RAIN: Stormwater FAQs

What is the RAIN Program?

RAIN aims to provide practical solutions to help people reduce the quantity and improve the quality of the water that flows from their properties. RAIN is an urban stormwater education program that is delivered across Ontario by a variety of regional organizations in an effort to safeguard surface and groundwater resources.

The RAIN Program promotes three key messages:

  1. Slow It Down — Reduce peak stormwater flows through rainwater-harvesting and increasing the urban forestry canopy.
  2. Soak It Up — Maximize infiltration of rain into the soil to recharge groundwater and protect drinking water aquifers for the future.
  3. Keep It Clean — Prevent pollutants like pet waste, oil and grease, fertilizers, cigarette butts and road salt from entering the water system.

What is a RAIN Home Visit?

A RAIN Home Visit is a great opportunity for residents to get one-on-one advice from a trained RAIN Guide and learn about where water goes on their property. A RAIN Guide will assist homeowners in identifying stormwater concerns on their property, suggest possible solutions, and confirm best practices in managing water runoff to reduce flood damage and infiltration to your home. For more information, please visit the Help for Homeowners page.

Why should I have a RAIN Home Visit?

A RAIN Home Visit will show residents how to:

  • Manage stormwater runoff on their property
  • Reduce the risk of flood damage and infiltration to your home
  • Collect rain water for lawns and gardens
  • Protect local streams and lakes from non-point source pollution

How does stormwater runoff impact water quality?

Stormwater runoff impacts water quality by transporting pollution from paved surfaces, like streets, driveways and parking lots, directly into lakes and rivers through storm sewers. Runoff can also erode shorelines and topsoil, which hastens further runoff. Increased stormwater runoff from extreme weather events can easily overwhelm aging sewer infrastructure and overflow sewage treatment facilities, which can cause untreated human waste to flow directly into surface water. Hardened surfaces also disrupt the natural water cycle and prevent rain from soaking into the group and replenishing groundwater aquifers.

How can I reduce the impacts of runoff on my property?

There are many things that you can do to reduce the impacts of stormwater runoff, including:

  • Disconnect your downspout
  • Install a rain barrel
  • Plant trees
  • Pick up dog waste
  • Wash your car at a commercial carwash
  • Use salt-alternatives in the winter
  • Use permeable pavement options

What is green infrastructure or Low Impact Development (LID)?

Green infrastructure, also known as Low Impact Development (LID), is a method for managing urban rainfall which imitates the natural hydrological cycle by managing rain close to where it falls and capturing it, infiltrating it through soils, or evaporating it. Practices include rain gardens (bioretention), bioswales, permeable paving, green roofs, urban trees, and infiltration galleries.

What resources are available for homeowners?

If you have further questions or are looking for more resources or information, please contact Windfall

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