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Flood Facts and Preventative Plumbing Program

Utilities Kingston’s Flood Facts and Preventative Plumbing Program can help protect local homes against the risk of basement flooding associated with more frequent heavy rain events.

Canada’s climate is changing. Higher temperatures, shifting rainfall patterns, extreme weather events and rising sea levels are just some of the changes already affecting many aspects of our lives. To help homeowners take action to protect their property this spring, Utilities Kingston is sharing flood facts and tips.

Know your Flood Facts to protect your property 

“We remind our community that any basement is at risk of flooding, even if it’s never happened before. Utilities Kingston offers steps you can take to protect your home when heavy rain is in the forecast,” says Robert Bowen, Supervisor, Inspection & Support for Utilities Kingston.

The number one tip that is especially relevant in spring is to check your eavestroughs and downspouts. Winter weather may have created blockages, breaks or disconnections.

In most cases, the downspout should drain over top of the lawn, at least two metres away from your house. Consider adding an extra length of pipe. Keep your eavestroughs and downspouts clear of debris.

Other tips for spring: 

  • Check your sump pump for proper operation and follow the manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations. You may wish to confirm it’s plugged in and working properly and consider an extra length of hose to increase the distance at which it discharges away from your foundation. 
  • Check your sanitary backwater valve and maintain it according to the manufacturer’s directions. If you can do so safely, you may wish to open the lid, clean it out, confirm there is a good seal in place and test its operation. 
  • Reduce your water use on rainy days. When it’s raining heavily the sewers may fill up. Using a lot of water during heavy rains such as taking a shower or doing laundry can contribute to basement flooding and overflows to your environment. Consider using less water in extreme weather situations. 
  • If you know that a catch basin on your street is covered in debris, please consider taking some time to clear it. This will help make sure that rainwater can enter the storm sewer and it promotes good drainage away from your neighbourhood. You can use Google Maps with Street View to locate catch basins on your street. 
  • Get 18 Flood Facts and tips to protect your property at
  • Know what to do if your basement has flooded. First and foremost, consider your family’s health and safety. Entering a wet basement could be hazardous. When in doubt, don’t enter the flooded area until you are told it is safe by a professional qualified to do so.

Financial assistance  

Homeowners can get up to $3,000 through the Utilities Kingston Preventative Plumbing Program. Use the funds to install sump pumps, backwater sanitary valves and more, including disconnecting illegal plumbing connections.

Contact Utilities Kingston for a free in-home visit and get expert advice to reduce your risk of basement flooding. Interested? Apply online at or call 613-546-1181.

Since the Preventative Plumbing Program began in 2012, $5,219,788.00 in financial assistance has helped nearly 2,783 Kingston homeowners, including the removal of more than 271 illegal connections to the sanitary sewer. 

The City of Kingston acknowledges that we are on the traditional homeland of the Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee and the Huron-Wendat, and thanks these nations for their care and stewardship over this shared land.

Today, the City is committed to working with Indigenous peoples and all residents to pursue a united path of reconciliation.

Learn more about the City's reconciliation initiatives.

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