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Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy Program - for residential homeowners

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The Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy Program is aimed at helping residents protect their basements from flooding. To assist, the City offers owners of single-family, duplex and triplex residential homes a financial subsidy of up to $3,400 per property to install flood protection devices including a backwater valve, a sump pump, and pipe severance and capping of the home's storm sewer or external weeping tile connection.

Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy Program application processing information:
If you are enquiring about the processing of your Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy application, please note the application process takes up to 10 weeks from the time the application is received. If you received an acknowledgement letter from Toronto Water, your application has been received, filed in queue and will be reviewed in sequence according to the date it was received.

What is the difference between a backwater valve and a backflow isolation device:
A backwater device is used to help prevent sewage backups. This is not the same as a backflow isolation device, which is used to help prevent contamination of the City's drinking water supply. For more information on backflow isolation please see: Backflow Prevention Program.

Important Note: Toronto residents are advised to be cautious of potentially misleading communication
Toronto Water has received reports that at least one independent contractor may be distributing potentially misleading communications (such as flyers and notices placed on door knobs) that appear to be designed to look like they are communications from the City about its Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy Program. The City is not sending out any mass communications, such as flyers or door knockers to residents about Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy Program.

The City of Toronto does not endorse, recommend, or partner with any private company to carry out the Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy Program. The City is investigating these incidents and will take appropriate action. Residents are advised to exercise caution when solicited for any service or when sharing personal information to people unknown to them.

If you have concerns about any person at your door or suspect fraud, you can report it to Toronto Water by sending an email. Residents who suspect fraud are also encouraged to contact the Non-Emergency line for Toronto Police.

For more information, visit Ontario's, Ministry of Consumer Services website.


Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy Program hiring a contractor
Homeowners are strongly encouraged to conduct due-diligence before hiring a contractor. It is recommended they obtain a minimum of two quotes, as well as references before hiring a City of Toronto licensed contractor.

Before work starts, verify that your contractor has a valid City of Toronto business license by contacting Municipal Licensing & Standards or checking online on the City website.

A total subsidy of up to $3,400.00 per property, upon proper installation of flood-prevention devices which include a back-water valve , a sump pump, or severing and capping the home's storm sewer or external weeping tile connection are eligible. Downspout disconnection is not covered by the subsidy.

Work that is Eligible

Backwater Valve

Eligible work:

  • Installation of backwater valve
  • Replacement of existing backwater valve
  • Installation of alarm to backwater valve
  • 80% of the invoiced cost up to a maximum of $1,250 regardless of the number of devices installed at the property, including eligible labour, materials, permit and taxes.

Sump Pump

Eligible Work:

  • Installation of sump pump
  • Replacement of existing sump pump
  • Installation of back-up power for sump pump
  • 80% of the invoiced cost up to a maximum of $1,750 regardless of the number of devices installed at the property, including eligible labour, materials, permit and taxes.

Foundation Drain (weeping tile) Pipe Severance and Capping

Eligible Work:

  • Disconnection of foundation drains (weeping tile) from the City's sewer system by severing and capping the underground sewer connection.
  • 80% of the invoiced cost up to a maximum of $400, including eligible labour, materials and taxes

Important Note: Disconnecting the downspouts from a property's eavestrough system is not eligible for a subsidy under this program.

If it is your intention to apply to the Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy Program in connection with the installation of a backwater valve and sump pump, please complete and sign the Consent to Enter form and include it with your application to Toronto Building for a building permit for the backwater valve.

For more Eligibility Requirements please see the City website

Contractor Requirements
The requirements for licensing of businesses/trades are governed by the Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 545. A City licensed contractor must be hired to install flood protection devices.

City of Toronto licensed Plumbing Contractor (licence #T94), Plumbing & Heating Contractor (licence #T92) or Drain Contractor (license # T87) can be hired to install a backwater valve, sump pump or to sever and cap the weeping tile connection (pipe and severance capping).

City of Toronto licensed Building Renovator (license # T85) can be hired to install a sump pump or to sever and cap the weeping tile connection (pipe and severance capping).

To verify if a contractor has the appropriate license, contact Municipal Licensing & Standards at 416-392-6700 or go on-line at the City of Toronto website.

Permit Requirements
If installing a backwater valve, you or your plumber must obtain a permit from Toronto Building Division. Visit one of the service counters and provide the required fee and a drawing signed by the property owner. See Permits - plumbing - water service - on private property. More info on permits can be found on this website Be sure to schedule an inspection with Toronto Building before enclosing or covering the backwater valve installation work. This will ensure the inspector is able to see if the installation meets the Ontario Building Code requirements.

Funding
Funding for the Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy Program is currently available. It is subject to an annual review by City Council as part of the budget process

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. Can someone from the City advise me on what flooding protection measures I need for my home?
    Homeowners must contact a City of Toronto licensed plumbing contractor to carry out a site assessment to determine the suitability of installing flood protection devices for their property.
  2. Do you have a list of approved contractors?
    We do not maintain a list of approved contractors. The City requires that the contractor be licensed by the City to perform the work. See information above on contractor requirements.
  3. Can I apply for a subsidy if I do the work myself?
    Do-it-yourself installations are not eligible for the subsidy.
  4. What is a backwater valve/sump pump/pipe and severance capping?
    A backwater valve is a device placed on a home's sewer line to help prevent sewage from the City's main sewer line from backing up into the basement. The valve automatically closes if sewage backs up from the main sewer. A properly installed backwater valve must be placed so that sewage backup will be stopped and not come out through other outlets in your basement, such as sinks, toilets, showers and laundry tubs.

    A sump pump is a device placed in a sump pit and used to pump water collected from a home's weeping tile system to the outside. If you are having problems with your sump pump, you must contact a private contractor for repair; the City of Toronto cannot provide you with advice or make referrals.

    Pipe and severance capping refers to the disconnection of the weeping tile pipe from the City's sewer system. The weeping title is used to collect and drain groundwater away from the home's foundation. Capping the pipe end coming from the ground is important after the disconnection to prevent animals from entering the pipe.
  5. Does the subsidy cover all types of backwater valves?
    The subsidy covers any backwater approved by the Province of Ontario for installation on the main sanitary sewer lateral in residential properties. Check with your plumbing contractor or at the service counter when obtaining a building permit.

Note: The City does not install backwater valves for property owners. You will need to contact a City of Toronto licensed plumber, who can advise you on the best solution for your home. For plumbing permits & inspections please contact Toronto Building.

Preventing Basement flooding: The City is working on a number of sewer system improvements and preventive measures to help alleviate basement flooding.

Please visit our program page for information on the Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy Program.
For current basement flooding investigation environmental assessment studies and maps please see this page.

If your contractor does not have a valid City of Toronto licence, you will be denied funding for the work completed.

Different types of contractors are licensed to perform different types of eligible work:

A total subsidy of up to $3,400.00 per property, upon proper installation of flood-prevention devices which include a back-water valve, a sump pump, or severing and capping the home's storm sewer or external weeping tile connection are eligible. Downspout disconnection is not covered by the subsidy.

Understanding Drainage & the Proposed Remediation Measures: http://www.toronto.ca/involved/projects/basement_flooding/pdf/remediation-option.pdf