REMEMBER - During high water events, rivers are moving fast and currents can be very strong, making for dangerous conditions. Don't put yourself in harm's way to remove debris – call for help.
Log-jams and other debris can cause water to pond or flood upstream.
If you think a log-jam or debris needs to be removed to protect your property, you must contact the appropriate organization before beginning any work:
- If debris is on municipal property, like a road right-of-way, municipal ditch or blocking a municipal culvert, contact your municipality.
- If debris is on your property, then you are responsible for the removing it.
Contact NVCA before you start. We'll provide guidance on what you can and cannot remove, and let you know if you need a permit (depending on the extent of work).
If the debris is posing an immediate threat to your personal safety or your property, NVCA may issue emergency permits.
- If debris is on a neighbouring property, you need to talk to them about having it removed.
If you are not sure who owns the property, or if the debris is causing water to flood and posing an immediate threat to your personal safety or your property, contact your municipality.
They may be able to provide advice on how to reach your neighbour for non-urgent situations, and in emergency situations the municipality may assist you in taking action to safely get the debris removed.
- If you are concerned about chemical or other spills into a waterway, contact the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change's Spills Hotline at 1-800-268-6060.
Whose property is it?
While the NVCA regulates development along the waterways and in wetlands, we typically don't "own" the river, creek, stream or creek in question. Most often these areas are owned by private landowners, and sometimes by the municipality.
Removing log-jams and other debris is the responsibility of the property owner.
Do I have to remove a log-jam?
While we can usually all agree that remove garbage and other similar debris from a waterway is a good idea, there are pros and cons to removing log-jams.
Some have been in place for a long time, and the ponds they've created offer habitat for fish and wildlife. On the other hand, some log-jams can cause water to flood and thus poses a threat to life and property.
NVCA staff are happy to talk to you about log-jams near your property, and help you determine the best course of action.