Flood Information and Stormwater Charge

Update – November 2015

storwater logo

The City’s stormwater drainage system protects water quality and lowers the risk of flooding that can damage property and the environment. Stormwater operation costs represent $6.7 million or 1.6 per cent of the City’s portion of the property tax bill. Starting in 2016, stormwater expenses will be funded by the revenue from the Stormwater Charge. This dedicated funding will directly support the City’s Stormwater Management Program and cannot be used for any other services or programs as stated in our Stormwater Fees and Charges Bylaw. This dedicated funding will be used to keep to the City’s drainage system in good working order.

The City’s drainage system is made up of underground pipes, engineered ponds, creeks, streams and the other infrastructure that connects them all together. The system is kept in good working order through investments in planning, design, construction, operation, maintenance, renewal and by-law enforcement activities. These investments include capital projects (infrastructure projects that maintain, renew or improve a City service) such as sediment removal and flood mitigation as well as operational activities such as watercourse monitoring, pond maintenance and rainfall monitoring.

Currently, stormwater is funded through the property tax and as a result, residential properties are paying a higher percentage (69%) for stormwater than non-residential properties (31%). This is because property taxes are based on land value. Under the new Stormwater Charge, residential properties will pay less (40%) for stormwater and non-residential properties will pay a higher percentage (60%). This is because the stormwater charge is based on the amount of hard surface on a property. For multi-residential and non-residential properties the hard surface area is individually measured and charged. For residential properties, therooftop area is used as an indicator of hard surface area and properties are assigned to the most appropriate of the five residential stormwater charge tiers. The relative amount of tax (land value) and stormwater charge (hard surface area) is unique to every property.

Property

Type

Funded

Through Taxes

Funded Through

Stormwater Charge

 

Change

 Residential  69%  40%  -29%
 Non-Residential  31%  60%  29%

 

A significant proportion of Mississauga’s stormwater infrastructure was installed in the last 50 years. This infrastructure, which has a replacement value of $1.8 billion, is aging and nearing the end of its lifecycle. The stormwater charge will cover repair and replacement costs that the City can no longer afford to pay through the property tax base or through development charges.  Mississauga is a rapidly growing city, and with the increased population and more businesses operating in Mississauga, the amount of water running off hard/impermeable surfaces, such as roofs and parking lots in increasing. Furthermore, climate change patterns have brought heavier rainfalls and rapidly melting snow, and there is much more stormwater entering our stormwater infrastructure than previous years, which is causing costly wear and tear on the aging infrastructure. Recent incidents of flooding in the city from major rainstorms have also demonstrated that the stormwater infrastructure has been unable to handle the increased stromwater run-off from so much hard/impermeable surfaces in the city, such as streets, driveways, and roofs.  

Since 2011, the City has been looking into options beyond the property tax base and development charges to support current and future stormwater management and infrastructure needs, and a Stormwater Financing Study was undertaken. The Study was completed in 2012 and identified a stormwater charge as a dedicated source of funding that is needed to manage current and future stormwater and infrastructure needs. Municipalities across North America and Canada are facing similar challenges with regard to stormwater management and infrastructure needs, and there are presently over 1500 municipalities in North America, including 19 in Canada alone, who have consequently implemented stormwater charges to fund stormwater utilities. In Ontario, the municipalities of Kitchener, Waterloo, London, Aurora, St. Thomas and Richmond Hill have all implemented stormwater charges. In advance of its 2016 budget discussions, the City of Toronto will also be considering implementing a stormwater charge to upgrade and update its infrastructure. Across Canada, the municipalities of Halifax, Regina, Saskatoon, Calgary, Edmonton, St. Albert, Strathcona County, Pitt Meadows, Richmond, West Vancouver, Surrey, White Rock and Langley have also implemented stormwater charges as dedicated sources of funding.  

The implementation of the stormwater charge will result in approximately $6.7million being shifted away from the municipal tax base in the 2016 budget, which amounts to a reduction of approximately $25 per household. I have asked staff to recognize efforts by residents who take measures to improve their property’s drainage, including rain barrels, soakaway pits, rain gardens, and permeable pavement surfaces.

At a recent Council Meeting, I seconded a Motion that would empower Council to form a Steering Committee to review the opportunity for to receive a rebate/reduction in their storm water charge based on their efforts to reduce water run-off on their property.  I feel strongly that residents’ efforts should be recognized and justly rewarded.

