F.A.Q's 

Questions

Answers

Can I use retention ponds for winter recreation activities?
No. During the winter, runoff water from an early snowmelt or neighbourhood water main breaks drain into the retention ponds. This winter runoff is often mixed with street salts that can cause the ice to melt and thin quickly. Runoff is released underneath the ice on the ponds, resulting in a thinning of the ice that is not evident from the surface. As a result, ice conditions on the ponds can change quickly and without warning, creating an extreme hidden hazard.How does the City maintain retention ponds?The City has a program to: ·maintain and operate valves, inlet and outlet structures ·pick up debris periodically from the pond and surrounding public property ·maintain park areas near the retention ponds ·control the grasses and weeds that grow through the stone shoreline ·treat aquatic vegetation (algae and water weeds) if necessary
I have an odour complaint. Who should I contact with my concern?
The City of Brantford Pollution Control Department helps assist the Ministry of the Environment with investigating odour complaints within the City of Brantford. If you smell something out of the ordinary, which is causing you concern, you may contact the Pollution Control Office through the following contact information: Pollution Control Office & Laboratory – 519-752-5263 (Monday through Friday between 8:00am and 4:00pm) Ministry of the Environment Complaints and Inquiries - 1-800-265-8658 Spills - 1-800-268-6060 If you feel you need emergency assistance, call 911
Can I use the water from the retention ponds?
No. The water contains pollutants from the runoff, so for your safety, you must not use water in the retention ponds for any purpose. The water, or runoff, that flows into the retention ponds picks up common urban pollutants, such as gasoline, oils, antifreeze and street salts, that happen to be on the street. It also washes pollutants such as animal waste, geese droppings, herbicides and fertilizers from the neighbourhood's lawns and gardens into the ponds.You should not water your lawn with water from the ponds. Nor should you allow your pet to drink or swim in the water.
Why do the retention ponds sometimes smell in the spring and summer?
Retention ponds are like marshes. In the spring, a "rotten egg" smell can occur because the snowmelt gets into the ponds and mixes with stagnant water. In the summer, slow-draining bodies of water smell of the fish, animals and plants (especially algae) that live in the water. Algae may also smell, especially in summer during an "algae bloom", when they grow in abundance. During an algae bloom, the algae appear as a floating green layer on the retention ponds.
Are there fish in the retention ponds?
Yes, there are fish in some of the ponds. Fish can get into the ponds by swimming upstream from the receiving streams when water levels are high. Since the ponds contain many pollutants, these fish are not safe to eat.
Our group is holding a car-washing fundraiser. Is there anyone I should contact?
Fund-raising groups wishing to hold car-washing events should be aware of the City of Brantford Sewer Use Bylaw regulations to control the release of contaminated wash water to the natural environment. Car washes where numerous vehicles are washed at one location pose a greater environmental threat to water quality than individual car washes due to the concentrated loading of contaminants. In the Sewer Use Bylaw, under 281.5.2 – General Limitations – obstructions – hazardous, it is stated, “Matter of any type or at any temperature or in any quantity which may impair the quality of the water in any well, lake, river, pond, spring, stream, reservoir or other water or watercourse is prohibited.” Therefore, the organizers of a fund-raising car wash should ensure that the wash water draining from the washed cars does not flow into the storm sewer system. To avoid releasing contaminated wash water to the environment, it is recommended that the car wash take place on a grassy area or an area that drains to a grassy area rather than a catch basin. If it is not possible to avoid drainage of the wash water to the storm sewer system, any affected catch basins must be sealed off, and the puddled wash water must be pumped to the sanitary sewer. It is also important to use biodegradable and phosphate-free detergents and cleaners during these events. Anyone interested in holding a fund-raising car-wash event should contact the City of Brantford’s Pollution Control Department at 519-752-5263 for more information.
How Should I Dispose of my Outdated/ Unwanted Medications or Prescription Drugs?
When you have outdated or unwanted medications/ prescription drugs that you need to dispose, the worst thing you could do for the environment is flush them down the drain. The medications will enter the sanitary sewer system and travel to the Sewage Treatment Plant, where they cannot be treated. The medical ingredients pass through directly into the receiving Grand River. Once in the Grand River, these medications effect aquatic life and the surrounding ecosystems, as well as downstream water users. Unwanted or outdated medications are accepted at the City of Brantford’s Household Hazardous Waste Collection Program. For details on these days, please see the Household Hazardous Waste webpage or phone 519-759-1350
What is the Proper Process to Dewatering Construction Sites?
Dewatering construction sites onto the roadway is not allowed under the Sewer Use Bylaw. Wastewater with a high sediment load can affect the aquatic life in receiving streams. We recommend filtering the water using straw, gravel, filter cloth or other means before discharging into the storm sewer system. If additional information is needed, please contact the Pollution Control Department at 519-752-5263.
Can I use retention ponds for summer recreation activities?
No.You should not use the ponds for: ·swimming ·wading ·windsurfing ·waterskiing You are not permitted to use powerboats on the ponds.
Is there anything I can do to reduce algae and weeds in the Retention Pond?
Yes, Use less lawn fertilizer and pick up dog waste. Both of these materials contain nitrogen and phosphorus, which are nutrients for algae and weeds. Reducing the amount of nutrients helps reduce the amount of algae and weeds.