2019 Flood Recovery

The Town of Petawawa is providing this information resource for those who have been affected by the 2019 Flooding.  Additional resource materials are attached to this webpage as downloadable documents, provided as separate documents on our home page, provided as links to resource websites or within the context of this page.  If you have questions after reviewing these materials please contact the municipality at 613-687-5536.

Support and Assistance for Homeowners

Red Cross
Anyone who has been affected by the flooding should register with RED CROSS.  By registering with them at 1-800-863-6582 you are able to access their services and resources as well as be on a list for aid should funding be available.

Disaster Recovery Assistance
The Ontario Government has declared that Renfrew County will be eligible for Disaster Recovery Assistance.

Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians (DRAO) is a program that can help you recover costs after a natural disaster. We may activate DRAO for damage to private property if there’s a sudden, unexpected natural event, such as a flood or tornado that causes costly and widespread damage in your area.

If you are eligible, you could be reimbursed for:

General Labour Assistance

Team Rubicon Canada is a volunteer-based charity that unites the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams to disaster-affected communities.

To learn more about us, please visit www.teamrubicon.ca.

Team Rubicon Canada was mobilized to the County of Renfrew at the end of May. The Rapid Damage Assessment teams did conduct reviews of the flood impacted areas within the Town of Petawawa on the weekend of May 25th.  It was determined at that time that the water levels were still too high for safe remediation work.  As part of recovery planning Team Rubicon did develop an electronic registration system that would allow residents to self-identify through the Request for Assistance Form.  By completing this form the Town then has access to information as to where assistance may be required.  This information would then be shared with Team Rubicon or potentially any other volunteer agency that may be deployed to our community.

Request for Assistance form: https://forms.gle/ufPueCQUokjXLDWe9

While residents are encouraged to complete the electronic Request for Assistance Form please understand that the Town has not yet received a commitment from any volunteer organization to aid in the removal of sandbags from private property.  Should a volunteer agency not be deployed to the Town of Petawawa residents will continue to be responsible for the removal of bags located on private property.  As such sandbags are to be deposited at roadside and will continue to be picked up every Tuesday and Friday until such time as the Town deems that this service is no longer required.

Sandbag Removal

While the water levels are still expected to recede slowly it is noted that some residents are removing sandbags from their properties.  The Town wishes to provide the following information on the safe and secure removal of sand.

Used sandbags are extremely heavy and likely to contain trapped bacteria and sewage matter.  Wear gloves and boots when lifting or moving the bags and protect open wounds/scrapes, face and eyes from contact.  Bags should not be cut open or used for sandboxes, playgrounds, or other areas where direct contact with humans or animals may occur.  The sand should not be disposed of in a wetland, waterway, floodplain, or other environmentally sensitive or protected area.

Truck beds used to transport contaminate bags should be properly washed and disinfected. Every precaution should be taken by the property owners to properly dispose of the used sandbags still on their property.  

Any leftover filled unused sandbags can be saved and stored or the sand can be used for construction, road work and preparing bases for concrete work.

Those residents who do have sandbags which need to be disposed of, can begin to bring those sandbags to the road side of their property where it will be collected over the coming weeks.  

Sandbags left roadside in the affected areas will be collected by a private contractor on Fridays and Tuesdays until such time as the Town deems that this serive is no longer required.


Large Item Collection

The Town of Petawawa has spring large item collection as part of their annual waste management program.
This year, large items can be placed curbside beginning May 25.  Collection will occur that week during your regular scheduled collection day.  Items are to be place curbside no earlier than Sunday, May 25th.  Items must be sorted into separate piles and placed neatly curbside failure to adhere to these requirements will result in your waste not being collected as part of this special pick up.


Council reminds residents that scavenging, particularly in areas where material may have experienced contamination due to compromised septic’s or contaminated water at large, are prohibited from so doing, in accordance with By-law 303/04.

Please refer to the Town’s website for a sorting guide for large item collection.

Construction Waste Collection

Construction Waste is not permitted as part of the Large Item Collection.  Placement of these materials curbside are in violation of the By-law 303/04 and will not be collected.  Proper disposal of construction waste can be facilitated by attending the Ottawa Valley Waste Recovery Centre.


Health and Safety

Electrical safety
Gas Utilities
Public Safety
     Public Parks  
     Public Health
          Safe Well Water
          Safe Septic Systems


Electrical safety

It is important for residents to remain aware of current and forecast water levels on the Ottawa River. Although the Ottawa River Regulatory Committee is reporting the river has reached its peak, water levels are expected to remain above seasonal levels and will pose a risk for some time. Water levels pose a particular risk when it comes to the energization of your home.

Residents should not consider reconnecting utilities until the risks associated with flooding are no longer a concern.

Returning home after a flood

If you have water contact or damage to your electrical system:

  1. If water in your basement has risen above the electrical outlets, baseboard heaters, furnace or electrical panel, DO NOT enter the basement until the power has been disconnected by the local electric utility.
  2. If your electrical system has been affected, your utility may not be able to restore power to your property until damage has been assessed and necessary repairs have been made.
  3. Hire a Licensed Electrical Contractor (link is external) to evaluate your home’s electrical system to determine if it is safe to have the local electric utility restore power to your home.
    1. The contractor will file for a permit with the ESA so there is a record of the work.
    2. When the contractor completes the work, the contractor will notify ESA and the ESA Inspector will confirm work has been done safely and power can be reconnected.
    3. ESA will inform the utility that it is safe to reconnect.
    4. The utility will reconnect when it is able to do so.
    5. Ask the contractor for a copy of the ESA Certificate of Inspection for your records and insurance.