To learn more about the City’s Stormwater Charge visit stormwatercharge.ca.

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Together with the Storm Water Charge, the City of Mississauga, Region of Peel and Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (SNAP) are continuing to work together and on individual projects to address the flooding issue.

If approved, the City’s proposed 2016 Stormwater capital budget will include the allocation of revenue from the Stormwater Charge to fund a number of 2016 Stormwater capital projects that include watercourse erosion control works, stormwater management facilities, flood relief works, storm sewer assessments and renewal, and other drainage improvements.

Stormwater Charge revenue will also be allocated to two reserve funds: one for pipe renewal to be used in the future as the storm sewer pipes reach the end of their lifecycle; and a second for the construction of new stormwater management facilities such as stormwater management ponds.

The Region of Peel has implemented Downspout Disconnection Rebate Program. Maintaining your home is an important part of home ownership. Maintenance retains property value and increases the safety and comfort of your home. One easy way to maintain and protect your home is to disconnect any downspouts connected to the sewer systems. The benefits of disconnecting the downspouts are:

  • protecting you and your neighbourhood by keeping excess rainwater out of the sewer systems, which reduces the risk of flooding;
  • improved water quality in local streams and rivers;
  • a source of free water for your lawn and gardens;

Properly disconnecting your downspouts allows storm water to flow away from your home’s foundation onto gardens, landscaped areas and lawns on your own property. This way, water slowly soaks into the ground, where it is naturally filtered and returned to the water table.

For a limited time, the Region of Peel is offering rebates of $25 each for one or two downspouts disconnected and $100 for three or more downspouts disconnected. With a maximum of $100 per home. The program is only available in certain areas of Mississauga. For details on the Downspout Disconnection Rebate Program and other initiatives by the Region of Peel, visit https://www.peelregion.ca/pw/water/sewage-trtmt/basement-flooding.htm

The Region of Peel continues to offer the Sanitary Backwater Valve Rebate Program. Experts predict intense rain storms will become more common in Ontario. Homeowners may be able to reduce the impact of increased rainfall and some types of basement flooding by installing a sanitary backwater valve on your sanitary sewer system. The Region of Peel offers a sanitary backwater valve rebate of $700 dollars for eligible homeowners until Dec 31, 2015.

Backwater valves can be an effective way to stop wastewater from backing up into your basement. Installing these valves may not be appropriate for all homes, they must be installed properly and do need ongoing maintenance.

Before installing a sanitary backwater valve, the Region recommends you use the guidelines below to make the correct decision for your home. To properly determine if a sanitary backwater valve is right for your home may require a significant amount of your time. For more information, visit https://www.peelregion.ca/pw/water/sewage-trtmt/backwater-valve.htm.

A principal mandate of the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) is to reduce the risk to life and damage to property caused by flooding. This is done by providing local agencies and the public with notice, information and advice so that they can respond during severe rainfall events with the potential for flooding, and during flood related emergencies. The TRCA’s Flood Management Service (FMS) has been developed in order to prepare and respond to our changing environment, the increasing needs of our municipal partners and the health and well being of our living city. http://trca.on.ca/flood-management-service/

In addition, the Sustainable Neighbourhood Retrofit Action Plan (SNAP) is a program to help established communities become more environmentally friendly and prepare for climate change, one neighbourhood at a time. The SNAP process brings together residents, businesses, community groups and government agencies to develop a science-based action plan for change. We are fortunate that the Burnhamthorpe SNAP Program is continuing. The Burnhamthorpe SNAP community is bound by Bloor Street W in the south, Eastgate Parkway and Mississauga’s future Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor in the north, Dixie Road in the west, and the Etobicoke Creek (west branch) in the east.

It is a large community with a very diverse population of over 21,000 people, ranging in age, family size, ethnicity and income. The study area is made up of many smaller established neighbourhoods with different types of housing, including single and semi-detached homes, townhomes and high rise buildings. There are also commercial strip plazas and malls, a community centre, library, schools, places of worship and many beautiful parks and trails.

Something very exciting is happening in this community! TRCA, City of Mississauga and Region of Peel are currently working with local residents and businesses on developing the Burnhamthorpe SNAP (Sustainable Neighbourhood Retrofit Action Plan). This action-oriented plan will build on Mississauga’s Living Green initiatives and help to prepare the neighbourhood for climate change and transform it to become more environmentally friendly.

