Thunder Bay·Up North

Thunder Bay council gets first look at storm water management plan

Thunder Bay city councillors got a look on Monday at the progress being made on the development of the city's storm water management plan.

20-year storm water management plan encourages city to take a 'big picture' view

Project engineer Camilla Correll talks about Thunder Bay's developing storm water management plan at city hall Monday afternoon. (Matt Prokopchuk/CBC)
Thunder Bay is developing a master plan will determine the best ways to deal with the storm-water.

Thunder Bay city councillors got a look at the progress being made on the development of the city's storm water management plan.

Consultants working on the plan made a presentation yesterday at city hall, before council met.

The plan will govern how Thunder Bay deals with storm water over the next 20 years, project engineer Camilla Correll said.

It identifies more than 600 locations on public lands in the city that can be used to naturally treat and disperse storm water before it enters the watershed, she said.

"We've looked at the public lands, and looked for opportunities for the city to go in and retrofit or green or better utilize that public land to get more storm water management benefits," Correll said.

Thunder Bay's storm water management plan, which is currently in the works, recommends establishing storm water guidelines for site developers, and creating appropriate bylaws. File photo. (CBC)

Guidelines for developers

The main goals of the storm water plan are to manage flooding and protect public property, but it also aims to protect rivers and streams, as well as Lake Superior, by reducing volumes of runoff and improving the water quality of that runoff.

The plan also takes climate change into account.

The size of the Lakehead watershed means consultants and city staff have to take a big-picture view when creating the plan, Correll added.

"Anything that happens outside of the municipal boundary is going to have an impact on the infrastructure within the municipal boundary, so they've been very proactive in trying to assess all these things in this 20-year plan," she said.

It recommends establishing storm water guidelines for site developers, and creating appropriate bylaws.
Correll noted they're still working out the projected cost of the improvements.

Having a plan in place will also make it easier for the city to secure funding from Queen's Park or Ottawa for any projects, Correll noted.

The plan is slated to be done by the end of April.

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