What is an underground stormwater facility? Would it impact my use of the greenway?

    Underground stormwater facilities store water in an underground tank system. Stormwater enters the systems where sediment and debris are captured before being released back to nearby creeks. In some cases, water may be allowed to infiltrate into the ground where possible. Underground stormwater facilities are generally not visible from the surface. 

    We will consult with the community to help determine how the ground surface will be restored. Typically surfaces are restored to their original condition.

    Some of you asked what the stormwater storage facility will look like. It is too early in our process to know. But here is one example of underground stormwater storage to give you an idea. Other materials and structures can achieve the same goals.

    Underground stormwater storage during construction

    How big will the underground storage facility be? Where would it be in the greenway?

    We have yet to confirm location within the park, size and design details. We will develop these details through the design process. We'll share design proposals with the public for review and comments at various stages. Plans may change considerably throughout the design process.  

    Does an underground stormwater storage facility make noise? How is it maintained?

    The facility will not make ongoing noise once installed. Maintenance with heavy equipment may occur every few years. We can confirm the maintenance schedule when we complete the stormwater facility designs.  

    Will the underground stormwater storage facility affect groundwater levels or make my basement wet?

    In Fall 2022 we conducted drilling at the greenway to assess the groundwater table and the soil conditions on site. Stormwater facility design will take into account current condition information. The stormwater facility will not negatively impact groundwater levels.

    Will paths be returned to a natural habit rather than paved?

    We will replace the existing trail network with a paved three-meter-wide asphalt trail. This is part of the City’s commitment to making multi-use trails comfortable for all ages and abilities. We will upgrade all trail entrances. We will add line painting, permanent and removable bollards, and signage.

    Are the supporting studies that led to this project available for public review?

    The development of recommended alternatives for each project was completed as part of the City’s Integrated Stormwater Master Plan. That report is available on Kitchener’s website.

    Will maintenance of the stormwater facility be noisy?

    The underground stormwater facility will not make noise once installed. It will likely need to be maintained using heavy equipment every few years. We can't confirm the maintenance schedule until the designs are finalized.

Engagement process

    How will the community be informed about the project?

    In early August 2022, we sent postcards to people living next to the trail network and placed signs within the greenway. This was to inform trail users and immediate neighbours of this project early on. As we start the design process, we will inform the broader neighbourhood. We will mail invitations to a public meeting as the project progresses. Please subscribe to this Engage page to receive project updates.

    How does the City advertise for public engagement?

    We advertise engagement opportunities in a wide variety of ways depending on the project or initiative, using approaches that are appropriate and accessible for the residents most affected by the issue. Some projects, like construction or development projects, also have specific requirements they must follow (example: sending letters to affected residents). 

    Here are some ways to stay informed about engagement opportunities:

    • Register for a free Engage Kitchener account to get notifications of new opportunities on that site 
    • If you have a free My Kitchener account, add the “Engagement opportunities” widget to get those same notifications 
    • Subscribe to the public consultations newsfeed and the calendar on the City's website to get notifications about in-person or virtual public meetings

    How does the City ensure minority groups and a wide range of stakeholders are engaged?

    We are committed to inclusive and equitable community engagement.  Our focus is on eliminating barriers from the participation process, ensuring those who are most affected are actively included, measuring our progress through demographic data collection, and committing to ongoing relationship-building and engagement.  We use a wide variety of approaches for engaging the broader community, selecting techniques based on the specifics of the issue or project at hand. For more information, please read our Community Engagement Policy.