The Burnhamthorpe SNAP will find the best ways to:

  • increase tree cover for shade, shelter and improved local air quality
  • enhance parks and natural areas for the community to enjoy
  • better manage rainwater to reduce pollution and localized flooding
  • promote healthy, green forms of transportation including walking, cycling and public transit
  • encourage water conservation, sustainable landscaping and using rain water for irrigation  
  • help residents and businesses save money by conserving energy or generating renewable energy

Do you live or work in this neighbourhood? Get Involved. We want to get local residents and businesses involved in developing the Burnhamthorpe SNAP. We will be holding community meetings, events, and fun local activities. Come out and meet your neighbours!

Burnhamthorpe SNAP

 

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July 2015 – Downspout Disconnection and Sanitary Backwater Valve Rebate Program - Project_issue update Regional Council_final 

 

E-blast sent to residents May 22, 2015

In my commitment to keep you up to date on the important issues that will affect you directly, I am providing you with the most recent information with respect to the July 8, 2013 Flood. Thousands of Ward 3 residents were impacted by basement flooding and overland flooding following the July 8th storm. Since then, I have been working with Council, the community, the Region of Peel and the Toronto Region Conservation Authority to find solutions around mitigation, adaptation and prevention.

Information has continually been posted on my website at www.chrisfonseca.ca under Ward 3/Flooding and I have sent out several e-blasts over the last 18 months. Although, no new information has been posted recently, staff have been working on Council’s direction to come up with recommendations and ideas on how the City of Mississauga and Region of Peel can deal with the effects of climate change.

At its General Committee Meeting on May 20, 2015, the City of Mississauga Transportation and Works Department included a Corporate Report titled “Stormwater Charge Implementation Update”. Property owners will be charged based on the amount of hard surface area on their properties. The more hard surface you have, the more waterrunoff you are creating and the more you will be charged. The less hard surface you have, the less you will pay. For a full copy of the Report and Media Release please click on the links below:

Other recommendations that have already been implemented include:

Basement Flooding Remediation Update – Neighbourhood by neighbourhood improvements (due to the size of the documents it is separated by areas):

SNAP – (Sustainable Neighbourhood Retrofit Action Plan). I worked with the Toronto Regional Conservation Authority to ensure the SNAP program was approved in Ward 3. Ward 3 is the only Ward in Mississauga to be chosen. The project seeks to develop action plans to improve the local environment on the neighbourhood scale and build resiliency against climate change. To learn more about this project please click on the link below:

Previous Corporate Reports and chronological information can be found on my website including a Corporate Report presented to General Committee on December 4, 2013, The City of Mississauga’s Transportation and Works Department included a Corporate Report titled “Stormwater Financing Study, Phase 2 (Implementation Project) Implementation Plan”. This Report recommends the City’s stormwater program move from a property tax supported program to a stormwater rate funded program, using a tiered single family unit rate structure. In short, the Report recommends staff report back to General Committee with a detailed implementation plan addressing the establishment and administration of a credit system, cost to implement and maintain the stormwater rate based program, billing mechanism and related policy and business process considerations. As a part of the public process, the City hosted two public information meetings which were held on June 27, 2012 and November 20, 2012, with poster board displays and presentations given at both meetings.

Further background is contained in the City’s Budget documentation Fact Sheet – Special Purpose Levies and Fees. On December 12, 2012, Council endorsed in principle moving from a property tax supported program to a stormwater funding model. Staff made recommendations at General Committee in fall 2013 for a detailed implementation plan for the new billing system, credit policies and execution and on-going administration costs. This plan will result in a transfer of tax funding of $5.8 million to a stormwater user fee in 2016.

Next Steps! The Stormwater Charge Report will go to Council on May 27, 2015 for Council’ consideration.

New information will be posted on my website and sent out via e-blast after the May 27th meeting.

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Mississauga Council reviewed plans for bringing a new City stormwater charge into effect at yesterday’s General Committee meeting. The charge will help reduce the risk of flooding, protect water quality and will appear on the Region of Peel water bill starting in January 2016.

