KANATA NORTH NEWS Marianne Wilkinson Councillor, Kanata North WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE

Last week was largely spent on dealing with issues arising from the huge rainstorm on July 24. At the time of writing, more than 900 homes have been affected, most of these in Kanata and Stittsville. About 40 of these homes are in Kanata North with about 25 resulting from sewer backups and the rest from storm water entering the home through places like window wells and cracks in the floor. City staff visited every home affected to find out the cause and provide information to residents. A medical team has also visited the homes to ensure that no health problems have developed. The information collected will be analyzed and we should know the various causes (they differ from location to location) within a few weeks. After that we will have to look at each situation to see what can be done to minimize any future problems. The west end Councillors met with senior staff on a daily basis last week and continue to be regularly informed on all actions taken. A reception centre was set up at the Kanata Recreation Centre for those needing financial assistance, housing, health or other requirements. A number of residents do not have insurance as they were cut off due to several previous sewer backups. Community members who wish to help can make donations at any local Scotiabank. I’m working with the Community Resource Centre to determine the distribution of those funds. Some groups are planning fundraisers as well. Please let me know of any of these so that I can give support and ensure that the funds are distributed to those most in need. There has been a lot of public criticism on the City’s response to this flooding. In fact, staff were called out Friday evening and did what they could to help, closing roads which became impassable or washed out. Home visits started Friday evening, continuing over the weekend and in to last week until all were visited. The problem was that senior staff were not immediately notified of the seriousness of the situation so that our emergency system did not kick in until Monday after a noon meeting when Councillors Qadri, El-Chantiry and I met with senior staff and then took the Acting Mayor to see for himself. That should not have been necessary to trigger an expanded response and we’ve taken measures to ensure that it doesn’t happen again. The weather report that day called for 6-7 mm of rain. Here we received well over 100 mm in two hours. With all the rain we’ve been having the ground is saturated so all this water had to go to creeks and rivers. Kanata has separate storm sewers and when they are full the system is designed to have excess water flow along streets to the nearest stream or storm water pond. This worked

well in most parts of Kanata North. In Beaverbrook some homes had water entering directly through various places. This water then exits through the floor drain that goes into the sanitary sewer system, surcharging those pipes. If the sanitary system becomes full and more water is still entering, the sewage will back up in to the nearest low point – someone’s basement. Even protective valves could not take the pressure in some locations and blew out. Take precautions to protect your home from water damage and avoid contributing to sewer backups down stream from your home. These include ensuring land slopes away from your home, cleaning out eavestroughs and downspouts, discharging downspouts well away from the home (and disconnecting them from going directly to the sewer system), not pouring any grease down the drain (it clogs sewers reducing capacity) and cleaning out window well outlets. We will still experience downpours from time to time and making changes like these can help prevent basements from flooding. If you had any basement flooding and have not reported it could you please call 311 and let them know. Having information on every incident will help us determine all the causes and work towards the best solutions. If you have any urgent need or issue, please call my office at 613-580-2474.

It did not rain on July 28 so an estimated 1200 residents came to the Kanata North Picnic, devouring 750 hamburgers and veggie burgers, 1000 hot dogs, 1000 beverages, 700 cotton candy cones and 600 snow cones. Many thanks to Councillor Qadri, his wife Theresa and staff member Michael, for making the snow cones and cotton candy. Thanks as well to the sponsors whose donations made this happen. Kids enjoyed the petting zoo, bouncies, games, crafts and many took part in the entertainment. Thanks for coming! I look forward to next year’s picnic.

Thanks to everyone who contacted Rogers to keep WPBS available in Ottawa. Rogers has now agreed to do this.

Serving the residents and businesses in Kanata North
To receive the Kanata North Newsletter, to deal with a concern or make a suggestion contact me at 613-580-2474, email Marianne.Wilkinson@ottawa.ca or through www.mariannewilkinson.com.