In urban areas, rainfall and melted snow travel quickly over roofs, driveways and roads. Water runs off these surfaces, collects pollutants such as dirt, oil, fertilizer, grass clippings, pet waste, litter, etc. and carries them to our rivers and waterways. Learn about how you can protect the water source in the Town of Orangeville.

After storms, heavy rains or snow melts, water levels can rise and cause flooding. As a result, it is important to keep our stormwater system clear and in working order.

Help keep storm drains clear

Keeping storm drains and catch basins clear of leaves, dirt, litter and ice helps reduce the risk of our roads flooding during heavy rain and storms.

Storm drains and catch basins let rain and melted snow flow into our storm sewer system which drains into the nearest stormwater pond, creek, river or lake.

Stormwater runoff is not treated before flowing into local waterways – only rain should go down the storm drain.

Do not disrupt stormwater ponds

Stormwater management ponds may look like natural areas, but they're actually an important part of the Town's infrastructure. Stormwater management ponds collect melted snow or water runoff from storm sewers, and slowly release it into our waterways.

Please don't add or remove plants near stormwater ponds. Plants and long grass help ponds function properly. We remove debris and invasive plants regularly, without using pesticides. We also maintain gates, locks, valves, etc. and perform repairs and maintenance when necessary.

Stormwater Management Ponds 

When it rains or snow begins to melt in Town, it usually occurs on hard surfaces such as roofs, driveways, sidewalks, parking lots, and roads. These hard surfaces cannot absorb water like that of lawns and natural areas. This water is referred to as runoff. The more it rains or snow melts, the more runoff is produced. As runoff flows across these hard surfaces, it picks up pollutants and contaminants, e.g., dirt, oil, fertilizer, and waste. If left on its own, runoff could flood streets and homes, put public safety at risk and cause harm to the environment.

Stormwater ponds are a constructed depression designed to temporality store and slowly release runoff to prevent flooding and erosion. Stormwater ponds improve water quality before it flows into local waterways. As the water runoff is stored in the pond, the sand and grit carried with it settles at the bottom of the pond effectively reducing contaminant and phosphorus loading into the environment. 

Stormwater pond FAQs 

Can I swim, skate or fish in stormwater ponds? 

Some stormwater ponds have recreational trails around them, but it is important that the ponds themselves are not used for recreational activities. Water levels in stormwater ponds fluctuate rapidly. They are also areas that retain untreated water with settled contaminants and pollutants. Do not play in or around stormwater ponds. They are not made for swimming, fishing, skating, etc.

How to stay safe near stormwater ponds

  • Do not skate, sled, or walk on stormwater ponds.
  • Do not swim, fish, boat or litter in stormwater ponds.
  • Stay on designated trails when walking near the pond.

Stay off and out of the stormwater ponds.

  • Keep children and pets off the ice and out of the water.
  • There may be no visible signs of unsafe ice conditions.
  • Snow can hide holes and cracks in the ice.
  • Continuous flow of water and changing water levels can weaken and crack the ice.

Obey the signs

  • Stay off stormwater ponds.
  • Stay away from the water’s edge of stormwater ponds.
  • In case of an emergency, call 911. 

Why is there vegetation around the stormwater pond? 

Stormwater ponds are landscaped with grasses, shrubs, and trees. The landscaping on the banks of the ponds help to stabilize the ground when water levels fluctuate. The vegetation helps to improve the water quality by removing soluble nutrients such as phosphorus, through nutrient uptake. Residents should not cut or disturb the vegetation around the stormwater pond. 

Can I release fish into stormwater ponds? 

No. Do not dispose of or introduce aquatic species into a stormwater pond. 

How you can help

  • Avoid using herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers.
  • Plant a rain or stone garden.
  • Use a rain barrel to water your lawn and gardens.
  • A permeable driveway such as gravel, block paving, etc., can help precipitation to slowly percolate into the ground and reduce runoff.
  • Use appropriate amounts of salt and sand in the winter.
  • Properly dispose of hazardous household waste. 

Project Contractor

Matrix Solutions Inc. has been hired by the Town of Orangeville to undertake an assessment of all storm ponds owned and operated by the Town. It is essential to assess the conditions of each storm pond on its function and performance to prioritize capital investments for operational and maintenance work. Field work will occur in the Spring 2024. The field work includes environmental sampling, survey work, and inspections of each storm pond. The project is expected to be completed by September 2024.

If you have any questions or concerns related to this project, please contact [email protected].


Review the following resources to learn more about how you can protect our stormwater system: