January 31, 2000
To: Toronto Community Council
From: David F. Parrish, Director of Districts 1 and 2 Water and Wastewater Operations
Subject: Drain Grant Appeal for 251 Bingham Avenue
Ward 26, East Toronto
An appeal to a denied Drain Grant application has been made by the property owners, Mr. David Saye and Ms. Margaret
Bowers, 251 Bingham Ave. The applicants are requesting to be reimbursed $1,016.50 for damages to a private drain due to
roots from a tree located on City property across the street from their home.
There are currently sufficient funds in the Water and Wastewater Services Division's 2000 Preliminary Operating Budget
to cover this appeal.
It is recommended that the appeal be denied.
City Council, at its meeting of May 11 and 12, 1999 adopted, as amended, Clause 3 of Works and Utility Committee
Report No. 7, entitled "Sewer Connection Blockage Inspection and Repair Program, and Tree Root Removal and Grants
Policy". Under the Policy the City provides grant assistance for repairs to private drains, between the City property line and
the building, where the blockage is the result of roots from a City tree and is verified by City staff.
The Policy also provides the homeowner the opportunity to appeal for an enhanced grant and appear in deputation before
Community Council when the grant application is denied or when total costs exceed the grant maximum.
On June 29, 1999, drain expenses were incurred by Mr. David Saye and Ms. Margaret Bowers by reason of work
performed to their drain system on private property. Drain repair invoices totalling $1,016.50 were submitted on July 14,
1999 for consideration under the Tree Root Removal and Grants Policy. The invoice indicates that the existing drain was
excavated from the front wall to the propery line. The breather and existing clay pipe was removed and replaced with PVC
pipe with a cleanout. Tree roots were observed in the drain by the contractor.
Staff have determined that there has been no prior grant applications and that the Works and Emergency Services' Dispatch
Centre has no current record of any drain related calls for the subject address.
On September 29, 1999, staff of the Urban Forestry Section investigated and reported that there are no trees, City or private
at or nearby 251 Bingham Ave. On October 22, 1999 Mr. Saye and Ms. Bowers were notified in writing of the Urban
Forestry Section's findings and were advised that their claim under the Drain Grant Program was denied.
In their letter dated January 10, 2000 to Councillor Jakobek, Mr. Saye and Ms. Bowers make reference to a large tree
across the street and to other neighbors receiving grants. A check of City records indicate that grants were issued to 258
Bingham Ave., which is across the street from the subject residence, and to 239 Bingham Ave., which is some distance
Staff denied the application from Mr Saye and Ms. Bowers based on the report from Urban Forestry. In the opinion of
Water and Wastewater staff the tree on other side of the street is too far away to be a likely cause of the blocked drain. The
drip line was observed to be some seven meters from the street line of 251 Bingham.
In addition, Water and Wastewater Services staff did not have the opportunity to verify the presence of tree roots in the
private drain. It should be noted that staff have found roots in drains, in areas, where no trees have existed for many years.
Forestry staff have concluded that there are no City trees close enough to 251 Bingham Ave. likely to have caused blockage
to the private drain. As it is unlikely that the blockage was caused by a City tree, the appeal should be denied.
Mike Siokalo, Manager of Operations and Maintenance
District 1, Area 1, Water and Wastewater Operations
David F. Parrish, P.Eng.
Director of Districts 1 and 2 Water and Wastewater Operations
Water and Wastewater Services Division