Stormwater Incentive Program

Share Stormwater Incentive Program on Facebook Share Stormwater Incentive Program on Twitter Share Stormwater Incentive Program on Linkedin Email Stormwater Incentive Program link

Consultation has concluded

Engagement Results
Review the Stormwater Incentive Program Engagement Results

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.

The City spends approximately $56 million per year 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

  • Virtual Meetings November 7, 2023
  • Open House November 15, 2023
  • Open House 2 November 16, 2023
  • Agriculture and Rural Affairs Sub-Committee, November 30, 2023
  • General Issues Committee, June 5, 2024

Engagement Results
Review the Stormwater Incentive Program Engagement Results

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.

The City spends approximately $56 million per year 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

  • Virtual Meetings November 7, 2023
  • Open House November 15, 2023
  • Open House 2 November 16, 2023
  • Agriculture and Rural Affairs Sub-Committee, November 30, 2023
  • General Issues Committee, June 5, 2024
Consultation has concluded

Before asking your question, please review the FAQ's on www.hamilton.ca/StormwaterFunding
Answers will be posted here publicly for participants who may have the same questions.

  • Share Would use of rainbarrels that divert storm water from rooftop downspouts to gardens be part of an incentive program for urban residential units. I have a set up with 8 rain barrels (of 200 litres each) for just that purpose, and I am astounded at the amount of water that is captured on even a light rain. An incentive program for rainwater diversion could make a difference. on Facebook Share Would use of rainbarrels that divert storm water from rooftop downspouts to gardens be part of an incentive program for urban residential units. I have a set up with 8 rain barrels (of 200 litres each) for just that purpose, and I am astounded at the amount of water that is captured on even a light rain. An incentive program for rainwater diversion could make a difference. on Twitter Share Would use of rainbarrels that divert storm water from rooftop downspouts to gardens be part of an incentive program for urban residential units. I have a set up with 8 rain barrels (of 200 litres each) for just that purpose, and I am astounded at the amount of water that is captured on even a light rain. An incentive program for rainwater diversion could make a difference. on Linkedin Email Would use of rainbarrels that divert storm water from rooftop downspouts to gardens be part of an incentive program for urban residential units. I have a set up with 8 rain barrels (of 200 litres each) for just that purpose, and I am astounded at the amount of water that is captured on even a light rain. An incentive program for rainwater diversion could make a difference. link

    Would use of rainbarrels that divert storm water from rooftop downspouts to gardens be part of an incentive program for urban residential units. I have a set up with 8 rain barrels (of 200 litres each) for just that purpose, and I am astounded at the amount of water that is captured on even a light rain. An incentive program for rainwater diversion could make a difference.

    Kate asked 6 months ago

    Our proposed incentive program for residents is looking at providing subsidies for residents which would be a onetime benefit as opposed to an ongoing credit.  Single-family residential and multi-residential properties with six or fewer units will be able to access subsidized programs that provide: 

    • Materials such as rain barrels at a significant discount; 
    • A grant (subsidy) for the disconnection of downspouts, installation of a backwater valve, and other eligible works that help to reduce the risk of basement flooding; 
    • In-person advisory services on how properties can reduce their stormwater water runoff; 
    • How-to information/publications on how properties can reduce their stormwater runoff; and

    A grant (subsidy) for the installation of rain gardens, bioswales, pollinator gardens, or permeable surfaces and other measures that reduce the quantity

  • Share How does this affect people with wells and septic tanks on Facebook Share How does this affect people with wells and septic tanks on Twitter Share How does this affect people with wells and septic tanks on Linkedin Email How does this affect people with wells and septic tanks link

    How does this affect people with wells and septic tanks

    Kim G asked 7 months ago

    The City of Hamilton currently funds the majority of its stormwater program through the water utility. A smaller portion is also funded through property taxes. This means that properties that consume more City potable water, contribute more towards stormwater funding. It also means that properties with small water consumption but large parking lots, contribute little to stormwater funding. To address this inequity and other stormwater funding issues, in December 2021 Hamilton Council directed City staff to review various stormwater funding options. In June 2022, Council directed staff to evaluate an alternative stormwater rate funding structure. On June 28, 2023 Council approved a more equitable stormwater rate structure and directed staff to consult the public on a stormwater financial incentive program. The funding model will be implemented in 2025.

    Rather than charging properties for stormwater based on their potable water consumption and/or assessed value, the approved stormwater rate structure charges properties based on the amount of hard surface (e.g., paving) on their property. All single family detached residential homes will pay the same amount, one billing unit per month, regardless of size or location of their home. The billing unit rates will be set by Council in 2024. When this new funding model is implemented, properties that are connected to the City’s water and/ or sewer systems will no longer be charged for stormwater services through their water/wastewater utility fee. Instead, all properties will see a separate stormwater fee on their utility bill. For those property owners not currently receiving a water/wastewater utility bill, they will begin to receive a stormwater only bill when the stormwater fee is implemented in 2025.

    Hamilton is considering offering a grants and subsidies program for residential owners.   Feedback on a financial incentive program will be considered as part of a change in how stormwater management is funded at the City. Engagement to help shape plans for the proposed Stormwater Incentive Program will take place until January 8, 2024.

  • Share For those properties that do not have city water or city sewer will they be impacted by this as well? on Facebook Share For those properties that do not have city water or city sewer will they be impacted by this as well? on Twitter Share For those properties that do not have city water or city sewer will they be impacted by this as well? on Linkedin Email For those properties that do not have city water or city sewer will they be impacted by this as well? link

    For those properties that do not have city water or city sewer will they be impacted by this as well?

