April Happenings

Dear Neighbours,

April is finally here, and there are a few things going on in and around Williamsville to take note of:

1. Thursday April 4 – Williamsville Main Street Study Public Meeting for the proposed Official Plan Amendment & Zoning By-Law Amendment to implement the recommendations of the Williamsville Main Street Study – 6:30pm Council Chambers, City Hall.

2. Events at St. Luke’s – 236 Nelson St. near Princess

  • Wednesday April 10th – Bridge & Luncheon 12 noon, $10 per person – call St. Luke’s to reserve a table 542-5501
  • Saturday April 13th – Used Media Sale 10am to 2pm – CD’s, records, video games, books, comics, posters etc plus bake sale, snacks, silent auction & live music
  • Saturday April 27th – Beef Dinner 6pm – $15 adults, $7.50 children under 12 – call St. Luke’s to reserve a table 542-5501

3. Saturday April 20th – Community Matters – Sustainable Kingston Community Forum 9am to 4pm Krock Centre, registration at 8am – www.sustainablekingston.ca for more information.

4. Monday April 22nd – Williamsville Community Association working group meeting. If you are interested in attending please contact us for details.

5. The Princess & Victoria Street development site plan will take place at Planning Committee likely near the end of April or beginning of May. Watch for announcements if you are interested in attending.

6. Sunday May 12 – Memorial Centre Farmers’ Market Opening Day – get ready to come out and meet your favourite farmers and crafters, get acquainted with old friends and meet some new ones along the way. The Farmers’ Market Association of Kingston invites you to be part of the Memorial Centre Farmer’s Market – become a supporting member, volunteer with promotions or market set up and take down, and buy local produce and hand made crafts.

7. Memorial Centre update – a recent staff report to the Memorial Centre Advisory Committee noted a recommendation for a community run ornamental garden at the corner of Alfred and York Streets based on the previously prepared M-Centre revitalization plan and comments from the community. To our knowledge people have been asking for more playground space as the current small playground cannot adequately accommodate the aquatic park overflow and is geared to younger children. In addition, a community garden for vegetable growing with a “Victory Garden” theme has also been put forward by Williamsville residents, but not for that location.  If you have comments contact Williamsville Councillor Neill jneill@cityofkingston.ca. The report can be seen at

8. Kingston Coalition for Active Transportation & KFL&A Public Health – invite you to participate in an active transportation survey – it doesn’t take long! Please click here to complete the online survey https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/KCAT-Kingston-Community or access the survey from KCAT’s website: www.kcat.ca.

9. Utilities Kingston is conducting a Preventative Plumbing Program in various areas of the city including portions of Williamsville. You may have already received this letter. If you have not and are in the affected areas please read the details below.


March 15, 2013

Dear Homeowner,
Re.: Voluntary Compliance with the “Sewer Use By-law”

Utilities Kingston is implementing a number of initiatives and programs to help reduce sewage back-ups in the City of Kingston. This letter addresses voluntary compliance with the City of Kingston By-law 2008-192, the “Sewer Use By-law”, and associated financial assistance available to home owners through Utilities Kingston. Our goal is to assist homeowners by providing public education and assistance.

Why You Are Receiving This Notice
Due to recent extreme weather events, there have been considerable reports of sewage backups throughout the City of Kingston. Through the voluntary flood reporting tool available to home owners at www.utilitieskingston.com, we have identified areas with abnormally-high concentrated flooding reports within the City of Kingston.  You have been included in the mailing list for this letter because your home is located in one of these affected areas.
1.    Victoria St., Nelson St., Albert St. from Princess St. to Mack St.
2.    Durham St. including MacDonnell St. up to Princess St.
3.    Toronto St. from Durham St. to Park St, including Park St. from Toronto St. to Victoria St.
4.    Alamein Dr. including Westdale Ave. to Carruthers Ave.

