After 8 years city of Windsor still protected

High Water Levels
Surface water flooding
Tidal Water

Location: Windsor, Ontario, Canada. A city of approximately 200,000 citizens.  

Customer: City of Windsor assisted by Devine & Associates.

Problem: Windsor is bordered on its north and west by Lake St. Clair and the Detroit River respectively. The land is relatively flat and some in-land areas are actually below the elevation of the river and lake. The population is increasing and with it more subdivisions are being built. Some new subdivisions are being built in areas that are more prone to flooding. In addition, recent weather patterns have caused issues due to higher river/lake levels that typically experienced. And sudden, violent thunderstorms have dropped, previously unheard of, amounts of rain into areas of the city within just a few hours.

The City of Windsor has been working to eliminate a combined sanitary and storm water infrastructure system. While a lot of work has been done to eliminate the combined system, remnants of the combined system remain.
To counteract these issues the city had installed different types of check valves over the years (flap gates for example). Unfortunately they found that these check valves did not function effectively and required regular maintenance. In 2009/2010 the City installed their first Wastop inline check valves in the north area of the City along Riverside drive. As the name suggests, one side of this road borders the Detroit River. The city made a berm to protect areas further inland from high-water level events. In order to discharge storm water from the lower lying land, pipes were installed underneath the berm running into the river. Their purpose was to discharge rain water from the land into the river. Unfortunately, when the river level rises it is possible for the river water to flow backward through this piping and flood the land.

Solution: By installing Wastop check valves the city was able to maintain near full capacity flow toward the river while preventing flow in the reverse direction. The Wastops were simple to install and require no maintenance. After eight years of service the City of Windsor’s operations group are able to state with certainty that WaStop check valves require virtually zero maintenance.

There are now close to 60 Wastop inline check valves installed in the City of Windsor’s piping systems. Besides the Riverside Drive area described above, many of the check valves are installed in manholes on city streets. The Wastops are often used to prevent flow reversal within the combined sanitary/storm system, ensuring the fluid can only flow in one direction through the piping. The City continue to design WaStop check valves into their growing system because they know they can rely on these valves to perform as expected when it matters most. With changing climate conditions more unusual high water/high rainfall conditions are expected and the City knows all to well the significant costs that flooding can cause.