Sustainable Drainage Pilot Project (Portland)

IMG 7416Township of Rideau Lakes drainage manager Dan Chant joined RVCA intern Caitlin Sommer in Portland this July to paint yellow fish on several storm drains. These fish will remind residents that stormwater goes directly to the lake.The Township of Rideau Lakes has generously funded a pilot partnership with Big Rideau Lake Association, Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority and Rideau Valley Conservation Authority to work co-operatively on a sustainable drainage pilot project in the village of Portland and the surrounding rural catchment area.

As climate change contributes to more frequent and extreme rain events, excess nutrients, sediments, harmful chemicals and pollutants are increasingly washed into Big Rideau Lake through our storm drainage systems. This contributes to increased aquatic weed growth, more toxic algae blooms and an overall decline in lake health and enjoyment. 

In summer 2022, staff from RVCA as well as volunteers from the Big Rideau Lake Association will conduct a sampling and monitoring program, targeting an urban drain in the village as well as a rural drain (non-agricultural) outside the village. Research will be conducted to find and recommend sustainable drainage practices that are best suited to protect water quality and lake health.  

But reducing your runoff can also begin at home – and can be as easy as installing a rain barrel. To learn more about how you can reduce stormwater runoff on your own property, check out the resources below.


VIDEO: Learn how to build a low-cost, low-maintenance rain garden on your property:

VIDEO: Learn how the RVCA’s Shoreline Naturalization Program offers technical and financial support for waterfront owners to naturally reduce their runoff:

BLOG: Learn all the simple, cost-effective ways you can reduce runoff on your own property:

BLOG: Learn more about the RVCA’s Clean Water Grants program that supports sustainable drainage and other projects for rural residents:

INTERACTIVE: Scroll over the pins to learn how you can keep contaminants out of your storm drain:

INTERACTIVE: Check out this interactive graphic for sustainable drainage practices on waterfront properties:

WEBPAGE: Learn more about how to naturalize your shoreline (whether it’s a ditch, stream, river or lake!):

Benefits of sustainable drainage:

  • Reduced algae blooms and excessive weed growth in our lakes and rivers
  • Improved water quality for local ecosystems
  • Better water quality for local tourist industries including recreational fishing and seasonal rentals
  • Safer drinking water for residents with surface water intakes
  • Improved knowledge of sustainable drainage best practices can be applied across the watershed


Michael Yee
Planner, RVCA 

613-692-3571 ext. 1176

Contact Us

Rideau Valley Conservation Authority
3889 Rideau Valley Drive
Manotick, Ontario K4M 1A5

613-692-3571, 1-800-267-3504



Regular Hours: Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Member of: conservation ontario