Basement flooding protection subsidy program

  • January 9, 2024

With the increasing instances of basement flooding in Toronto, homeowners are facing not only physical damage but also significant financial burdens. In response to this growing concern, the City of Toronto has introduced the Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy Program. 

This initiative aims to assist homeowners in implementing preventive measures to safeguard their properties against basement flooding. When the registered owner of a duplex, triplex, or single family residential building contracts a licensed plumber to install flood protection devices, they are protecting their homes from possible disaster, not only for their Toronto basement, but for the city’s sewer system and other residents as well.

Hoerner, Toronto’s trusted plumbing company, is well-versed on the details of the program, including its purpose, benefits, and the services covered. Let’s dive into what this program is, how it can help you prevent basement flooding, and what types of flood prevention devices are right for you.

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Understanding the Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy Program

Purpose and Benefits

The primary goal of the Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy Program is to empower homeowners to take proactive measures against basement flooding. During heavy rain, the city’s sewer system can become overloaded, and it’s imperative that Toronto residents take action to reduce their risk of basement flooding.

By encouraging the installation of flood prevention devices like backwater valves, sump pumps, and the severing of storm sewer connections, the basement flooding subsidy program aims to mitigate the risk of water damage, prevent flooding, and save the property owner from major damages that result from severe storms.

Eligibility Criteria and Financial Assistance

Financial assistance of up to $3,400 per property is available to cover a portion of the costs associated with implementing flood protection measures.

To be eligible for the subsidy, owners of single-family, duplex, or triplex residential homes in the City of Toronto must:

Services Covered by the Subsidy

Installing a Backwater Valve

A backwater valve is a key component in preventing sewage backup during heavy rainfall or flooding. A backwater valve installation allows sewage to flow out of the property but prevents it from re-entering. 

The Basement Flooding Subsidy Program covers:

  • Installation of backwater valves 
  • Replacement of backwater valves
  • Installation of alarms for a backwater valve

Property owners who complete a backwater valve installation take a proactive step in protecting their homes from potential water damage associated with sewer backups.

A Building Permit is required to install a backwater valve. Before work starts, you must verify that your plumber has a valid City of Toronto business license. The backwater valve must pass inspection by the City of Toronto building inspector in order to be eligible for the flooding subsidy program.

Not only is Hoerner Plumbing fully licenced, we also offer a Backwater Valve Rebate in Toronto

Installing a Sump Pump

Installing a sump pump is a critical flood protection device that helps manage water accumulation around the foundation of a home. Sump pumps are designed to pump water away from the foundation, reducing the risk of basement flooding. This service is especially valuable in areas prone to excessive rainfall or rapid snowmelt.

Once a sump pump is installed in a specially constructed pit, groundwater or rainwater will naturally accumulate and collect in this sump pit. When the water level in the sump pit reaches a certain height, a float or pressure sensor activates the sump pump before the water level becomes critical.

The sump pump itself consists of a motor and pump mechanism. The motor powers a rotor-like device called an impeller that spins rapidly when activated. When the impeller rotates, it creates a centrifugal force that propels water away from the sump pump, into a discharge pipe. The pipe directs water away from the home’s foundation and towards a safe drainage area, such as your home’s storm sewer.

Some homeowners install back-up sump pump systems to enhance reliability. These can be battery-operated or water-powered, and provide the protection of a sump pump in the event of a power outage or pump failure.

The Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy Program covers:

  • Installation of a sump pump
  • Replacement of a sump pump
  • Installation of alarms for a sump pump
  • Installation of back-up power for a sump pump

Explore sump pump rebate options and sump pump replacement with Hoerner Plumbing.

Foundation Drain (Weeping Tile) Pipe Severance and Capping

Disconnecting storm sewers and any external weeping tile connection will help prevent excess water infiltration. This flood protection device is a proactive measure that will protect properties from the potential consequences of stormwater overflow. This flood prevention device involves the intentional disconnection of certain drainage pathways to mitigate the potential consequences of stormwater overflow. 

The Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy Program covers:

  • Disconnection of foundation tiles (weeping tiles) from the City’s sewer system by severing and capping the underground sewer connection

Severing Connections:

  • Storm Sewer Connection: The plumbing professional identifies and disconnects any existing storm sewer connections that may contribute to excessive water entering the property during heavy rainfall. This involves physically cutting and sealing off the connection points.
  • External Weeping Tile Connection: If applicable, external weeping tile connections may also be severed to reduce the risk of water penetration through the foundation.

Capping and Sealing:

  • Storm Sewer Cap: After severing the storm sewer connections, the open ends are securely capped and sealed. This prevents water from flowing back into the disconnected sewer lines, ensuring that excess stormwater is directed away from the property.
  • Weeping Tile Cap: In the case of external weeping tile connections, the open ends are capped and sealed to prevent water from entering the weeping tile system and potentially causing waterlogging around the foundation.

How Hoerner Plumbing Can Help

Choosing a licensed and experienced plumbing contractor is crucial to ensuring eligibility for the subsidy program. 

Hoerner Plumbing offers expertise in line with the requirements of the Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy Program. Our services align with the installation and maintenance of backwater valves, sump pumps, and other flood prevention measures.

Applying for the Subsidy

To take advantage of the subsidy, homeowners can follow a step-by-step guide provided by the City of Toronto. It is essential to submit applications within the specified timeframe and to ensure that installations are carried out by professional contractors to meet program requirements.

Applying for the installation of a backwater valve and sump pump

  • Obtain a Building Permit to install a backwater valve, which will be inspected by Toronto Building staff once it is installed.
  • If installing a backwater valve and sump pump, complete and sign the Consent to Enter Form and include it with your Permit application. It will authorize Toronto Building staff to inspect and verify that both the backwater valve and sump pump have been installed according to Program requirements.
  • Installing the flood protection device(s) according to Program requirements is an important part of ensuring your eligibility for the subsidy.

For backwater valve installation, start at step 1 and for all other eligible work, start at step 3

  1. Obtain a permit from Toronto Building. If installing a backwater valve and sump pump, please attach the Consent to Enter Form to your permit application. Permits can be obtained from Customer Service Counters.
  2. Request an inspection once installation is complete. Toronto Building staff must inspect the installation of all backwater valves. Do not enclose or cover the valve before this occurs. This inspector must be able to confirm whether the installation meets the applicable Building Code requirements.
  3. Complete the Program application form .
  4. Include original invoice(s) with your application. Invoice(s) must show an itemized cost breakdown of all work applicable to this subsidy and must be clearly marked “paid in full.” If your contractor uses a licensed sub-contractor, please also include original invoices from the sub-contractor.
  5. Mail the completed application form with the required documentation to the City
  6. City staff will review your application and determine whether you are eligible for a subsidy. 

Preventive Measures to Protect Your Home

In addition to the subsidy program, homeowners can take preventive measures (such as Do It Yourself Installations) to minimize the risk of basement flooding:

  • Hire A Toronto Plumber: Regular inspections and maintenance by a licensed plumber like Hoerner Plumbing can identify potential issues before they become major problems.
  • Use Sealant for Crack and Leak Prevention: Seal any cracks or leaks in your foundation to prevent water infiltration.
  • Eavestrough Cleaning: Ensure that eavestroughs are clear of debris to allow proper water drainage.
  • Downspout Disconnect: Direct downspouts away from your home’s foundation to prevent water accumulation.
  • Plants Absorbing Rainwater: Strategically plant vegetation that absorbs excess rainwater around your property.
  • Clearing Debris From Storm Sewer: Regularly clear debris from storm sewers to maintain proper water flow.

By combining the resources provided by the Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy Program with proactive home maintenance, homeowners can significantly reduce the risk of basement flooding and the associated financial and emotional toll.