Skip to main content

Up the Downspout

What Happened

Ms. C’s basement had been flooding for more than three years. As she did not use the basement, she had not noticed the extent of the problem until she saw sludge backing up into the plumbing on the upper floors. Ms. C approached Toronto Water, who advised her to have her downspouts disconnected through their Voluntary Downspout Disconnection program. Following Toronto Water’s advice, she applied for the program but heard nothing. After many attempts to contact Toronto Water staff, she was finally able to schedule a visit from an inspector.

The inspector came, walked around the house, inspected the downspouts, and said he would be back with a site plan. However, at the appointed time, the inspector did not return. Ms. C did not hear back from him nor did she receive a site plan. She was frustrated because she had taken time off work for which she lost pay. On top of that, when she called to ask what happened, she felt the inspector was rude to her. Ms. C called our office.

What We Did

We made several calls and reviewed program materials Toronto Water staff sent. After a careful review, we then spoke to management about the poor communication and low service standard Ms. C had received.

The Result

The Toronto Water manager agreed with our findings and began the process of addressing Ms C’s concern the next day.