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Spring thaw – Prevent the risk of water infiltration

As spring approaches, the City reminds homeowners of measures to prevent water-related problems such as broken pipes, sewer backups or infiltrations, regardless of the location of their property.

  • Remove snow near foundations and window wells.
  • Remove debris from roof drains, gutters and storm drains.
  • Do not reopen outdoor faucets until the temperature remains above freezing at night.
  • Check basement drains and unclog them if necessary.
  • Make sure that the sump pump, auxiliary pump and check valves are working properly, if applicable. A sewer check valve is mandatory. Regularly check that it is properly closed. If it is defective, have a qualified person inspect and replace it.

Certain additions or improvements to the property can also be made over the longer term to promote good management of water runoff in the spring.

  • Correct paved or landscaped areas sloping toward the house so they slope in the opposite direction.
  • Install a sump pump equipped with an auxiliary pump with automatic feed.
  • Install window wells around basement windows.
  • Seal any cracks in the foundation walls and basement floor.
  • Install a detector that quickly indicates the presence of water.

Some of these works require a permit. Permit applications must be submitted to the Planning Department by email, in person or using the online form. For more information on the works that require a permit and how to file a permit application, visit the Residential Permits page on the City’s