For more details please click on the links below:

For the full City of Mississauga Media Release 

Corporate Report – Stormwater Charge Implementation Update

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Report to General Committee March 25, 2015:   Consulting Services for the Detailed Condition Assessment for Ten Corrugated Metal Trunk Storm Sewers (Wards 1, 2, 3, 7) - Page 157 of agenda

 

Link to City of Mississauga:  How To Get Disconnnected

Link to Region of Peel:  Downspout Disconnect Rebate Program

Link to Region of Peel: Sanitary Backwater Valve Rebate Program

 

Flood Remediatio Program hightlights

On May 8, 2014, The Region of Peel presented a Report titled, UPDATES TO THE BASEMENT FLOODING REMEDIATION PROGRAM. Here are the Report Highlights:

The wastewater collection system has seen an impact from intense stormwater inflow via residential roof downspout connections and needs to be given special attention due to flooding impacts.

In Peel, approximately 63,000 homes have been identified as constructed prior to 1975, when storm systems were not typically available, and which are believed to have an increased potential of their downspouts connected to the sanitary system. Disconnecting these downspouts will help minimize the inflow into the sanitary system and lessen the impact of basement flooding due to sanitary surcharge during wet weather events.

It is proposed that the Region discontinue the existing pilot Cooksville Creek Basement Flooding Remediation Program effective May 8, 2014 and replace it with a comprehensive 2014 Basement Flooding Remediation program that provides subsidy for voluntary downspout disconnections and backwater valve installation.

The new VRDDRP will offer property owners an early adoption rebate of $25 per downspout disconnected to a maximum of $75 per eligible property. The first phase of the program will run from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015.

The new SBVRP will apply to previously flooded properties or located properties within clustered areas of previous flooding in Peel with a proposed rebate of up to $700 per property. The onus is on the property owner to identify the need for installation of a sanitary backwater valve and to perform all necessary works related to its installation. The property owner must perform all investigations in order to determine that backwater valve installation will prevent the property from future basement flooding and self-flooding.

Regional Staff together with area Municipalities including the Conservation Authorities, will review Low Impact Development (LID) design concepts to determine other options of diverting flows away from our sanitary and storm sewer collection systems.

To review the Report in its entirety, please click on the link http://www.peelregion.ca/council/agendas/2014/2014-05-08-rc-agenda.pdf and go to Item 10.3.

Should you have questions regarding the Report or wish to apply for any of the rebates, please contact Jeanne Thomsen at 905-791-7800, ext. 4242 or e-mail at Jeanne.thomsen@peelregion.ca.

February 26th – General Committee - July 8, 2013 Storm- Status Update

City of Mississauga

At its General Committee Meeting on December 4, 2013, The City of Mississauga’s Transportation and Works Department included a Corporate Report titled “Stormwater Financing Study, Phase 2 (Implementation Project) Implementation Plan”. The Report recommends the City’s stormwater program move from a property tax supported program to a stormwater rate funded program, using a tiered single family unit rate structure.

The Report also recommends staff report back to General Committee with a detailed implementation plan addressing the establishment and administration of a credit system, cost to implement and maintain the stormwater rate based program, billing mechanism and related policy and business process considerations.

For the full Report please click on the Link:  GC Agenda Dec. 4, 2013

The Region of Peel

At Regional Council on November 28, 2013, The Region of Peel’s Public Works Department included a Report titled, “Term of Council Priority No. 6 – Enhance Integrity of Wastewater Collection System including Flood Remediation Program”.  The Report relates to the ongoing flood remediation efforts including:

Downspout Disconnection

Region and City staff now have Council approval to move ahead with a mandatory downspout disconnection program. Staff will develop the program and bring it back to Council for approval in spring 2014.

There are approximately 40,000 homes in Mississauga, where program participation will be required. Disconnecting downspouts is a good first step to help remove extra storm water from the sanitary system. I will provide an update when program details are approved.

Smoke Testing

Smoke testing in Ward 3 is completed for the year. Over the winter months Regional staff will analyse the data, looking for areas of improvement and whether additional testing is required in the spring.

Additional Measures

Regional staff are also beginning a review of the sewer systems in Ward 3. They hope to determine if there are areas where grade, capacity and proximity of large trunk sewers, would allow flows to be redirected upstream of flood prone areas. If possible, this would be a ‘quick win’ and create extra capacity in the system during intense storms.