If you are using a portable standby generator

  • Clearly understand your electricity requirements to ensure the unit is the correct size and voltage for your application.
  • Purchase the appropriate generator accessories, including:
    • an approved transfer device or switch
    • a properly sized connector cord and plugs
  • Never use a generator indoors; use it in a dry area outdoors and away from open doors, windows and vents.
  • Check the generator and all component parts to ensure that they have been approved by a recognized certification agency.
  • Never connect portable generators to electrical appliances or wiring components that have been affected by flood water.
  • If you have to use extension cords, make sure they are the grounded type with three prongs and rated for how you’re planning to use them. Coiled cords can get extremely hot; always uncoil cords and lay them flat.
  • Gasoline and its vapors are extremely flammable. Allow the generator engine to cool at least 2 minutes before refueling and always use fresh gasoline.
  • Standby generators that are permanently installed into your electrical wiring must have a transfer device to protect your home and the utility system by preventing generator power from flowing back into the utility system.
  • Do not back-feed your permanent electrical system with a portable generator without a proper transfer switch.

The Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) and Hydro One are the technical organizations responsible for providing electricity to your homes and work independent of the Town of Petawawa. The Town has reached out to each of these organizations to obtain the answers to some of your questions.

When will my hydro be reconnected?

  • Before the Electrical Safety Authority and Hydro One can reconnect hydro, staff must ensure local roads are stable enough to support a hydro truck.
  • The condition of neighbouring properties can affect yours. This means that your house may be clear, but nearby homes are not clear. If others have water in their homes, it could create a safety hazard for residents or crews responding to the flood.
  • The Electrical Safety Authority and Hydro One will not be able to reconnect power until it is safe to do so.

If my electricity/hydro has been shut off due to flooding, who do I contact about getting it turned on again and reenergized?

Please visit the Electrical Safety Authority’s website (link is external) or contact them at 1-877-ESA-SAFE for further information. The Electrical Safety Authority has information on what to do on returning home after a flood, which includes hiring a Licensed Electrical Contractor. The City recommends that you keep receipts for any fees you may be charged.


What should I do before the power is restored?

Appliances that were left plugged in must be unplugged. This includes lights, appliances, and electronic equipment. (Note: stoves do not need to be unplugged).

If appliances, electrical outlets, switch boxes or fuse/breaker panels have been flooded, do not energize or return to service until they have been inspected by a licensed electrical contractor. For more information, visit the Electrical Safety Authority's website (link is external) or contact them at 1-877-ESA-SAFE.


If Enbridge has shut off gas due to flooding, who do I contact about getting it turned on again?

  1. Contact Enbridge at 1-877-362-7434
  2. Enbridge will come and do a property assessment and determine if it is safe to reconnect the gas supply
  3. Once inspection has passed, the homeowner must contact an approved HVAC contractor
  4. The HVAC contractor will connect all gas-fueled appliances (furnace, hot water tank, dryer, stove, etc.)

Utility contacts

Public Safety

Public Parks

The Town asks residents to ensure that children and pets are kept away from Town parks and play structures located near a river.

  • Centennial Park, Victoria Street
  • Petawawa Point, Island View Drive

Public Health

There are several ways floodwater can enter your home and pose health or safety risks.

The recovery of safe drinking and cleaning water is a priority step to help transition back to a familiar pre-flood state. Until safe water is restored, each person requires a recommended 4 litres of water each day for drinking, washing and safe food handling.  Increase those amounts when small children, pregnant women and people with illnesses or pets are present in the affected area. ONLY drink, cook or clean with well water that has been officially tested and screened and cleared for harmful bacteria and contaminants.  

A boil water advisory may be necessary in areas when bottled water is not available. Boiling water vigorously for a minimum of one-minute kills disease-causing organisms such as viruses, bacteria, and parasites. When bottled water or boiling is not an option, unscented household bleach can be used to disinfect small quantities of filtered water, but this method is less effective in controlling parasites like Cryptosporidium and Giardia (also known as Beaver Fever). Sterilize drinking water by heating water to boiling point (100-degree celsius) and allowing the water to vigorously bubble for a minimum of one minute. 

For additional information regarding safe drinking water contact the Renfrew County and District Health Unit offices in Pembroke 1-800-267-1097 or in Renfrew 1-800-465-5000.

Safe Well Water

For private property owners, it is important that every precaution is taken to ensure the well water and pumps are safe and operating normally (as one system) before it is clear to return home permanently.

Information and Needs:
• Well and septic system recovery
• Removing contaminated and hazardous materials from site
• Household waste removal
• Well water treatment after the flood (See Appendix)
• Well pump safety and maintenance

The distribution and location of well water testing bottles including local pick-up and sample drop-off locations.  The Town of Petawawa has sample bottles which can be collected for water testing.  Water samples can be delivered to the Renfrew County and District Health Unit.  Aside from bacteria and contaminants, be aware of the potential for electrical shock and be advised to seek qualified well contractors and pump technicians before restarting these systems. In addition, be sure that septic systems are stable and able to handle the addition of more water. Well water should be tested only once the floodwaters have receded from the well and septic areas.


Do not drink or use water from an untested well, especially if floodwater was or is:
• Completely covering the wellhead
• Surrounding the well
• Entered the basement of the affected home or if, 
• The well’s cap is missing or the steel casing appears to be damage 


Safe Septic Systems

Information and needs:
• System damage or failure
• Sewage backups
• Contaminated wells


Have septic tanks professionally inspected and serviced as soon as floodwaters recede; especially if damage or failure is suspected. Examine all electrical connections for damage before restoring electricity. As soon as possible, repair any erosion damage caused by the flooding and receding water.  To prevent sewage backups on stressed systems, limit the amount of household water and sewage entering the system.  After flooding, property wells should always be tested for sewage related contaminants.