Surface Water Management

What is surface water management and why is it important?

Surface water management is the process of collecting, monitoring and treating surface water to help prevent flooding and pollution.

Surface water is generated by many sources including:

  • Rainfall
  • Snow melt
  • Any water you use outside, including washing your car, watering your lawn or emptying a pool. 

Surface runoff travels in many different ways. A few examples are:

  • Over land through swales and ditches
  • Crossing over and beneath roads through culverts
  • Captured by catch basins (square grates at the edge of the road) and carried underground within sewer pipes

The City of Hamilton regulates the quantity and quality of surface water through different methods. We mostly use stormwater management ponds. It is essential to manage surface water as it focuses on reducing flood damage and improving local water quality.

The watercourse includes:

  • All ponds, streams, creeks and rivers in Hamilton
  • All swales, ditches and underground pipes that carry surface water.

It is important to take certain actions to not pollute our watercourse.

Residents should obey the following guidelines to help keep our watercourse clean:

  • Do not litter in or around the watercourse
  • Do not drain or dispose of swimming pool chemicals and water in the watercourse
  • Pick up after your dogs and pets
  • Do not over fertilize or over water your lawn/garden
  • Report illegal dumping to by registering a by-law complaint

Additional information

Additional information about watercourses and the natural environment within the City of Hamilton, can be found through the Conservation Authority:

Municipal Drains are drainage systems that help surface water travel to the watercourse. Dykes, swales, ditches and underground pipes are a few examples of municipal drain systems. These systems have been put in place to reduce flooding.

Report a municipal drain that needs maintenance

Call: 905-546-2489

Find out more about municipal drains

Cross culverts are structures that help surface water travel below a road, railroad, trail or similar barrier from one side to the other. Culverts play a key role in managing surface water and preventing flooding.

Report a cross culvert that is clogged and needs maintenance

Call: 905-546-2489