Newsroom - Archive
Is a New User Rate for Stormwater Coming to Mississauga?

Dec 04, 2013

Today at General Committee, a new stormwater user rate to improve how the City funds the service that reduces flooding and protects water quality was considered and recommended to Council.

“We have to change how we fund our stormwater service and infrastructure,” said Mayor Hazel McCallion.  “We have invested in stormwater for many years, but we need to consider new ways to fund the required infrastructure. With our changing weather we have seen firsthand the need for an expanded, sound stormwater system. We believe we found a fair and long-term way to fund this critical service.”

Once approved, the new funding method would come into effect January 2016 and the charge would appear on the Region of Peel Water bill as a user rate similar to the wastewater user rate.

Stormwater Service and Infrastructure

The City manages the water runoff from rain and snow melt through its stormwater management program. Stormwater infrastructure and service includes:

• storm sewers
• curbside drains
• stormwater management ponds
• bridges and culverts
• stream rehabilitation
• flood mitigation works
• maintenance and rehabilitation of existing infrastructure
• environmental compliance
• emergency response and clean up
• street sweeping
• by-law enforcement

“Most of the City’s stormwater infrastructure is hidden underground,” said Martin Powell commissioner of Transportation and Works. “It operates daily as a citywide network to prevent flooding, keep our roads safe and protect water quality. A user rate to pay for maintenance, daily operations and improvements will give the long-term funding needed now and in the future.” 

The stormwater user rate is to come to Council for approval on December 11, 2013.


Proposed Stormwater Rate

What is the rate and how is it calculated?

The stormwater rate is calculated by dividing the cost of the annual stormwater program by the total number of billing units in the city.  A billing unit (also known as a single family unit (SFU)) is equal to 267 m2. of hard surface and is based on the average hard surface area found on a property of a single family home.  The rate will be administered in the same manner as a water or sewer rate on the monthly utility bill.

What would homeowners and businesses pay?

The stormwater rate will be charged based upon the contribution of stormwater runoff, as indicated by the amount of impervious, or hard, surface area on the property. Examples of hard surfaces include roof tops, driveways, parking areas, walkways and patios.  For residential properties, the charge depends on the type and size of home. A small home would be charged less than a large home, while an apartment or condominium would be charged less than a single detached home.

“There is a range of residential categories, from single detached houses to multi-storey, multi-unit apartments and condominiums,” said Jeremy Blair, Storm Drainage Programming Engineer, Transportation and Works. Staff calculated estimated costs based on 2012 figures to help understand the potential amounts homeowners would be paying. 

For non-residential properties such as businesses and institutions, the charge is based on the measured hard surface area.

Estimated Stormwater Rate Categories and Estimated Annual Charges

These amounts are based on 2012 information and subject to change. These costs are approximate and will change for 2016 implementation, based on the requirements at that time for infrastructure and operating programs.

Stormwater Rate Categories

Estimated Annual Charges Based on 2012 Information 

Single Detached Residential (Small) $66.00-2012 estmate
Single-Detached Residential (Medium)  $94.00-2012 estimate
Single-Detached Residential
$132.00-2012 estimate
2 Units/Linked Residential   $66.00-2012 estimate
per unit
3 to 6 Units/ Townhouse/ Condominium Residential   $47.00-2012 estimate
per unit
7+ Units Residential (3 storeys or less)
 $19.00-2012 estimate
per unit
7+ Units Residential
(4 storeys or more) 
 $9.00-2012 estimate
per unit
Non-Residential properties $94.00-2012 estimate per 267m2 of hard surface area 

The stormwater rate and the annual charges to property owners will be determined prior to the initiation of stormwater billing in January, 2016, based on the Council-approved stormwater rate based program funding amounts at that time.   

Exempt Properties

Exempted properties are those that are exempt from paying municipal fees and charges through legislation such as land owned by the Crown.

Places of Religious Worship

Properties classified as a place of worship will be provided with a grant to offset their stormwater rate charges.

Credit Program for Commercial/Institutional Properties

Businesses and institutions can apply to a credit program if they have their own stormwater measures or practices on their property that benefit the City’s stormwater program.

“The credit system recognizes the stormwater works taken by non-residential property owners to improve the quality and reduce the amount of stormwater coming off their lands which lessens the burden on the City’s stormwater system”, said Blair. “The City consulted with representatives from industrial, commercial and institutional sectors through a Stormwater Credit Stakeholder Group.  We looked at other cities in Canada and the United States for best practices in creating the credit program.” 

Categories in the program include flow reduction, water quality treatment, reducing water runoff volume and pollution prevention.

More information

For more information on the new stormwater user rate and how it will work read, Stormwater Financing Study, Phase 2 (Implementation Project) - Implementation Plan.

In future months staff will be reporting back to Council with more detail on the proposed program.

In December 2012, Council endorsed in principle moving from a property tax supported program to a stormwater rate funded program, using a tiered single family unit rate structure, as outlined in the report dated November 23, 2012 titled Stormwater Financing Study (Phase 1) – Funding Recommendations.
Staff were to report back to General Committee with a detailed plan for a credit system, cost to carry out and maintain the stormwater rate based program, billing method and policy and business process considerations. 

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Media Contact:
Catherine Monast
Senior Communications Advisor
Transportation and Works
City of Mississauga
905-615-3200 ext. 5046
TTY: 905-896-5151