About the Master Plan

The City of Windsor is developing a Sewer Master Plan to better understand flooding issues in the City. This website has been launched as part of the City's Sewer Master Plan, which is an initiative to guide decision-making for municipal storm and sanitary sewer servicing across the City. The Master Plan will set standards for successful operation and maintenance of the City’s storm and sanitary sewer systems as well as identify, by priority, future upgrades and expansion requirements for the long term maintenance of the entire system. The Master Plan will take a system-wide approach to identify specific improvement projects that can be undertaken by the City to improve efficiency and reduce the risk of flooding caused by wet weather. This work is a key part of the Mayor’s 8-Point Plan to address flooding in the City.

This project is being undertaken as a Master Plan under the Municipal Class Environmental Assessment Process. This process provides an overarching framework to identify problems and opportunities, consider alternatives and confirm program, maintenance and infrastructure improvements. View the project Notice of Commencement.

The Master Plan will be developed over 2018 and 2019. The outcome of the process will be a number of improvements that the City will refer to the capital budget process for funding. Flooding improvements that can be implemented easily with low capital costs will be identified early in the project (see the short-term solution recommendations below). Other more complex and cost intensive solutions will be considered in later phases.

Short-Term Solution Recommendations

Short-term solutions are improvements that can be implemented easily with low capital costs. They are improvements that can be made by the City and homeowners as partners in flood reduction. Implementation of short-term solutions fall into three categories: municipal policies, subsidy programs, and collaborative improvements. The following short-term solutions are being recommended as part of the master plan.

Municipal Policies

Sewage Ejector Pumps:

  • Mandatory use of sewage ejector pumps for all new developments with basements or below grade living spaces.

Mandatory Downspout Disconnection:

  • Mandatory downspout disconnection through City By-law

Stormwater Surcharge and Green Infrastructure Credits:

  • By-laws to charge for use of City storm infrastructure. Stormwater charges may vary based on lot size, distance from storm sewer and percentage of impervious land use on the property.
  • Implement a program to promote the use of low impact development (green infrastructure) storm drainage solutions on private property, such as Vegetated filter strips at the edges of paved surfaces.
  • Consider incentives (credits) for installation of low impact development infrastructure for residential, commercial, industrial, and institutional properties.
  • Comprehensive educational material explaining the details of the Stormwater surcharge and credit

Sanitary Rain Catchers:

  • To reduce undesired sanitary sewer inflow all sanitary manholes covers be sealed with rain catchers

Inlet Control Devices:

  • Inlet control devices may be recommended in existing developed areas where catch basins allow more runoff to enter the storm sewer than it has capacity.

Infrastructure Maintenance and Assessment

  • Continuous improvement to the City’s infrastructure assessment process to guide decisions for replacement and upgrade projects.
  • Continuous improvement to the City's Operations Department to adjust and upgrade maintenance programs, particularly in areas of higher flood vulnerability.

Design Standards

  • Both the Essex Region Conservation Authority stormwater guidelines and the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks low impact development (LID) guidelines are in a draft format. These will serve as a foundation for updated development standards in Windsor.

Subsidy Programs

Enhance the Basement Flooding Protection (BFP) Subsidy:

  • Following the Mayor’s 8-point plan the BFP has already been upgraded, including a subsidy for disconnection of weeping tiles. Building upon those enhancements, it is recommended that the BFP subsidy continues to include the existing subsidies for backwater valve installation, sump pump installation, and foundation drain disconnection with the fast track option to include the following: add sewage ejector pumps, window well protection and backup power supply for sump pumps.

Collaborative Improvements

Green Infrastructure/Low Impact Development:

  • Provide in-kind support and use of City land’s to work with community/non-profit organizations to construct LIDs. The measures may be constructed solely on City public lands or on shared public/private lands (i.e. split between right-of-way and private property).

Lot Grading:

  • Provide information on the importance of lot grading, including: Information related to installation of swales for rear yard drainage or rear yard catch basins; local low points or areas with settled soils should be filled with high cohesion soil (clay or silt).
  • In conjunction with improved lot grading use LID to reduce the risk of surface flooding.

Other Household Management Strategies:

  • Provide comprehensive education package that could include: measures that provide general information on how to protect property from flooding including actions to take before, during and after a flooding event.
  • Provide contact information for certified contractors that can visit properties and provide recommendations for LIDs, lot grading improvements or other strategies.
  • Implement an “adopt-a-catch basin” program.

Long-term solutions that are more complex and cost intensive will be considered in Spring 2019.

First Steps

The following initiatives are first step tasks to be implemented as part of the Short Term Solution program.

Manhole Rain Catchers

  • Install approximately 1,400 Covers in problems areas within the City


Implement a Foundation Drain Disconnection Program

  • Reduce the rain waters entering the sanitary system


The City will continue providing the Downspout Disconnection Subsidy Program

  • City provides free disconnection services. Call 311 to schedule yours today.


