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Engineers Canada submits seed document on a national stormwater quality management standard


Working with Zizzo Strategy and Credit Valley Conservation (CVC), Engineers Canada recently submitted a seed document to the Standards Council of Canada on the development of a stormwater quality management standard (QMS). Currently, no national standard for stormwater exists, which has implications for the management of extreme rain events and the excessive stormwater that needs to be managed, particularly in urban areas.

The report was geared towards understanding the role and scope of a risk and quality management standard that could be developed to assist municipalities, engineers, and other professional practitioners in designing, operating, maintaining, and continuously improving stormwater management systems—both today and in light of a changing climate.

Between January and June 2018, Zizzo Strategy and CVC conducted research via literature review, best practices scan, select interviews with key experts, and consultations with stakeholders nationwide to understand:  

•    The current state of stormwater (SW) planning and management and how it may be challenged by climate change
•    Best or emerging practices to address future needs of stormwater management (SWM) in light of a changing climate
•    Levels of support for a national stormwater quality management standard (SW QMS) and the benefits it could bring
•    What a national SW QMS standard might look like in Canada

Existing relevant guidelines, standards and best practices were identified, compiled, and reviewed. These include provincial stormwater and flood management guidelines, select municipal stormwater design standards, existing international risk and quality management standards, and some of the best practices to integrate climate change considerations into SW planning and management that municipalities are already employing. 

The seed document summarizes the research findings and makes recommendations concerning the scope, intended users and potential components of a future national SW QMS. The ideal outcome from this submission would be a commitment by the Standards Council to pursue the development of a standard based on this work. 

Contact David Lapp FEC FCAE P.Eng. IRP, Manager, Globalization and Sustainable Development ( for a copy of this report. A digital link for the report will be available soon through the Standards Council.