Rain Ready Ottawa Update

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Launched in 2021, Rain Ready Ottawa (RRO) is a pilot program to encourage and support Ottawans in taking action to reduce the harmful impacts of rainfall and stormwater runoff.

Many of Ottawa’s older urban areas were developed without thinking about managing the impacts of runoff on local watercourses. Buildings, streets and parking lots don’t absorb stormwater like natural areas do. When rain falls on these surfaces, it moves quickly into storm sewers as stormwater runoff that drains straight into our streams and rivers, picking up pollutants along the way. This can cause problems like:

  • Poor water quality in creeks and rivers
  • Increased risks of flooding and erosion
  • Habitat degradation
  • Beach closures

Likewise, poor stormwater management around your home can cause damage to your foundation and other parts of your property.

The City of Ottawa has undertaken stormwater retrofit studies for two parts of Ottawa and is planning on doing more. These completed retrofit studies, called the Pinecrest Creek/ Westboro and Eastern Subwatersheds Stormwater Retrofit Studies, are part of the Council approved Ottawa River Action Plan (ORAP) and are RRO’s priority retrofit areas. ORAP seeks to reduce the impacts of stormwater on the Ottawa River and its watershed. Both plans identified that stormwater management projects on residential properties can be an important part of the solution to reduce the harmful impacts of stormwater runoff on local waterways. To achieve this, Ottawans will collectively need to install thousands of stormwater management projects on their own properties.

These include:

  • Downspout redirections away from storm drains and to permeable surfaces.
  • Installation of rain barrels to capture and store stormwater.
  • Installation of rain gardens and soakaway pits to encourage on-site stormwater absorption.
  • Installation of permeable pavements to reduce impermeable hardscapes and encourage on-site stormwater absorption.

To learn more about Rain Ready Ottawa and the projects it supports, visit ottawa.ca/rain.

Protecting the health of the Ottawa River watershed will need everyone to take action. Projects both big and small can make a difference and help improve the health of our waterways and reduce the harmful impacts of stormwater runoff.

The Rain Ready Ottawa pilot is currently undergoing a review to identify recommendations for an extended or permanent program. The review is considering:

  • How to tell more people about Rain Ready Ottawa.
  • How to best support Ottawans in undertaking stormwater management projects through education and rebates.
  • What kind of engagement activities would benefit Ottawans the most.
  • How the City can work better with landscaping companies to get projects in the ground.
  • What areas would benefit most from improved residential stormwater management.

Launched in 2021, Rain Ready Ottawa (RRO) is a pilot program to encourage and support Ottawans in taking action to reduce the harmful impacts of rainfall and stormwater runoff.

Many of Ottawa’s older urban areas were developed without thinking about managing the impacts of runoff on local watercourses. Buildings, streets and parking lots don’t absorb stormwater like natural areas do. When rain falls on these surfaces, it moves quickly into storm sewers as stormwater runoff that drains straight into our streams and rivers, picking up pollutants along the way. This can cause problems like:

  • Poor water quality in creeks and rivers
  • Increased risks of flooding and erosion
  • Habitat degradation
  • Beach closures

Likewise, poor stormwater management around your home can cause damage to your foundation and other parts of your property.

The City of Ottawa has undertaken stormwater retrofit studies for two parts of Ottawa and is planning on doing more. These completed retrofit studies, called the Pinecrest Creek/ Westboro and Eastern Subwatersheds Stormwater Retrofit Studies, are part of the Council approved Ottawa River Action Plan (ORAP) and are RRO’s priority retrofit areas. ORAP seeks to reduce the impacts of stormwater on the Ottawa River and its watershed. Both plans identified that stormwater management projects on residential properties can be an important part of the solution to reduce the harmful impacts of stormwater runoff on local waterways. To achieve this, Ottawans will collectively need to install thousands of stormwater management projects on their own properties.

These include:

  • Downspout redirections away from storm drains and to permeable surfaces.
  • Installation of rain barrels to capture and store stormwater.
  • Installation of rain gardens and soakaway pits to encourage on-site stormwater absorption.
  • Installation of permeable pavements to reduce impermeable hardscapes and encourage on-site stormwater absorption.

To learn more about Rain Ready Ottawa and the projects it supports, visit ottawa.ca/rain.

Protecting the health of the Ottawa River watershed will need everyone to take action. Projects both big and small can make a difference and help improve the health of our waterways and reduce the harmful impacts of stormwater runoff.

The Rain Ready Ottawa pilot is currently undergoing a review to identify recommendations for an extended or permanent program. The review is considering:

  • How to tell more people about Rain Ready Ottawa.
  • How to best support Ottawans in undertaking stormwater management projects through education and rebates.
  • What kind of engagement activities would benefit Ottawans the most.
  • How the City can work better with landscaping companies to get projects in the ground.
  • What areas would benefit most from improved residential stormwater management.
Page last updated: 08 Mar 2024, 08:54 AM