Current Issues – Petticoat Creek

Although this small watershed is not intensely urbanised, there are still challenges to its health.
  • The density and type of development in the watershed have had significant impacts, including changes in hydrological patterns and degraded natural systems. There is a need to improve the sustainability of urbanised areas, and to protect and restore the remaining natural systems.
  • Climate change means changing weather patterns which affect stream flows, flora and fauna, the types of plants and trees which can adapt in ecological restoration efforts, and the availability of water for agriculture and other large scale users.
  • Climate change results longer heavy rain events which are more intense and more frequent. There is also a shift in the seasonal timing of high precipitation. More rain events are occurring when the ground is already saturated or frozen, which results in less water being absorbed into the soil, and more water runoff. There is increased risk of flooding and erosion, which undermine infrastructure including sewers and bridges.
  • Older neighbourhoods in southwestern Pickering were developed without lot-level controls and stormwater management ponds. The runoff from these areas flows directly into the stream, carrying sediment and contaminants with it. Rainwater harvesting and re-use for outdoor water consumption at the individual residential lot level is effective in conserving treated municipal water and in reducing runoff.
Petticoat Creek
Rural and urban areas of Petticoat Creek watershed