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Streetsville Village Times Article- September 2015

The City of Mississauga is introducing a new stormwater charge, which will be included in the Region of Peel
water bill beginning on January 1, 2016. The stormwater charge is a dedicated source of funding that will be
invested directly into the City’s $1.8 billion stormwater system to ensure it is kept in good working order and
avoid costly future repairs and flood damage. Stormwater refers to the rain and melted snow that flows from
properties into the streets and down into the storm drains; this water then flows through a large network of
pipes and waterways directly into Lake Ontario. Mississauga has extensive stormwater infrastructure with a
total replacement value of $1.8 billion dollars. This stormwater infrastructure consists of:







Storm sewers 2,000 km
Catch basins 48,000
Stormwater manholes 28,000
Outlets to receiving waters 1,000
Diversion structures (trunk sewers) 100 km
Ditches / storm water swales in urban areas
250 km SWM Facilities (Hard and Soft Components)
Watercourses, Streams, Rivers, and Creeks (31 Separate Creeks) 200 km

A significant proportion of Mississauga’s stormwater infrastructure was installed in the last 50 years. This
infrastructure, which has a replacement value of $1.8 billion, is aging and nearing the end of its lifecycle. The
stormwater charge will cover repair and replacement costs that the City can no longer afford to pay through the
property tax base or through development charges. Mississauga is a rapidly growing city, and with the
increased population and more businesses operating in Mississauga, the amount of water running off
hard/impermeable surfaces, such as roofs and parking lots is increasing. Furthermore, climate change
patterns have brought heavier rainfalls and rapidly melting snow, and there is much more stormwater entering
our stormwater infrastructure than previous years, which is causing costly wear and tear on the aging
infrastructure. Recent incidents of flooding in the city from major rainstorms have also demonstrated that the
stormwater infrastructure has been unable to handle the increased stromwater run-off from so much
hard/impermeable surfaces in the city, such as streets, driveways, and roofs.
Since 2011, the City has been looking into options beyond the property tax base and development charges to
support current and future stormwater management and infrastructure needs, and a Stormwater Financing
Study was undertaken. The Study was completed in 2012 and identified a stormwater charge as a dedicated
source of funding that is needed to manage current and future stormwater and infrastructure needs.
Municipalities across North America and Canada are facing similar challenges with regard to stormwater
management and infrastructure needs, and there are presently over 1500 municipalities in North America,
including 19 in Canada, who have implemented stormwater charges to fund stormwater utilities. In Ontario,
the municipalities of Kitchener, Waterloo, London, Aurora, St. Thomas and Richmond Hill have all implemented
stormwater charges. Across Canada, the municipalities of Halifax, Regina, Saskatoon, Calgary, Edmonton, St.
Albert, Strathcona County, Pitt Meadows, Richmond, West Vancouver, Surrey, White Rock, and Langley have
also implemented stormwater charges as dedicated sources of funding.
The calculation of the stormwater charge is the same for all properties, and each property will receive a
stormwater assessment. The stormwater charge is calculated by multiplying the stormwater rate by the
number of stormwater billing units assessed for a property. The stormwater rate will be reviewed each year by
Council as part of the City’s annual budget process. The number of billing units assessed for a property is
determined by the tier under which the property is categorized. Each residential property is categorized into
one of five tiers based on the size of its rooftop area. The City is using the rooftop area as a predictor of the
total amount of hard surface area on a property. For this purpose, the surface area will be considered a “flat
roof.” The height (or pitch) of your roof will not be part of the calculation. The residential tiers, areas, and
billing units are as follows:

Smallest Tier- Examples: freehold townhomes and row houses
Rooftop Area: 26.7 - 99.0 m2 Billing Units: 0.5
Small Tier - Examples: Semi-detached homes, linked homes and small single detached homes


Rooftop Area: 99.1-151.0 m2 Billing Units: 0.7
Medium Tier - Medium single detached homes
Rooftop Area: 151.1 -194.0 m2 Billing Units: 1.0
Properties in the "medium" tier are assessed one billing unit as the area of one billing unit (267m2) is
the average hard surface area found on a single detached residential property in Mississauga.
Large Tier- Large single detached homes
Rooftop Area - 194.1 - 242.0 m2 Billing Units: 1.2
Largest Tier- Very large single detached homes
Rooftop Area: 242.1 + m2 and above Billing Units: 1.7

Residents whose properties are categorized under the Smallest Tier will pay $50/yr for the stormwater charge;
those under the Small Tier will pay $70/yr; those under the Medium Tier will pay $100/yr; those under the
Large Tier will pay $120/yr; and those under the Largest Tier will pay $170/yr. The implementation of the
stormwater charge will result in approximately $6.7million being shifted away from the municipal tax base in the
2016 budget, which amounts to a reduction of approximately $25 per household. For more information about
stormwater and the stormwater charge, please visit the City’s website at www.stormwatercharge.ca or call 31-1. As always, if you need any assistance on this or any other municipal matter, please don’t hesitate to
contact my office at george.carlson@mississauga.ca or 905-896-5011.