Preventing icy patches in the parking lot at the YMCA Ontario Early Years Centre on Erbsville Road

Each year, especially in the winter and spring, ice, snow and water would accumulate in a high traffic area next to the Ontario Early Years Centre. Rain and melted snow would drain from the downspouts at the back of the building and discharge onto the sloped pavement, nesting itself into the cracked depression between the parking lot and the wheelchair ramp at the front entrance.
The YMCA Ontario Early Years Centre on Erbsville Road has been servicing parents and caregivers with free structured programming for infants and children up to the age of six since 2004. Stacey McCormick, the Supervisor at the Centre said that wet spots in the parking lot have been a perennial headache. To maintain the safety of their patrons, staff would take precautions by liberally applying salt to the icy spots to prevent slips and falls.
The Early Years Centre’s landlord, the City of Waterloo, decided to address the problem by re-directing runoff from the rear downspouts underground to an infiltration gallery. A long trench parallel to the back of the building was dug out and filled with washed round stone. The infiltration gallery can capture up to 9,000L of water at a time. Any water collected subsequently percolates slowly into the ground. Since there is no basement there were not any concerns about water making its way into the building. During particularly large storms any overflow will rise up to the surface and flow out to the street.The work took a little over a week to complete but the temporary disturbance “was well worth it” says Stacey, “the families who use the Centre have been expressing their appreciation at not having to navigate the icy patch to get to the ramp with their strollers”. As an added bonus, since the change they have been able to reduce their salt use significantly in the winter. If there is any downside to the improvements… it means no more puddles for the toddlers to splash in!

9,000 Litre capacity

Project Details:
Location: 719 Erbsville Road, Waterloo
Maximum Capacity: 9,000L
Estimated Diversion Per Year: 785,000L

diagram of infiltration gallery at the YMCA Early Years Centre
Stacey McCormick, Supervisor of the YMCA Ontario Early Years Centre, Erbsville Road location
Before and After construction of the infiltration gallery

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