Shovels, snow blowers, and plows are getting lots of use around Ottawa after the recent intense snowfall. Winter weather is part of what makes Ottawa great, but big snow falls are also a reminder that snow is stormwater too.
Here are three tips for dealing with a big dump of snow at home:
- Keep drains clear to avoid ponding in the road during the inevitable thaw. The City has more than 2,700 kilometers of storm sewers and 134,020 storm drain inlets throughout Ottawa! You can tell which ones are storm drains because they usually have a fish on them.
- Pile your snow on permeable surfaces where it can be absorbed easily when it melts. This simple tip can help reduce flooding in the spring and prevent pollutants like salt from flowing into the river with the melt water. Win-win all round!
- Speaking of salt, reducing your use of salt as a de-icer can make a big difference to our rivers. Salt can have negative effects on water quality and biodiversity in local streams. There are several alternatives that also help make your walkway and driveway safe to walk on in icy weather:
- unscented kitty litter
When the snow melts, just sweep it all away!
Rain Ready Ottawa offers resources and rebates of up to $5,000 to help eligible residents of Ottawa manage rainwater at home. Find out more at ottawa.ca/rain or follow along on Instagram and Facebook.