The City of Brantford has a storm water system made up of drains, pipes, and culverts that carry rainfall and snowmelt to receiving streams such as the D’Aubigny Creek and the Grand River. This land drainage system helps to make sure that the water will not flow through, or collect, in any unwanted places where it could cause damage. During heavy rainstorms, the water, called runoff, flows down the street and drains into catch basins along the curbs of the roads. Some catch basins direct the runoff to pipes that drain into retention ponds (also known as storm water retention basins). The water then slowly drains from the retention ponds into the receiving streams. Retention ponds are an efficient and cost-effective land drainage system, because fewer and smaller pipes can be used to carry runoff to the receiving streams.
Retention ponds also benefit our environment by acting as a natural filter – they remove sediment and chemicals before the water drains to our receiving streams. Sediment in the runoff settles down in the calm waters of the retention pond, and chemicals, such as lawn fertilizers, are consumed by aquatic plants. As a result, cleaner water passes from the retention ponds to the receiving streams. Retention ponds collect only land drainage, and not sewage from homes or businesses. On the topic of sewage, the city of Brantford has bylaws for what can be discharged into the Storm Sewer System. Any hazardous wastes (examples: oils, gasoline, cleaners, solvents, paints) that are disposed of into a natural water body will cause the destruction of aquatic life.
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