Causes of Sewage Back-ups
A typical contributing factor to sewage backups in homes is a phenomenon called ‘extraneous flow’.  Extraneous flow is extra, unwanted water that is getting into the sanitary sewer. Sources of extraneous flow originate from both the public and private side. On the public side, examples include sewers with leaky joints and cross-connections with the storm sewer system. On the private side, examples include leaky sewer laterals, as well as plumbing that is illegally connected and discharging directly into the sanitary sewer system, including:
1.    illegal connection of a sump pump;
2.    illegal connection of eavestroughs downspouts, or;
3.    illegal connection of foundation drains or weeping tiles.

Collectively, extraneous flows can overwhelm the sewer system and cause sewage backups. While a potential illegal connection in your home might not cause your own basement to experience a backup, it can contribute to sewage backups in your neighbour’s home, or even homes further downstream in the sanitary sewage collection system. Learn more about the causes at http://www.utilitieskingston.com/Water/basementflooding/causes.aspx

What Utilities Kingston is Doing
Utilities Kingston manages an annual public-side extraneous flow program that works to reduce leaks on the sewer system on the public-side. Learn more at http://www.utilitieskingston.com/Water/basementflooding/city.aspx

The Homeowner’s Responsibilities
While Utilities Kingston is addressing the public-side issues, homeowners are required to address the private-side issues. Specifically, home owners are required to comply with the “Sewer Use By-law”.

Financial Assistance
Home owners who voluntarily comply with the “Sewer Use By-law” can apply for financial assistance to the Utilities Kingston Preventative Plumbing Program. Learn more about this program: http://www.utilitieskingston.com/Water/basementflooding/preventative.aspx

Requirements of the Homeowner

Upon reading this letter, you as the homeowner are expected to take the appropriate course of action. If your home has illegal connections to the sanitary sewer, you will need to rectify them as per the “Sewer-Use Bylaw”. Common examples are provided below: (refer to Figure 1. for legal plumbing configurations)
A.    If you have downspout(s) that enter the ground and flow into the sanitary sewer lateral, you need to disconnect these and discharge them elsewhere.  The lawn is usually the best spot, approximately 2.0 m away from your foundation.
B.    If you have existing sump pump(s), they must not pump into the sanitary lateral or your sanitary plumbing.  If they do, they need to be directed elsewhere, preferably to your lawn, at least 2.0 meters away from your home.  (This item may be eligible for the Preventative Plumbing Program for financial assistance.)
C.    If you know that your foundation drainage (weeping tile) is connected to the sanitary sewer, it needs to be captured by a sump pump instead, and pumped elsewhere. (This item may be eligible for the Preventative Plumbing Program for financial assistance.) For items B and C, home owners are encouraged to participate in the Preventative Plumbing Program. Utilities Kingston will provide you with up to 75% of the cost of making your property compliant with the “Sewer Use By-law” (for eligible works, terms and conditions apply).

By-law Enforcement (Beginning May 1, 2013 in your area)
While it is our preference that home owners voluntarily comply and gain advantage from the financial assistance program, Utilities Kingston will be enforcing the “Sewer Use By-law”, specifically targeting homeowners who are contributing to extraneous flows into the sanitary sewer system. A by-law enforcement officer will visit your area to conduct door-to-door checks, specifically looking for illegal connections and sources of extraneous flows coming from your property. The by-law officer has the right to enter and inspect your home, and the homeowner’s co-operation is appreciated. If illegal connections are identified, the “Sewer Use By-law” will be enforced and the home owner will be directed to bring their property into compliance. In the event that by-law enforcement is required, the financial assistance program will not be made available.

Further Information and Assistance

If you require further information and clarification, please contact me at (613) 546-1181 extension 2242 or by emailing PreventativePlumbing@utilitieskingston.com

I would be pleased to visit your home or property to assist you in assessing your situation and to advise on the Preventative Plumbing Program and whether or not your home is compliant, or not with “The Sewer Use By-Law”.  Don’t forget to also visit our extensive online resource on basement flooding at www.utilitieskingston.com/floodfacts

Yours truly,

Rob Bowen, C.E.T.
Preventative Plumbing Program Manager
Utilities Kingston