Sump Pumps and Backflow Valves are the Best Defense Against Flooding

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By Jacob Maslow

A basement can become flooded without warning and can fill up with several feet of water in a short amount of time. Even if a house has survived many storms, a breach can still happen. Sometimes pipes burst or leak, and that can cause flooding too. Most of the time, however, it is just a few inches of water instead of feet. Even a few inches can do a lot of damage to basements and homes.

Most plumbing experts say having a sump pump and a backflow valve can prevent damage, or at least limit the amount of damage caused by storms. A sump pump will pump water out of your basement and is effective when there is a small amount. Some people have them installed and they can be rented. A backflow valve keeps sewage from getting into your potable water. Keeping gutters clean, and having that drainage go away from your foundation is also good advice.

Even with preparation thought, sometimes the deluge is too much and flooding results. There were floods in Windsor about a year apart in 2016 and 2017, that caused damage to 11,000 homes. People who had sump pumps were in many cases able to limit the damage, even though the amount of rain was a record breaker. 220 millimetres of rain fell in a single day, and that overwhelmed some basements that had been waterproofed earlier.

As a result, of those back to back floods, the city of Windsor started a program to help people or subsidize the installation of sump pumps and backflow valves in homes. That saved several basements when the second round of flooding came a year later.

As a result of those two floods, $165 million dollars in insurance claims were paid. In Windsor, 6,231 basements were flooded. About 800 basements were flooded in Lakeshore, Tecumseh, and LaSalle. About 250 residents received money from the Ontario Disaster Recovery Fund, the Windsor Star reported.

As a result of those two big floods, cities around Windsor are doing what they can to mitigate future floods. More than $120 million worth of projects are underway in towns around Windsor. The four cities most affected by the floods are cooperating on plans for drainage systems to deal with flooding. Ditches and sewers are also being revamped to help prevent further damage. There is also a move to separate sanitary and storm sewers to help facilitate drainage when there is heavy rain.

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