Basement Flooding Information

​The Municipality of Chatham-Kent continues to improve the complex and very large system of underground storm sewers. These improvements alone will not completely protect your basement from flooding. Intense storms may overwhelm municipal and private storm/sanitary sewers which could result in localized flooding on your property. 

Most homes have two (2) types of private drain connections (or PDC): 

  • Storm or groundwater (examples include sump pump connections, downspouts, weeping tiles, rear yard catch basins)
  • Sanitary connections (examples include toilets, sinks, floor drains, showers)

The PDC's direct the storm or sanitary water from your property to the municipal sewers (typically located within the road allowance). Sometimes items that should be connected to your storm PDC are actually connected to the sanitary PDC, which is not recommended or acceptable. If you are unsure of your existing connections, it is best to hire a licensed plumber to flush and inspect them via camera.

Residents can help protect their homes from flooding by:

  • Disconnecting downspouts from your private storm drain and add extensions to help direct the water to an absorbent surface, such as lawns and gardens (not driveways and sidewalks), and away from your house. Water should not be directed towards, or negatively impact adjacent properties. It is also important that the property is graded to not direct rainwater back toward the residence.
  • Disconnect the sump-pump from the storm drain by directing the water to an absorbent surface. The same precautions should be taken for the sump-pump discharge as above. Optionally, the sump-pump can also be equipped with a check valve to prevent the backflow of water. The pump may also have a battery (or water) powered backup in the event of hydro failure.                                       
  • Maintain eavestroughs and downspouts. Ensure they are not clogged with leaves and other debris as this can allow water to pour over the sides of the eaves and fall close to your home, possibly running down the foundation, or entering window wells.
  • Ensure your yard catch basin is clear of debris and the property is graded to direct water towards it. 
  • Seal cracks in foundation walls and basement floor.
  • Avoid pouring fats, oils and grease down the drains, which can clog your sanitary drain.
  • Reduce home water usage during significant rainfall events.
  • Ensure storm services (weeping tiles, downspouts, sump pump, etc.) are not connected to your sanitary drain. 
  • If it has been confirmed no storm services are connected to your property, install a backwater valve on your sanitary drain. This will reduce the risk of sewage backup into your home.
  • Ensure both storm and sanitary drains, which connect your home's plumbing to the municipal sewer system, are in good working condition. 
  • If you are near farmland, ensure there are no old field tiles close to your foundation. If found, they should be excavated and plugged as far away from your foundation as possible.
  • Install window wells around all basement windows. This will improve drainage and prevent window sills from rotting. If there is a potential for large volumes of water to spill into the well, covers should also be installed.

Read more in the helpful links below about the impact severe rainfall events are having on existing municipal infrastructure.