Capping Uncapped Laterals

This week, I am bringing a motion to City Council in order to look at an issue which may be contributing to basement flooding in the City of Toronto. This issue was brought to my attention by a resident in the ward who has been advocating for changes in our current bylaws. I want to start by thanking this resident, Debra Satok, for her efforts in advocating for positive change.

The City of Toronto currently requires disconnection or ‘capping’ of old storm and sewer laterals when the new lateral connection is made. When a home or building is demolished, the storm and sewer laterals could remain open until they are properly disconnected. These ‘uncapped’ laterals are a source of infiltration and may be a contributing factor to basement flooding. Some municipalities require proof of disconnection at the time of demolition in order to limit this source of infiltration into the sewer and sanitary systems.

My motion will ask the General Manager, Toronto Water, to report to Public Works and Infrastructure Committee on the current issue of infiltration caused by ‘uncapped’ laterals and to present solutions which would limit infiltration from this source, outlining the advantages and disadvantages of implementing these solutions.

I hope that we can explore this issue further and make some positive changes.