Drainage & Municipal Drains


Please call (905) 871-1600 to speak to a Customer Service Agent. Your Agent will complete a form requesting investigation into your concern. Once this is complete, your form will be sent to the appropriate department for inspection. Staff will contact you with any outcome or suggestions to alleviate flooding.

What is a municipal drain?

The primary function of a municipal drain is to divert surface water from adjacent lands and convey flows to downstream watercourses. Most municipal drains are either ditches or closed systems such as pipes or tiles buried in the ground. They can also include structures such as dykes or berms, pumping stations, buffer strips, grassed waterways, storm water detention ponds, culverts and bridges. Even some creeks and small rivers are now considered to be municipal drains.

What is the purpose of a drain?

Municipal drains have been a fixture of rural Ontario’s infrastructure since the 1800’s. Most municipal drains were constructed to improve the drainage of agricultural land by serving as the discharge point for private agricultural tile drainage systems. However, they also remove excess water collected by roadside ditches, residential lots, churches, schools, industrial lands, commercial lands and any other properties in rural areas. They are a vital component of the local infrastructure. Without drains, many areas of the province would be subjected to regular flooding, reduced production from agricultural land, and increased public health risks.

How are drains created?

Municipal drains are created under the authority of the Ontario Drainage Act (Provincial Legislation) and have three key elements. Firstly, the drain is requested by the community through petition and involves a number of public meetings to address landowners’ concerns and desires. If the need for drainage work is there, the municipality requests an engineer’s report to identify the proposed solution to the drainage problem and how the costs will be shared. Secondly, after any appeals have been dealt with, the municipality passes a by-law adopting the engineer’s report, giving the municipality the legal authority and responsibility to construct the drain. Finally, once the drain has been constructed, the maintenance becomes part of the municipality’s infrastructure. The municipality, through its drainage superintendent, is now responsible for repairing and maintaining of the drain.


Further current, up-to-date, information can be found on the Towns Public Engagement Portal:




Contact Information

Troy Davidson, Drainage Superintendent

Phone: (905) 871-1600 x2405