Q: Why is stormwater an issue in Burlington?  

A: The City of Burlington manages stormwater and wastewater via a network of utilities and infrastructure, including underground pipes. Like most older cites, some of these pipes in the network are combined, meaning that they carry both sewage and stormwater to the wastewater treatment plants. Currently, 35% of the system has combined pipes, which is mostly under the downtown and Old North End sections of Burlington. During dry weather conditions and smaller storm events, pipes carry sewage and any runoff entering storm drains to be treated at wastewater treatment plants. During large, intense rainstorms, these systems can quickly get overwhelmed by large volumes of stormwater, causing backing ups on streets and overflows at outlet points in the system, sending sewage-stormwater mixes to a water body. The city is working to reduce the amount of water that is part of the combined system by adding more green stormwater infrastructure to the network, and you can help do your part, too, by managing stormwater from impervious surfaces on your own property.


Q: What is Green Stormwater Infrastructure? 

A: Conventional stormwater management, “grey infrastructure,” uses pipes and culverts to send stormwater that runs off impervious surfaces away to waterways as quickly as possible. The goal of green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) is to slow, store, and treat stormwater runoff in order to reduce the amount of water that goes into stormwater pipes and remove pollutants before the water drains to waterways. Examples include rain gardens, disconnected downspouts, and permeable driveways. As part of the BLUE BTV program, we will assess your property and provide site specific GSI suggestions.


Q: Am I in a Priority Stormwater Mitigation area? 

A: Due to the large amount of impervious (paved) surface coupled with sandy soils that can naturally drain stormwater, Burlington Wards 2 and 3 are considered High Priority for this program. Check out the Burlington Ward Map to see where your home lies. If you are not in Wards 2 or 3, we are still very interested in assessing your property. 


Q: To my knowledge, my property is already stormwater friendly. Can I still get BLUE BTV certified or rebates? 

A: Our rebates are designed to help property owners implement Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) best practices on their properties, so if you already have GSI features installed, we cannot offer rebates for work you’ve already completed. However, we are happy to schedule a property assessment to discuss further improvements. If your home meets the BLUE BTV criteria, then you can become BLUE BTV Certified!