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Catch Basins 101

residential catch basin in the lawn

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Heavy rain can wreak havoc on your property, leading to flooding, environmental pollution, and property damage. Catch basins play a crucial role in managing stormwater runoff and protecting our environment. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the importance of catch basins, maintenance best practices, and environmental responsibility.

Understanding the Role of Catch Basins

What is a Catch Basin?

Catch basins, often equipped with grates, are chambers designed to collect stormwater runoff from streets and parking lots. They effectively capture pollutants such as litter, oils, sediments, and leaves, preventing them from entering our waterways. Properly maintained catch basins contribute to flood prevention and water quality improvement, safeguarding our communities and ecosystems.
storm drain on street in the rain

How Does a Catch Basin Work?

Catch basins use a grate to filter out large debris while collecting water in an underground tank. This water then redirects to another reservoir, sump, or municipal water treatment service. These concrete catch basins will have an inlet and outlet pipe. When the water in the basin reaches a certain level, it will travel down the outlet pipe to a new and more suitable location.
Rain catch basins are covered with a heavy, metal grate to keep out large debris. Most of this debris consists of sticks or leaves, though sometimes trash can collect inside a catch basin as well.
debris blocked catch basin

Is Your Storm Drain Clogged?

Water pooling around the surface is the easiest way to recognize if your storm drain is clogged. Clogged storm drains may cause the street or easement to flood. You will probably notice debris, plant matter, or ice covering the surface of the grate. Debris also may have collected inside the basin, so it is best to check your storm drain periodically.
When large debris gets trapped inside the storm drain, it usually collects trash or plant matter, making the clog more serious. If too much sediment collects at the bottom of the basin, it may make the drain ineffective.

If you notice that the catch basin or storm sewer is not draining properly, it might need to get cleaned you can call a company like MT Catch Basin to get the catch basin cleaned and inspected.

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What is a Dry Well, and What Role Does It Play?

A dry well is similar to a catch basin, but instead of redirecting water from an underground tank, it releases it into the surrounding soil. Runoff is filtered through a layer of rocks or gravel inside or outside the basin before it goes back into the ground. Dry wells may take in rainwater from gutters, or they may drain sump tanks and other greywater.
The installation of dry wells typically involves digging a basin deep enough to saturate the necessary volume of water. A perforated basin is set inside the hole and then filled, usually by gravel or rocks.
close view of catch basin in the rain

Essential Maintenance Best Practices

Tips to Maintain a Catch Basin

To ensure the optimal performance of catch basins, regular maintenance is essential. Here are some best practices to follow:
  1. Regular Inspections: Schedule quarterly inspections to assess sediment and oil levels, allowing you to determine the frequency of cleaning required.

  2. Thorough Cleaning: Clean catch basins at least annually before the onset of fall rains to prevent flooding and environmental contamination. Hire qualified professionals to pump out the accumulated debris and dispose of it responsibly.

  3. Record-Keeping: Maintain detailed records of inspections, cleanings, and spill response actions for at least two years. Compliance with municipal regulations and environmental standards is critical for demonstrating your commitment to responsible catch basin management.

  4. Spill Response Preparedness: Develop a spill response plan and keep a spill kit on hand to address oil, fuel, or chemical spills promptly. Reporting spills to the appropriate authorities and following proper cleanup procedures are essential for minimizing environmental damage.

Environmental Responsibility and Regulatory Compliance:

Property owners and waste generators bear the responsibility of ensuring catch basins are properly maintained and serviced. Adhering to regulatory requirements for waste disposal and spill prevention is crucial for protecting our waterways and natural habitats. By hiring licensed professionals and disposing of waste responsibly, you contribute to a cleaner and healthier environment for future generations.
team cleaning catch basin using truck

Catch Basin Cleaning Services in Toronto

When it comes to cleaning your catch basin, it’s best to call a professional. Our experts at MT Drains & Plumbing will make sure the job is done right so that you won’t have to hassle with getting debris out of your catch basin.
downward angle of a storm drain

Benefits of Having a Catch Basin in Your Home

Catch basins serve a lot of functional purposes that can increase the value of your house.
First, catch basins prevent flooding on your property to protect your lawn and other landscaping. Frequent flooding can cause unpleasant odours, and may also encourage bugs in your yard, or harm nearby plants. Catch basins can also protect your home’s foundation if your yard and driveway are not sloped away from the house.
partially excavated storm drain

Balancing Simplicity and Depth

While the intricacies of catch basin management may seem daunting, our guide aims to provide accessible and actionable information for homeowners and professionals alike. Clear language, illustrative examples, and interactive elements enhance understanding without sacrificing depth of information. Together, we can empower individuals and communities to implement effective catch basin management practices and mitigate the impact of stormwater runoff.
In conclusion, catch basins are indispensable tools for managing stormwater runoff and protecting our environment. By following best practices for maintenance, adhering to regulatory requirements, and promoting environmental responsibility, we can maximize the effectiveness of catch basin management and ensure the long-term sustainability of our water resources. Let’s work together to safeguard our communities and ecosystems for generations to come.

Paul S

Paul has more then 20 years in basement waterproofing and plumbing projects experience. Looking for an advice from an expert plumber? Make sure to read Paul's articles about residential waterproofing and plumbing projects in Toronto.

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