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Smart Stormwater Pilot Launches in Collingwood

By Katherine Balpataky 08:30AM November 16, 2017

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A group of local organizations have come together to develop the first ever “smart” stormwater technology pilot focused on reducing the risk of basement flooding during extreme weather events.

The stormwater technology pilot is a partnership project which includes the Environment Network, Greenland Engineering Consultants, Huronia Security and Monitoring, The Town of Collingwood, RainGrid, and Safe Sump. The main motivation for this pilot study is to develop a smarter way to overcome basement flooding, an expensive and frustrating event that occurs in homes built in low lying areas.

“The average cost of repairing a flooded basement in major urban centres is $42,000 based on research by the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation at the University of Waterloo. So this is a major issue for many homeowners in places like South Georgian Bay, where heavy winter snowfalls, frequent snowmelt plus rainfall events have made flood mitigation a high priority,” commented Mark Palmer, president, CEO and executive director of the GREENLAND Group of Companies.

At the heart of the pilot is the Safe Sump, a first-of-its-kind failsafe sump pump that utilizes the Internet of Things (IoT). RainGrid, which makes storm barrels connected wirelessly to a central computer server, has applied its internet-based technology to the project to automatically manage household water levels to mitigate flooding during heavy rainfalls. Valuable stormwater data will be collected from internet connected sump pumps, rain cistern systems as well as an array of sensors in rain gardens and other Low Impact Development (LID) features to assess their impact. The group hopes that the eventual data will be used to divert sump pump drainage away from the Town’s sanitary sewers and implement LID practices throughout the municipality, which should help reduce the community’s carbon footprint.

Insights from the study will be used to scale sustainable stormwater solutions across the country with the goal of increasing flood resiliency in Canadian communities.

“This is a cutting-edge technology pilot project that continues Collingwood’s long history of water technology innovation. It presents an innovative approach to reducing homeowner stormwater risks, while providing local companies an opportunity to develop high-tech solutions for markets abroad,” said Martin Rydlo, director of marketing and business development for the Town of Collingwood.

The pilot is seeking homeowners located in neighbourhoods with higher risk of basement flooding to participate in the multi-year study. Participants will receive free cutting edge basement flood protection backed by best-in-class monitoring support.

The Project Team invites interested Collingwood homeowners to attend the project’s Open House on November 23, 2017. It will take place at the Leisure Time Club from 5-7 p.m. (100 Minnesota Street, Collingwood). To find out more information and apply to participate in the pilot project please visit collingwoodpilotproject.com.

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