Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Sept 2006 city reports

Some interesting city reports from Works and Parks this month:

Options for Implementing a Mandatory Downspout Disconnection Program
This report discusses various options for implementing a downspout disconnection program. This might seem like a pretty mundane topic, but collectively, rainwater that falls on Toronto roofs accounts for about 10-15% of all runoff. If we can divert the water to our lawns instead our sewers this would have a big impact on the river. Riversides has a great website on this and other low impact development options.

Potential Uses of Vacant Lands near the Intersection of Dundas Street and Carroll Street in Support of the Wet Weather Flow Master Plan Implementation
There is a vacant lot on the south side of Dundas just east of the river that has remained unused for 15 years. This report investigates possible uses for wet weather flow options. Basically it says that the land has little value for wet weather flow projects. The lot has remained undeveloped since the land is partially on the flood plain. Any new building would have to meet strict floodproofing guidelines set out by the TRCA. The city should write another report about the feasibility of turning this into a public park. The closest greenspace is Riverdale Park so the local area would certainly benefit as would the valley. Even a 'grass and swings' park would be better than what we have now.

Don and Waterfront Interceptor Trunk Capacity and CSO Control Project
While this report talks mainly about increasing the sewer capacity in the east end of the city it also proposes to piggyback it with some end-of-pipe stormwater containment proposals, specifically a 5 metre wide tunnel that would run underneath the DVP from Bloor to Lakeshore. When completed it would significantly reduce the storm water runoff that now flows directly into the river.

Tree Maintenance – Planting Programs
This report talks about the state of Toronto's urban forest and the effects of amalgamation on tree maintenance. It hasn't been good. According to the report, current maintenance is only about 33% of pre-amalgamation levels. The report recommends an increase in budget for pruning and watering of newly planted trees, something the Task Force has been pushing the city for years to do.

Storm Outfall Monitoring Program (including Taylor Massey Creek 2006 Update)
An update on the outfall testing on Taylor-Massey Creek started last year. They have nearly finished the mapping and have identified 252 outfalls into the creek. 141 have a dry weather flow (meaning that it is something other than storm water). They have designated 28 of these as priorities based on contamination levels and have so far fixed five of them. While this is a good start, the report doesn't discuss any future action plans, and doesn't talk about the 113 non-priority outfalls. The Task Force will likely recommend that Toronto Water produce an action plan.


Anonymous said...

Who will do this pruning and watering...has the Task Force thought of access for the watering and where to get the water?

Donwatcher said...

The tree maintenance (and we are talking about street trees here) was something done by the city forestry department prior to amalgamation. An increase in their budget would allow them to resume this activity. So this would be (and should be) done by city staff.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, didn't realize they were street trees, your right. sorry.