Drainage Engineering Services under the Drainage Act

Have you been told you need to update an assessment schedule? Or perhaps you have been told you need to contact a Drainage Engineer. We can help! Shade Group is pleased to offer Drainage Engineering services. Our staff are well versed in the Drainage Act and are prepared and excited to help you address your needs. Whether you are undertaking a severance or looking to develop, we are here to help.

The first thing you may be wondering is “what is the Drainage Act” and “what does this have to do with my project”?

What is the Drainage Act?

The Drainage Act is legislation that is unique to Ontario. The Drainage Act was developed as an alternative to Common Law for addressing drainage challenges. For more information on the Drainage Act, we recommend you review this Fact Sheet, prepared by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs: OMAFRA Fact Sheet. Additional resources have been provided at the end of this post.

Under the current adopted Drainage Act, there are two types of drains; Mutual Agreement Drains and Petition Drains (also commonly referred to as Municipal Drains). For the purposes of this post, we will focus on Petition Drains.

What is a petition drain?

Petition Drains are drainage works petitioned for, developed, constructed and maintained under the democratic procedure of the Drainage Act. A Drainage Engineer is hired to assist through the process, including, but not limited to, the preparation of a design solution and developing a report that outlines all applicable details associated with the solution, including the distribution of costs. The costs associated with the design solution are paid by the landowners who benefit from the solution – both directly (e.g. watercourse on their property) and indirectly (e.g. surface water eventually ends up in the receiving watercourse). Costs are also assessed back to any benefiting utility or municipal network such as roads, utility corridors, etc.

The different Sections of the Act

Drainage Engineers are appointed to prepare new design solutions, but also to update design solutions or their associated reports. For example, if you are looking to undertake a severance, and your property is encompassed within the watershed of an existing Petition Drain, you may be presented with a condition that notes you must first hire an engineer to update the assessment schedule of the impacted Petition Drain. We can help! The Drainage Act, under Section 65, allows for small changes to existing adopted reports to account for changes such as severances or changes in land use (e.g., farm land converted to industrial use).

Alternatively, perhaps you need to make changes to the existing Petition Drain due to flooding or changes in Land Use. Under Section 78 of the Drainage Act, a landowner or municipality may request changes to an existing adopted system to make improvements.

Shade Group would be pleased to assist you with your Drainage Engineering needs, whether you are looking to solve an existing surface water problem, or looking to update an existing adopted report as a condition of your development, we have the resources and experience to help.

Please contact us today to talk more about how we can help!

For more information on the Drainage Act, Petition Drains or drainage problems, please refer to the various Fact Sheets developed by OMAFRA.

Drainage Legislation

So, What's a Municipal Drain?

Duties of the Landowner Under the Drainage Act

Municipal Drains and the Landowner

Understanding Drainage Assessments

Top 10 Common Law Drainage Problems Between Rural Neighbours