Credit Valley Conservation (CVC), the City of Mississauga and their partners have launched a new stormwater management system in the Lakeview neighbourhood. The plan is to convert current roadside stormwater ditches into attractive rain gardens that absorb and release rain water slowly, filtering out pollutants like oil or household chemicals that can be found on paved surfaces. The new streetscape will improve the quality of water that finds its way from street to stream and ultimately into Lake Ontario.
“Finding better ways to deal with stormwater is critical to protecting and improving the environment,” said Christine Zimmer, Manager of Protection and Restoration for CVC. “We’re showing that sustainable stormwater management can be done in a way that is cost effective, and creates more liveable, attractive streetscapes.”
Stormwater management has evolved since the 1980s to include best management practices known as ‘Low Impact Development’ or LID. These LID practices beautify while contributing to a healthier environment by helping to filter urban runoff. As one of the organizations at the forefront of LID techniques in Canada, CVC has received special funding from the Ontario Ministry of Environment’s Showcasing Water Innovation (SWI) program to implement a series of nine green infrastructure projects.
Some of the other projects include Elm Drive in Mississauga, where CVC has partnered with the City of Mississauga and the Peel District School Board to install a bioswale in the road right-of-way to help capture, filter and clean rain water from the surrounding road and parking lot, rather than have that water flow into nearby Cooksville Creek. Additionally, a new permeable parking lot will serve as a model for businesses looking to green their workplaces.
“By implementing everyday neighbourhood examples that serve as models for other communities, CVC is helping to change the way people think about what a typical front yard or streetscape looks like,” said Zimmer. “The payoff for communities that adopt LID practices comes in the form of lower infrastructure maintenance costs, reduced insurance losses, and of course a cleaner, greener environment into the future.”