According to a government analysis, global climate change is expected to cost Canada about five billion dollars a year by 2020. Much of these costs will be the result of flood damage incurred as the polar ice caps melt, raising the sea level and flooding out homes and businesses. Fortunately, there's still time for community members to do their part in lowering the expected financial impact of the changing environment. Read on to learn what you can do to protect your city and home.

Mind Your Flushables

Canada's laws don't require any third party testing for the manufacturers of flushable products. As a result, experts say that many of the products that make it to the market don't biodegrade fast enough. In fact, the government is already spending roughly $250 million annually to prevent flooding by unclogging sewer drains littered with allegedly flushable toiletry products.

As global warming boosts the risk of localized flooding in Canada, so does it boost the importance that everybody does their part in keeping a healthy water drainage system in their community. Don't rely on what a product label says when deciding whether it's safe to flush down your drain; rely on common sense instead. If a product seems too thick to flush down your toilet, then it probably is.

Furthermore, contact your local chapter of the Municipal Enforcement Sewer Use Group and ask what you can do to urge the government to pass stricter labeling laws concerning flushable products. 

Dispose Properly Of Grass Clippings

Localized flooding can occur rapidly and with little warning. When it does, it's important that the water have as many clear drainage paths as possible. Since even a small amount of debris can affect the ability of a storm drain to rid your area of water, it's important that you keep all yard clippings well away from all city storm drains.

Equip your lawn mower with a bag attachment to collect grass clippings, or rake and bag your clippings immediately after mowing. Move the clippings to a compost bin on a low section of your property to prevent rainwater from washing them away, or contact your transfer station and ask if they accept bagged clippings for compost.

Clear Storm Drains Of Debris

Grass clippings aren't the only thing that can clog storm drains -- litter is a big problem, too. While your municipality does it's best to tend to the cleanup of storm drains, sometimes buildup happens faster than they can make their rounds. 

Periodically inspect the storm drains near your property for any litter buildup, and rake it up and bag it if you find any. If the cost of disposal becomes a problem, contact your local municipal building and ask if you can leave it for the cleanup crew to take at their next scheduled storm drain cleaning in your area.

Report Problem Drains Immediately

Finally, if you notice that a storm drain seems to be working inefficiently, do not hesitate to call your local officials and let them know. Any drain that appears clear of debris, yet is not draining water has a clog somewhere below the surface. 

In this case, your city will hire a vacuum truck to come suction out whatever debris is causing the clogged storm drain. It cannot be stressed enough that you are not bothering or pestering your officials with this phone call; they'd much rather tend to the problem now than suffer the financial consequences of the drain not working properly if and when flood waters rise.

The costs of flood damage resulting from global warming are expected to rise exponentially in the coming years, but you can help limit those costs. Keep your sewer drains clean by being cautious of toiletry products labeled "flushable", and keep storm drains clean by bagging your grass clippings, frequently inspecting the drains for litter, and reporting below-the-surface problems to your local officials immediately. 

Contact companies like Electric Eel Sewer & Drains Specialists for professional cleaning and help.