engineering in Markham. His company works with municipalities on projects varying from storm water management to wetlands engineering. His team is mostly focused on the design side but also provides inspection services during the construction phase if necessary
When new subdivisions are planned, Seradj and his team take into account the possibility for freak rainfalls and plan the town accordingly. According to him, "when the capacity of a sewer is full, we design the roads to take the runoff elsewhere, like a storm water pond," adding, " if you don't manage it, you can cause major issues for humans and the environment."
Companies like Seradj's team up with municipalities, the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change as well as local conservation groups to ensure their projects are as environmentally sound as possible
Toronto's Don River and Central Waterfront Project is undertaking to lessen the effect of extreme weather events. Now that a class environmental study has been completed, recommendations have been made that include a series of integrated tunnels and storage shafts that will capture, store and transport stormwater and combined sewer overflows for treatment
According to the City of Toronto Website, when fully implemented, this project will result in virtual elimination of releases of combined sewer overflows into the Don River and Central Waterfront, as well the reduction of polluted stormwater discharges, significantly improving water quality in the Don River and Central Waterfront, improving aquatic habitat for fish and other wildlife and helping the City meet provincial requirements for controlling combined sewer overflows
According to the latest assessment, cost for this project could reach around $1.5 billion over a 25 year period.
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