Heavy rain is affecting water levels in the Greater Sudbury area, prompting the Nickel District Conservation Authority to issue a flood watch for the area.

The general manager of the authority said water levels are continuing to rise and low lying areas are especially vulnerable right now.

"We knew that, with the type of winter we had — it stayed very cold until the end of March and into early April and we started to see snow melt in the last week or so — this heavy rain … is certainly aggravating the situation,” Paul Sajatovic said.

The city is also taking steps to deal with the increase of water both outside and in the water and sewer system.

The director of water and wastewater services for the city of Greater Sudbury said most of the wastewater treatment facilities are running at three-to-four times over capacity.

But Nick Benkovich said residents can conserve water to help with the situation.

"Try to conserve water … if someone has an opportunity to delay doing their wash or using their dishwasher or any kind of extra [water] flow.  Today's not a good day to put any extra flow in the system."

The North Bay Mattawa Conservation Authority has issued a flood warning for that area.

Highway 537 flooding troubles continue

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Transportation is looking to see if it can eliminate an annual spring irritant for some people in Sudbury.

Each spring, Highway 537 is usually closed because of flooding near Jumbo Creek.

The secondary highway connects Wanup and Wahnapitae. There is a detour around the trouble spot, using local roads.

“It's an area where the geography and the soils are very challenging, but we are taking a good look to see if there is something we can do to eliminate or minimize this flooding every year,” MTO spokesperson Gordon Rennie said.

Rennie said MTO officials plan to decide later this summer if the road should be considered for an upgrade.

“It's not uncommon to have flooding in this area, so we do have our engineering team looking at it for a longer term fix,” he said.

“We have been carrying out a preliminary design study for future improvements and that process is still underway.”