Green Venture has worked on water conservation for 2 decades.

  • Demonstration features at EcoHouse education centre include three established rain gardens, two types of living roof systems, a gravity-fed rain barrel irrigation system, a grey water system, a permeable Turf-Slab driveway, Ecolawn demonstration, xeriscaping garden, an Ecoraster permeable pathway, and a variety of low-flow toilet options.
  • Downspout disconnection program in Hamilton 2009-2011
  • Hosted workshops on permeable paving, pet waste composting, and on adapting stormwater infrastructure to extreme weather.
  • RAIN home visit program (see below) since 2010.
  • Depave Paradise program- helping groups and institutions remove asphalt and replace it with permeable surfaces
    • St. Augustine School (2012)
    • St. Margaret Mary School (2014)
    • RA Riddell Public School (2016)
    • Adelaide Hoodless School (2017)
    • St Brigid School (2017)
    • Monsigneur de Laval School (2017)
    • Kenilworth Avenue  (2017)
    • Welcome Inn- James St N (2017)
  • Raingers Rain Garden program (2016-18), in partnership with Bay Area Restoration Council, is currently building 20 rain gardens in Hamilton schools.

Green Venture’s primary focus at this time is on larger community-based projects, and education about stormwater management, including encouraging the development of Low Impact Development (LID) projects.

What Can you Do at Home?

As a property owner you want to protect your most valuable asset from water-related damage. Damage from flooding or seepage can cost a bundle and is often not covered by insurance.

Minimize flooding, reduce runoff

  • Your basement is a hole in the ground – it wants to fill up with water! Take action to keep the water out.
  • Minimize flood risk for your neighbours.
  • Protect your nearest water body (creek, river or lake).
  • Reduce runoff pollution and help prevent the release of untreated sewage from overloaded sewer systems.
  • Conserve treated water by harvesting rain to water your yard and garden.
  • Soak up rainwater to recharge depleted groundwater.


This downspout should be disconnected and diverted to the lawn.

According to the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction in recent years’ water damage claims have increased to exceed fire as the largest cost for Canada’s property insurers. Across the country more and more Canadians are dealing with water related damages to their properties, and Ontario is no different. Both new and old homes are vulnerable to water damage from a variety of sources, and at its very core the RAIN Home Visit program is designed to

  • identify specific water problems unique to each property, and
  • inform homeowners on best practices for how to deal with such problems

The best time to defend your home against water damage is before any issues are visible. If, however, visible issues are already present, it is best to deal with these as soon as possible as over time these issues can lead to other problems, making the situation increasingly expensive to correct. When it comes to protecting your investment, a proactive approach is the best approach.

Permeable pavement helps drainage at EcoHouse

A large percentage of water related problems have potential to be solved by simple alterations to the exterior of the property. Often homeowners will opt to spend money waterproofing their foundation at the first sign on infiltration. Foundation waterproofing measures are often very expensive, require full exterior foundation excavation, and do not always guarantee keeping water out of the basement, if when done correctly. What should be seen as a last resort is often being used as a first response.

This downspout has been disconnected into a rain barrel, with the overflow diverted to the nearby lawn.

  • The RAIN program (an initiative of Green Communities Canada) supports an ecological approach to stormwater management, making an additional goal of the Home Visit program addressing the quality and quantity of our local fresh water sources. Simple changes to how water is managed on residential properties have the potential to foster a connection between our built environment and the natural environment. By reducing the amount of rain leaving each property, less polluted stormwater runoff is delivered to nearby water courses.
  • For example, since the slowing of industrial operations, the number one cause of pollution entering the Hamilton Harbour (Burlington Bay) has been polluted stormwater runoff from paved surfaces. Each property may very well be a ‘drop in the bucket’ but by initiating small changes to how we manage our water, we can make big improvements to the overall quality of our surface waters.
  • RAIN Community Solutions provides practical how-to information about managing rain on your landto reduce risk and save money while also protecting your community and local waterways. GCC has several checklists for residential, commercial, and institutional properties.

EcoHouse east rain garden- a water-absorbing garden bed


Permeable paths (gravel or more formed plastics like this EcoRaster path) can also help with infiltration.