IMAX stormwater project is one to watch with demonstration site modelling best practices for other Ontario businesses
The recent mild snap in Southern Ontario that melted all that Boxing Day snow may have been great news for those of us who aren't winter fans, but it was likely bad news for our water supply and management systems.
All that snow melting - and so quickly - produced a large amount of stormwater. Stormwater
, which also comes from rain and extreme storm events, becomes runoff when it does not soak into the ground, eventually flowing to our drinking water sources while collecting pollutants along the way. The runoff will also enter municipal storm systems, contributing to overload and flooding during extreme weather events. Due to increased urbanization which is eliminating nature's natural runoff systems, stormwater is a growing concern.
Low Impact Development (LID) is an innovative stormwater management approach that is designed to mimic the natural water balance by managing rainfall at its source using distributed stormwater controls such as green roofs, permeable pavement, bioretention, and conveyance controls. One of the advantages of this approach is that it can be applied to both new and existing development, opening the door to retrofit projects, which municipalities and conservation groups alike want to encourage.
In May of 2012 Credit Valley Conservation Authority, Aquafor Beech Ltd, Imbrium Systems Inc., Unilock, Rattray Marsh Protection Association, Maxxam, Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Environment Canada, the University of Guelph and Ontario Centres of Excellence came together to design and execute a retrofit project in the IMAX corporate Head Office parking lot in Mississauga, Ontario as a demonstration site to showcase various innovative LID technologies - on their own and as a collective system.
Through its Technical Problem Solving
program, OCE funded the development of an experimental design template which informed the engineering design of the IMAX parking lot project
and since construction concluded in December, it has begun to play a critical role in the development of a new proposed OCE project to evaluate the performance of the technologies over the long-term. The information from this evaluation will be used to develop a Sustainable Integrated Water Management Urban Retrofit Guide for techniques for small, medium and large Ontario municipalities.
Rainfall from the IMAX property flows into Sheridan Creek which flows into the provincially significant Rattray Marsh and Lake Ontario, the source of drinking water for eight million people. The hope is that the IMAX project will demonstrate to the broader business community the value of on-site water management and the potential for significant cost savings associated with effective water management and stormwater control when designing and constructing future infrastructure.
“For over forty years, IMAX films have documented the beauty of our natural world as well as the challenges it faces, inspiring audiences to make a change. In keeping with this legacy, we are delighted to take part in this innovative program that will keep our water resources healthy for generations to come,” says Mark Welton, President of IMAX Theatres. “Today, it is our hope that we inspire other local businesses to participate and share in our commitment to invest in programs that help protect and improve our environment.”