Downspouts Across Canada, many municipalities have mandatory, volunteer or rebate programs to encourage homeowners to disconnect their downspouts from the sewer system. Directing rainwater away from sewers has economic and environmental benefits. Here's how to disconnect your downspouts. What Are Downspouts?Downspouts are the vertical pipes that drain water from the roof down to the ground. They clear the rainwater that collects along the edge of the roof in the eavestroughs and direct it away from the building's foundation. The water is then typically piped to the storm sewer system, piped to a combined storm and sanitary sewer system, or diverted into the ground through natural seepage.Benefits of Disconnecting DownspoutsSudden, heavy rainstorms can cause combined sewer systems to overflow. When sewers overflow, basements and waterways can be flooded with untreated stormwater and wastewater.According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, homeowners and municipalities can derive economic and environmental benefits by disconnecting downspouts. These benefits include:Reduced likelihood of basements flooding due to unsanitary sewer backups and leaking downspout connectionsLess stormwater in the sewer system, decreasing the chance that untreated water will overflow into local streams and lakesCleaner watercourses and a replenished groundwater tableA reduced chance of flash flooding in riversLower energy requirements to run the sewer system and wastewater treatment facilities, resulting in fewer greenhouse gas emissionsIncreased availability of water for lawns and gardens if it's collected in rain barrels. 1 2 3Across Canada, many municipalities have downspout disconnection programs. These programs may be mandatory, voluntary or supported by consumer rebates. Visit your public works website for more information.5 Tips for Disconnecting DownspoutsMany municipal websites offer advice on disconnecting downspouts. Consider the following: Ensure that the rainwater will flow onto your grass or into your garden.Direct the downspout so the rainwater will flow away from your foundation walls, not cross a driveway or walkway, and not negatively affect a neighbour's property.Make sure your eavestroughs and nearby municipal catch basins are free of debris, such as leaves.Position the downspout so there is a minimum slope of 1 metre (3 feet, 4 inches) away from your house.Consult a knowledgeable and licensed roofer, eavestrough contractor or civil engineer for expert guidance.3How to Get Disconnected – A Step-by-Step Guide Sources: 1Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)2City Farmer, Canada's Office of Urban Agriculture3City of Hamilton Downspout Disconnection Home Insurance: Is Yours Up to Date?Protect your most valuable asset. Make sure your home insurance is up to date with the checklist and tips in this brochure.Filing an Insurance ClaimSometimes life happens. If you’ve been in a collision or if your home has been burglarized or damaged in some way, you’ll want to get your life back to normal as quickly as possible.Personal Property InventoryDo you know how much your possessions are worth?Home Insurance – Q&AQuestion to ask your insurance representative. Related ServicesGradingThe area next to your foundation becomes susceptible to water damage as the soil slope degrades. Improving the grade or angle of slope on your property can help improve water drainage, as well as prevent flooding and associated damage.Rain BarrelsRain barrels can reduce water consumption by 27,000 litres per growing season. Installation is easy with IBC’s tips.Backwater ValvesSewage in a basement or on a ground floor is a mess. Installing a backwater valve can prevent sewers from backing up and may make you eligible for a rebate.Roof ProtectionYour roof plays an important role in protecting your home and its contents. Damage to a roof caused by hail or wind is usually covered under a home insurance policy. Hire a licensed roofing contractor for repairs, replacement and advice on appropriate roof materials.Oil Tank CareWithout proper insurance, if your oil tank spills or leaks you could be 100% responsible for cleanup costs – which average $250,000 to $500,000 but can be even more. As a property owner, you are responsible for the year-round maintenance of this potential environmental hazard. Useful LinksBuying Home InsuranceAs a homeowner, you need to insure your house for replacement costs so that in the event of serious damage or destruction you have adequate coverage. Be sure to keep your home insurance current by reporting material changes or upgrades.Home Inventory ApplicationA current inventory of your belongings makes it easier to file a claim. Keeping your records off-site is wise in case a fire or flood damages your property. Consider updating your home inventory each spring and advise your insurer of any major purchases.DisasterAm I covered? When can I start to rebuild? In the wake of a disaster, there are many questions to consider. ICLRThe Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR) is a world-class centre for multi-disciplinary disaster prevention research and communications.