Stormwater Incentive Program

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Council Communication Update January 16, 2023
Hamilton Stormwater Financial Incentive Program Update

The City of Hamilton is responsible for managing stormwater – the water that comes from rain and melted snow that flows over land and into storm drains, ditches, creeks and lakes. Our stormwater management system controls the quantity and quality of stormwater runoff that results from rainfall and snowmelt. Stormwater management addresses issues such as flooding, erosion and poor water quality, and helps protect the health and safety of the public, private property, infrastructure (such as bridges and roads), and the environment from extreme weather – something that we are experiencing more frequently and is expected to worsen.

Each year, the City spends approximately $43 million on its stormwater program. Currently, most stormwater funding comes from the City’s water and wastewater utility revenues. This means the amount a property contributes to stormwater management is based on the amount of drinking water consumed. Properties with large areas of hard surfaces such as parking lots, or without a water or sewer connection, contribute very little despite the amount of stormwater which runs off their site and into the stormwater system.

Starting in September of 2025, a stormwater fee will replace the current inequitable stormwater funding model. Properties will be charged based on the load (or use) they place on the stormwater system. Residential properties will pay based on the type of dwelling (e.g., single family detached dwellings, duplexes/townhomes, and multiplexes). Non-residential and large, multi-residential properties will pay based on their measured imperviousness (the amount of hard surface on their property).

When this new funding model is implemented, water and wastewater rates will be reduced as they will no longer be used to fund stormwater management activities, and the stormwater fee will be broken out as a separate line item on utility bills.

Feedback on an Incentive Program

The City of Hamilton is inviting residents and property owners to provide input on a financial incentive program for properties that implement measures to reduce their impact on the stormwater system.

Like other municipalities who have implemented similar stormwater funding models (Mississauga, Kitchener, and Guelph, to name a few), an incentive program is being considered. This could include credits or subsidies to help lower the stormwater fee for industrial, commercial, institutional, and large, multi-residential property owners who implement on-site measures to reduce the amount and/or improve the quality of stormwater runoff from their property. Subsidized programs to support better on-site stormwater management for residents are also under consideration.

An incentive program will not only help property owners to reduce stormwater fees, but it will also encourage and support on-site stormwater management that better supports the natural water balance and protects the natural environment.

Virtual and In-person Meetings

Open House November 15, 6:30 to 8:30 pm
Presentation and Q&A starts at 7 pm
Hamilton City Hall, Council Chambers
Open House 2 November 16, 6 to 8 pm
Presentation and Q&A starts at 6:30 pm
Ancaster Fairgrounds, Hepworth Room

Agriculture and Rural Affairs Sub-Committee, November 30, 7 pm
Hamilton City Hall , Room 264, 2nd Floor (hybrid)


Council Communication Update January 16, 2023
Hamilton Stormwater Financial Incentive Program Update

The City of Hamilton is responsible for managing stormwater – the water that comes from rain and melted snow that flows over land and into storm drains, ditches, creeks and lakes. Our stormwater management system controls the quantity and quality of stormwater runoff that results from rainfall and snowmelt. Stormwater management addresses issues such as flooding, erosion and poor water quality, and helps protect the health and safety of the public, private property, infrastructure (such as bridges and roads), and the environment from extreme weather – something that we are experiencing more frequently and is expected to worsen.

Each year, the City spends approximately $43 million on its stormwater program. Currently, most stormwater funding comes from the City’s water and wastewater utility revenues. This means the amount a property contributes to stormwater management is based on the amount of drinking water consumed. Properties with large areas of hard surfaces such as parking lots, or without a water or sewer connection, contribute very little despite the amount of stormwater which runs off their site and into the stormwater system.

Starting in September of 2025, a stormwater fee will replace the current inequitable stormwater funding model. Properties will be charged based on the load (or use) they place on the stormwater system. Residential properties will pay based on the type of dwelling (e.g., single family detached dwellings, duplexes/townhomes, and multiplexes). Non-residential and large, multi-residential properties will pay based on their measured imperviousness (the amount of hard surface on their property).

When this new funding model is implemented, water and wastewater rates will be reduced as they will no longer be used to fund stormwater management activities, and the stormwater fee will be broken out as a separate line item on utility bills.

Feedback on an Incentive Program

The City of Hamilton is inviting residents and property owners to provide input on a financial incentive program for properties that implement measures to reduce their impact on the stormwater system.

Like other municipalities who have implemented similar stormwater funding models (Mississauga, Kitchener, and Guelph, to name a few), an incentive program is being considered. This could include credits or subsidies to help lower the stormwater fee for industrial, commercial, institutional, and large, multi-residential property owners who implement on-site measures to reduce the amount and/or improve the quality of stormwater runoff from their property. Subsidized programs to support better on-site stormwater management for residents are also under consideration.

An incentive program will not only help property owners to reduce stormwater fees, but it will also encourage and support on-site stormwater management that better supports the natural water balance and protects the natural environment.

Virtual and In-person Meetings

Open House November 15, 6:30 to 8:30 pm
Presentation and Q&A starts at 7 pm
Hamilton City Hall, Council Chambers
Open House 2 November 16, 6 to 8 pm
Presentation and Q&A starts at 6:30 pm
Ancaster Fairgrounds, Hepworth Room

Agriculture and Rural Affairs Sub-Committee, November 30, 7 pm
Hamilton City Hall , Room 264, 2nd Floor (hybrid)


Page last updated: 19 Jan 2024, 12:04 PM