Emergency response to storm events in also being reviewed and improved, with roles and responsibilities clarified for the Region, the City and the Conservation Authority. A new plan is in development.

For a full copy of the Report please click on:  Flood Remediation Report

Toronto Region Conservation Authority

TRCA staff continue to work diligently to assess all properties affected by erosion following the July 8th storm event, and to date over 400 sites have been assessed within TRCA’s jurisdiction. Staff have been reviewing all sites that were initially ranked by TRCA inspectors as “medium low”, “medium high” or “high”, to recommend that these sites be considered for a geotechnical assessment by a third-party engineering firm. Properties ranked as “low” risk level that are located between higher ranking properties are to be included in the assessment. Staff are currently in the process of retaining the services of a qualified engineering firm, and are preparing notices to the property owners to inform them of the plan going forward.

A website has been created for staff to efficiently communicate with properties that were affected by erosion and slope instability due to the July 8th event only. All other erosion or slope instability issues will be assessed and monitored by TRCA staff under their Erosion Management Program.

The TRCA has requested that any residents concerned about erosion please contact erosionmonitoring@trca.on.ca or call (416) 392-9676 to arrange an inspection of your property. Once the inspection is complete staff can advise you if you should register for the portal.  

For more information please go to the Erosion Management web page which will explain the Erosion Management Program, the TRCA response to the July 8th weather event, and contact information to arrange an inspection of your property.

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THE CITY OF MISSISSAUGA IS NOT ELIGIBLE FOR THE ONTARIO DISASTER RELIEF ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (ODRAP)

Mississauga ODRAP Response FINAL (Sept 10 2013)

News Release

Flood Information:

The City of Mississauga and the Region of Peel have worked closely to provide residents with a coordinated effort in relation to flooding that occurred during the Monday, July 8 storm. Residents who have not yet reported flooding are encouraged to contact the City’s 3-1-1 Call Centre and when prompted dial 1. Please also take the time to complete the on-line Flood Survey found on my website at www.chrisfonseca.ca. If you are unable to access the internet, contact the Region of Peel directly at 905-791-7800 ext. 4409. City and Regional staff need your help to determine the causes of flooding so we can assess next steps. Regional staff will attend residents’ homes that have experienced basement flooding as a result of the July 8 incident and will conduct a survey with the homeowner.

If your property is adjacent to the Etobicoke Creek or the Little Etobicoke Creek and you experienced flood damage to your external property, please also contact the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) at 416-661-6514 or visit their website at www.trca.on.ca/flood.  A TRCA staff member will attend at your home to assess the erosion damage.

Back Water Flow Valve & Ontario Disaster Relief Assistance Program (ODRAP)

Waiving the building permit fee for the installation of backwater valves

At a Special Council Meeting on July 30, 2013, Mississauga City Council passed a resolution waiving the building permit fee for the installation of backwater valves for residents affected by the flood on July 8, 2013.

If you are considering the installation of a backwater valve to reduce the risk of sanitary sewer back-up in your home, please refer to the ‘Handbook for Reducing Basement Flooding’ by the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR) by visiting www.iclr.org/images/Basement_Flood_Handbook_-_ICLR_-_2009.pdf. This information will assist you in making a well-informed decision.

For more information regarding the backwater valve permit process, refer to the Planning and Building Department’s website.

City Council also passed a Resolution requesting the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing to declare the City of Mississauga or part thereof a “disaster area” for the purposes of the ODRAP. Should the Minister declare a disaster area regarding the private component of ODRAP, Council will immediate, under the authority of ODRAP, appoint members to a disaster relief committee to administer ODRAP. Assuming the Minister declares a disaster area, Council supports a joint disaster relief committee with the other declared municipalities, if any and that Mississauga Council will be the lead Municipality to administer ODRAP as required. The full Report can be viewed at: http://www7.mississauga.ca/documents/agendas/committees/council/07_30_2013_Special_Council_Agenda.pdf

Flooding Survey

To keep track of the flooding issues that have occurred in Ward 3, I am asking that you fill out the survey below to describe the issues you had. This will help us to map the flooding across the Ward to get a better idea of where it occurred. This will also help the City and Regional staff better understand the flooding and hopefully work on solutions to prevent similar flooding in the future.

Name:
Address:
E-mail:
Phone:
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Describe the flooding that occurred in your basement