    Wolfsmom asked 7 months ago

    The City of Hamilton currently funds the majority of its stormwater program through the water utility. A smaller portion is also funded through property taxes. This means that properties that consume more City potable water, contribute more towards stormwater funding. It also means that properties with small water consumption but large parking lots, contribute little to stormwater funding. To address this inequity and other stormwater funding issues, in December 2021 Hamilton Council directed City staff to review various stormwater funding options. In June 2022, Council directed staff to evaluate an alternative stormwater rate funding structure. On June 28, 2023 Council approved a more equitable stormwater rate structure and directed staff to consult the public on a stormwater financial incentive program. The funding model will be implemented in 2025.

    Rather than charging properties for stormwater based on their potable water consumption and/or assessed value, the approved stormwater rate structure charges properties based on the amount of hard surface (e.g., paving) on their property. All single family detached residential homes will pay the same amount, one billing unit per month, regardless of size or location of their home. The billing unit rates will be set by Council in 2024. When this new funding model is implemented, properties that are connected to the City’s water and/ or sewer systems will no longer be charged for stormwater services through their water/wastewater utility fee. Instead, all properties will see a separate stormwater fee on their utility bill. For those property owners not currently receiving a water/wastewater utility bill, they will begin to receive a stormwater only bill when the stormwater fee is implemented in 2025.

    Hamilton is considering offering a grants and subsidies program for residential owners. Feedback on a financial incentive program will be considered as part of a change in how stormwater management is funded at the City.

  • Share Will rural properties which do not have access to city water supply systems and do not have access to a storm water runoff collection system still be charged the storm water fee? As they would not benefit from a drop in the water / wastewater and rates (not having access to the water system) this would result in an increase in their fees without any associated drop that other residents would receive. Essentially putting the cost of management of the city folks storm system on the rural folks who already have to pay for their own maintenance fees for their independent water and water systems. on Facebook Share Will rural properties which do not have access to city water supply systems and do not have access to a storm water runoff collection system still be charged the storm water fee? As they would not benefit from a drop in the water / wastewater and rates (not having access to the water system) this would result in an increase in their fees without any associated drop that other residents would receive. Essentially putting the cost of management of the city folks storm system on the rural folks who already have to pay for their own maintenance fees for their independent water and water systems. on Twitter Share Will rural properties which do not have access to city water supply systems and do not have access to a storm water runoff collection system still be charged the storm water fee? As they would not benefit from a drop in the water / wastewater and rates (not having access to the water system) this would result in an increase in their fees without any associated drop that other residents would receive. Essentially putting the cost of management of the city folks storm system on the rural folks who already have to pay for their own maintenance fees for their independent water and water systems. on Linkedin Email Will rural properties which do not have access to city water supply systems and do not have access to a storm water runoff collection system still be charged the storm water fee? As they would not benefit from a drop in the water / wastewater and rates (not having access to the water system) this would result in an increase in their fees without any associated drop that other residents would receive. Essentially putting the cost of management of the city folks storm system on the rural folks who already have to pay for their own maintenance fees for their independent water and water systems. link

    Will rural properties which do not have access to city water supply systems and do not have access to a storm water runoff collection system still be charged the storm water fee? As they would not benefit from a drop in the water / wastewater and rates (not having access to the water system) this would result in an increase in their fees without any associated drop that other residents would receive. Essentially putting the cost of management of the city folks storm system on the rural folks who already have to pay for their own maintenance fees for their independent water and water systems.

    Denise Devine asked 9 months ago

    The City of Hamilton currently funds the majority of its stormwater program through the water utility. A smaller portion is also funded through property taxes. This means that properties that consume more City potable water, contribute more towards stormwater funding. It also means that properties with small water consumption but large parking lots, contribute little to stormwater funding.

    To address this inequity and other stormwater funding issues, in December 2021 Hamilton Council directed City staff to review various stormwater funding options. In June 2022, Council directed staff to evaluate an alternative stormwater rate funding structure. On June 28, 2023 Council approved a more equitable stormwater rate structure and directed staff to consult the public on a stormwater financial incentive program. The funding model will be implemented in 2025.

    Rather than charging properties for stormwater based on their potable water consumption and/or assessed value, the approved stormwater rate structure charges properties based on the amount of hard surface (e.g., paving) on their property. Properties that are not on the City’s water and wastewater systems do not currently contribute to stormwater funding through municipal water/wastewater rates. These properties do however benefit from the City’s rural stormwater system that includes ditches, creeks and roads which act as overland flow routes during large storms. Currently, the City spends more on managing stormwater in rural area than the portion of stormwater funding that rural properties contribute through property taxes.

    The City’s stormwater programs include work in the rural areas such as the operation and maintenance of stormwater management facilities, watercourse inspection and rehabilitation, invasive species control, etc., all of which benefit rural property owners and are not supported by municipal property taxes.

  • Share I see that there are two surveys … one for residential, and one for commercial. How would farm properties respond? on Facebook Share I see that there are two surveys … one for residential, and one for commercial. How would farm properties respond? on Twitter Share I see that there are two surveys … one for residential, and one for commercial. How would farm properties respond? on Linkedin Email I see that there are two surveys … one for residential, and one for commercial. How would farm properties respond? link

    I see that there are two surveys … one for residential, and one for commercial. How would farm properties respond?

    Janicecurrie asked 9 months ago

    Agricultural properties should fill out the Industrial, Commercial, Institutional (ICI) and Large Multi-Residential Owner / Operator Survey.