The City will continue to provide the Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy Program

  • Offering residents a financial subsidy to install a sump pump and/or backwater valve


Revise Sewer Design Standards

  • Update standards to mitigate flooding in existing and new development areas


Develop an Enhanced Education Program

  • Provide educational materials and public consultation to assist homeowners in protecting their homes


Long Term Solution Recommendations

The development and evaluation of long term solutions is currently underway. Solutions developed will include a comprehensive of infrastructure improvements and initiatives to address basement flooding. Long term solutions fall under three types: Control Rainwater Entering System, Sewer System Improvements, and Increased Downstream Capacity. The following long term solutions are being considered as part of this master plan.

1. Increased Downstream Capacity:

Increasing the amount of flows that can be accommodated by downstream infrastructure of the storm and sanitary systems.

  • Treatment Plant Improvements;
  • Pump Station Improvements; and
  • Add Retention Treatment Basins

2. Sewer System Improvements:

Improving the movement and storage of flow with the existing sewer systems.

  • Increase trunk sewer sizes;
  • Underground facilities to store rain water;
  • Sealing public infrastructure;
  • Separate combined sewer areas; and
  • Implement Low Impact Development Practices (LIDs) within the municipal right-of-way (Ex-filtration trenches)

3. Control Rainwater Entering System:

Help control rainwater entering the sewers systems during extreme rain events.

  • Lot Grading;
  • Implement Low Impact Development Practices (LIDs) within Residential Yards (For Example: Soak-away pits, rain gardens, permeable pavements, rain barrels);
  • Foundation Drain Disconnection; and
  • Downspout Disconnection


Your input is needed to help shape the Sewer Master Plan. How you can help:

  • Provide your comments on the short-term solutions
  • Take Action to mitigate the potential for flooding by participating in programs currently offered by the City such as the downspout disconnection program.
  • Talk to the team at Project Events - the team will be out in the community this spring; stay tuned for future event dates and locations.
  • Visit this site regularly and contact the project team to get the full picture about flooding and make sure issues that matter to you are considered in the plan.

The City of Windsor is developing a Sewer Master Plan to better understand flooding issues in the City. This website has been launched as part of the City's Sewer Master Plan, which is an initiative to guide decision-making for municipal storm and sanitary sewer servicing across the City. The Master Plan will set standards for successful operation and maintenance of the City’s storm and sanitary sewer systems as well as identify, by priority, future upgrades and expansion requirements for the long term maintenance of the entire system. The Master Plan will take a system-wide approach to identify specific improvement projects that can be undertaken by the City to improve efficiency and reduce the risk of flooding caused by wet weather. This work is a key part of the Mayor’s 8-Point Plan to address flooding in the City.

This project is being undertaken as a Master Plan under the Municipal Class Environmental Assessment Process. This process provides an overarching framework to identify problems and opportunities, consider alternatives and confirm program, maintenance and infrastructure improvements. View the project Notice of Commencement.

The Master Plan will be developed over 2018 and 2019. The outcome of the process will be a number of improvements that the City will refer to the capital budget process for funding. Flooding improvements that can be implemented easily with low capital costs will be identified early in the project (see the short-term solution recommendations below). Other more complex and cost intensive solutions will be considered in later phases.

Short-Term Solution Recommendations

Short-term solutions are improvements that can be implemented easily with low capital costs. They are improvements that can be made by the City and homeowners as partners in flood reduction. Implementation of short-term solutions fall into three categories: municipal policies, subsidy programs, and collaborative improvements. The following short-term solutions are being recommended as part of the master plan.

Municipal Policies

Sewage Ejector Pumps:

  • Mandatory use of sewage ejector pumps for all new developments with basements or below grade living spaces.

Mandatory Downspout Disconnection:

  • Mandatory downspout disconnection through City By-law

Stormwater Surcharge and Green Infrastructure Credits:

  • By-laws to charge for use of City storm infrastructure. Stormwater charges may vary based on lot size, distance from storm sewer and percentage of impervious land use on the property.
  • Implement a program to promote the use of low impact development (green infrastructure) storm drainage solutions on private property, such as Vegetated filter strips at the edges of paved surfaces.
  • Consider incentives (credits) for installation of low impact development infrastructure for residential, commercial, industrial, and institutional properties.
  • Comprehensive educational material explaining the details of the Stormwater surcharge and credit

Sanitary Rain Catchers:

  • To reduce undesired sanitary sewer inflow all sanitary manholes covers be sealed with rain catchers

Inlet Control Devices:

  • Inlet control devices may be recommended in existing developed areas where catch basins allow more runoff to enter the storm sewer than it has capacity.

