Various cities, municipalities and regions in the Greater Toronto Area and Southern Ontario have introduced programs through which homeowners can obtain financial assistance to carry out some household plumbing, drain or sewer repairs, and associated renovations. The overall purpose of the grants, rebates and loan plans are to reduce the costs of meeting overall flood-reduction by-laws and codes. Having pre-emptive work done on your home may not only help you avoid water or sewer damage but also increase the value of your home. Your home insurance company is also likely to reduce monthly payments if your home is better protected against these kinds of events damaging your home and its contents.

Each area has its own focus on the kind of issues that have arisen locally. Many are based on a list of criteria including the age of your home, your income level, whether or not you have other water remediation tools installed (downspouts for example) and other specifics. You need to check in your own municipality whether or not your project applies. In addition some of these grants and subsidies have time limits that require the work to be done within a defined period.

Toronto, including the GTA, Scarborough, Etobicoke, and North York has a complex sewage system and is constantly working to make improvements so that residents’ homes do not flood when there is a large spring melt-off or other extreme weather conditions. Homeowners are encouraged to carry out projects to protect their properties by waterproofing their basements, installing sewage backwater valves, and disconnecting their weeping tile connection to the sewer system. You may qualify for up to $3,400.00 in subsidies to get this work done. One way to know what applies to your waterproofing project is to have the professionals at City Wide Group inspect your home, provide you with an estimate and assist with the required applications. Most of the subsidies and grant programs for this area require you to use qualified and licensed contractors. City Wide Group has been waterproofing and underpinning basements in the Toronto area for more than 50 years. We have all the needed certifications to carry out your project.

If you live in the Region of Peel, Mississauga, Brampton, Town of Caledon, there is a program to assist you with the costs related to disconnecting your downspout from the sewer system. Disconnecting the downspout results in keeping excess rainwater out of the sewer and improves your lawn and the local streams and rivers. Rainwater will be directed away from your foundation and onto your landscaping eventually returning to the water table. In addition, you may take advantage of financial assistance to have a backwater valve installed. This valve would ensure your home does not take in wastewater in a situation where the is flooding or a blockage. Not all homeowners will want to carry out this work as there are limitations.

Hamilton and Vaughn also have backwater valve installation subsidy programs. In Durham which includes Pickering, Ajax, Uxbridge, Oshawa, Whitby, and Clarington there is a loan program for a backwater valve or sump pump installation and a flooding prevention grant programme. Halton also has a basement flooding loan program resulting from a sanitary sewer backup as well as a basement flooding prevention subsidy program.

Brantford also has a preventative program related to storms but your home has to have reported a previous situation to the City to qualify. There is also a backwater valve installation available. In Niagara, the focus has been put on a sewage water alleviation program as well as the disconnection of weeping tiles from the sewage system. A by-law has been passed to make the practice of connecting the weeping tile system to the sewage system in contravention of the city’s statutes. Welland has a protective plumbing program that includes a range of waterproofing installations and downspout disconnections.

The bottom line is that there is a range of programs available to assist homeowners with these projects. Each homeowner must do their research about what is appropriate for their own home, budget, and local environment. You can start by looking at your municipality’s website or calling city hall. You can also ask the professional team at City Wide Group to guide you through the process. They can identify what your home needs to keep it dry and sewage-free and what programs may apply to your situation. A list of the various programs by municipality is available on their website but given the fluctuations in programs, needs to be verified before you start.