Infrastructure Maintenance and Assessment

  • Continuous improvement to the City’s infrastructure assessment process to guide decisions for replacement and upgrade projects.
  • Continuous improvement to the City's Operations Department to adjust and upgrade maintenance programs, particularly in areas of higher flood vulnerability.

Design Standards

  • Both the Essex Region Conservation Authority stormwater guidelines and the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks low impact development (LID) guidelines are in a draft format. These will serve as a foundation for updated development standards in Windsor.

Subsidy Programs

Enhance the Basement Flooding Protection (BFP) Subsidy:

  • Following the Mayor’s 8-point plan the BFP has already been upgraded, including a subsidy for disconnection of weeping tiles. Building upon those enhancements, it is recommended that the BFP subsidy continues to include the existing subsidies for backwater valve installation, sump pump installation, and foundation drain disconnection with the fast track option to include the following: add sewage ejector pumps, window well protection and backup power supply for sump pumps.

Collaborative Improvements

Green Infrastructure/Low Impact Development:

  • Provide in-kind support and use of City land’s to work with community/non-profit organizations to construct LIDs. The measures may be constructed solely on City public lands or on shared public/private lands (i.e. split between right-of-way and private property).

Lot Grading:

  • Provide information on the importance of lot grading, including: Information related to installation of swales for rear yard drainage or rear yard catch basins; local low points or areas with settled soils should be filled with high cohesion soil (clay or silt).
  • In conjunction with improved lot grading use LID to reduce the risk of surface flooding.

Other Household Management Strategies:

  • Provide comprehensive education package that could include: measures that provide general information on how to protect property from flooding including actions to take before, during and after a flooding event.
  • Provide contact information for certified contractors that can visit properties and provide recommendations for LIDs, lot grading improvements or other strategies.
  • Implement an “adopt-a-catch basin” program.

Long-term solutions that are more complex and cost intensive will be considered in Spring 2019.

First Steps

The following initiatives are first step tasks to be implemented as part of the Short Term Solution program.

Manhole Rain Catchers

  • Install approximately 1,400 Covers in problems areas within the City


Implement a Foundation Drain Disconnection Program

  • Reduce the rain waters entering the sanitary system


The City will continue providing the Downspout Disconnection Subsidy Program

  • City provides free disconnection services. Call 311 to schedule yours today.


The City will continue to provide the Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy Program

  • Offering residents a financial subsidy to install a sump pump and/or backwater valve


Revise Sewer Design Standards

  • Update standards to mitigate flooding in existing and new development areas


Develop an Enhanced Education Program

  • Provide educational materials and public consultation to assist homeowners in protecting their homes


Long Term Solution Recommendations

The development and evaluation of long term solutions is currently underway. Solutions developed will include a comprehensive of infrastructure improvements and initiatives to address basement flooding. Long term solutions fall under three types: Control Rainwater Entering System, Sewer System Improvements, and Increased Downstream Capacity. The following long term solutions are being considered as part of this master plan.

1. Increased Downstream Capacity:

Increasing the amount of flows that can be accommodated by downstream infrastructure of the storm and sanitary systems.

  • Treatment Plant Improvements;
  • Pump Station Improvements; and
  • Add Retention Treatment Basins

2. Sewer System Improvements:

Improving the movement and storage of flow with the existing sewer systems.

  • Increase trunk sewer sizes;
  • Underground facilities to store rain water;
  • Sealing public infrastructure;
  • Separate combined sewer areas; and
  • Implement Low Impact Development Practices (LIDs) within the municipal right-of-way (Ex-filtration trenches)

3. Control Rainwater Entering System:

Help control rainwater entering the sewers systems during extreme rain events.

  • Lot Grading;
  • Implement Low Impact Development Practices (LIDs) within Residential Yards (For Example: Soak-away pits, rain gardens, permeable pavements, rain barrels);
  • Foundation Drain Disconnection; and
  • Downspout Disconnection


Your input is needed to help shape the Sewer Master Plan. How you can help:

  • Provide your comments on the short-term solutions
  • Take Action to mitigate the potential for flooding by participating in programs currently offered by the City such as the downspout disconnection program.
  • Talk to the team at Project Events - the team will be out in the community this spring; stay tuned for future event dates and locations.
  • Visit this site regularly and contact the project team to get the full picture about flooding and make sure issues that matter to you are considered in the plan.

The team is working to refine and confirm the short-term solutions. Let us know if you have any questions or comments you would like the team to consider!

Q&A

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  • where can I find the multitude of survey maps of Riverside Drive that were on display during the public meetings

    ed stolarchuk asked 27 days ago

    Thanks for your comment, Ed. We have been providing people with screenshots of the area in the vicinity of their property to the berm. Please provide you address if you would like a more detailed map of your property. All other displays are available here:
    https://weatheringthestorm.ca/resources. If you would like to speak with a member of the team please email info@weatheringthestorm.ca.