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2020 Proposed Municipal Drain Maintenance


The following drains are scheduled for maintenance in 2020:

  • Big Forks
  • Brown Drain
  • Consolidated South Wainfleet Drain #1
  • Consolidated South Wainfleet Drain #3

Culvert Replacements: Black Creek, Little Forks, North Forks, South Forks

Spoil Leveling: McCallum, North Forks, Zavitz-Rahm

Construction: Skelton

Mapping for the proposed maintenance

The Township will not be mailing out Drain Maintenance Notification Forms in 2020. Please download the Drain Maintenance Form and email to, or call and the Drainage Superintendent at 905-899-3463 ext. 228.



Municipal Drains Background:

Under the authority of the Drainage Act, R.S.O. 1990, The Township of Wainfleet is responsible for the construction, repair and maintenance of over 250km of Municipal Drains. These drains provide effective drainage for sustained agricultural production, rurals lands and roads, as well as flood control. Each drain within the Township has its own engineering report, plans, bylaw and assessment schedule for determining the share of maintenance costs each property assessed to the drain is responsible for. Unlike most services in the Township, the cost of constructing and maintaining Municipal Drains is paid entirely by the properties assessed to the catchment area for the drain, including Township owned properties and roads. Depending on the nature of the work completed, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) may also provide grants for these works.

Consolidated South Wainfleet Drain Section 76 Project:

The Consolidated South Wainfleet Drainage System (“CSW”) was constructed under a report by Blake Erwin dated June 2, 1969. It recommended the construction or improvement of 44 branch drains within the overall drainage scheme. The assessment schedule provided by Blake Erwin did not create separate assessment schedules for each of the branch drains. Consequently, it is no longer possible to accurately or equitably distribute drain maintenance costs that may be incurred on any particular branch.

A Section 76 report only addresses the catchment areas and assessment schedules. The scope of this project is not the same as a Section 78 report and will not address any concerns or issues with the existing design of the drain, or repairs or improvements to the drainage system. A Section 78 for the entire CSWD, at this time, is not considered a feasible option due to the size of the system. New Section 78 reports for each branch may be completed in the future, as required.

Project Objectives:

Review the existing drainage system and associated documentation to ensure full compliance with the Drainage Act R.S.O. 1990 (the Drainage Act).

Develop a plan for re-assessment under Section 76 of the Drainage Act that will accurately outline catchments and the specific resulting maintenance schedule for each branch.

Enable the Township of Wainfleet to elevate their level of services by completing the new Section 76 report and assessment schedule.

This webpage will be updated periodically over the course of the project which is expected to take approximately one year.

For more detailed information on Municipal Drains in the Township of Wainfleet including factsheets and online mapping resources, please visit the Township’ drainage webpage at



Municipal Drains in Wainfleet

What is a Municipal Drain?

As a rural, agricultural-based municipality, Wainfleet has an extensive drainage system, which is crucial to crop production, protecting land values, and providing effective flood controls. 

A Municipal Drain is simply a drainage system designed to include open ditches or closed systems such as pipes and tiles. They may also include structures such as pumping stations, buffer strips, grassed waterways, ponds, culverts and bridges. Many creeks and smaller rivers are also considered to be Municipal Drains. The primary purpose of a Municipal Drain is to improve the drainage of agricultural lands. However, they also remove excess water collected by roadside ditches, as well as other properties, and are an important component of the Township’s infrastructure.

What is the Drainage Act?

The Township of Wainfleet is legally responsible for the construction, maintenance and repair of Municipal Drains under the Drainage Act, R.S.O. 1990.




Drain Maintenance

The Township of Wainfleet has over 250km of Municipal Drains that it is responsible to maintain. If you have a Municipal Drain located on your property, you can expect that the Township will periodically arrange to enter onto your property and perform the necessary maintenance. Maintenance may include removing trees, beaver dams or other obstructions.

Many properties in Wainfleet are assessed to a Municipal Drain and the cost of their maintenance is the responsibility of the landowners within the catchment of each drain. Properties that are assessed to a drain and have a Farm Property Class Tax Rate are eligible to receive a 1/3 grant from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs (OMAFRA). More information on this program can be found here: Farm Property Class Tax Rate Program. The Township submits the necessary approvals for these grants on behalf of the landowners and credits maintenance costs on each property bill.

Due to the timing of the applications and approvals of the provincial grants, billing to the properties for maintenance activities may not occur for up to 24 months after maintenance has taken place. 

Responsibility to pay for these activities falls to the properties assessed to the drain, not the landowners at the time that maintenance took place.

Drain Construction

Landowners who feel that they may benefit from a new Municipal Drain should contact the Township Drainage Superintendent for more information.

Do’s & Don’ts for Property Owners  

You should:

  • Contact the Township Drainage Superintendent if you notice problems or have concerns about a Municipal Drain.

  • Remove debris from a Municipal Drain if you can do so safely. This can reduce the risk of flooding during a storm event. If you cannot safely do the work, please contact the Township Drainage Superintendent who will make arrangements to have the debris removed.

  • Investigate how Municipal Drains may affect your use of a property before you purchase it.

You should not:

  • Obstruct access to the Municipal Drain. Keep the working space accessible and do not plant trees, build structures or place debris adjacent to a Municipal Drain.

  • Store materials including brush, lumber or other floatable items near a Municipal Drain as these could cause blockages during high water events.

  • Do any repair work yourself directly on a Municipal Drain. If the drain requires maintenance or repair, please contact the Township Drainage Superintendent. Landowners who do unauthorized work could be responsible for paying the costs of repairs or damages.

  • Direct pollutants directly or indirectly to a Municipal Drainage. This includes septic system waste, milkhouse waste, and barnyard and manure storage runoff.

Drainage Related Information

Report Drainage Issues

If you have questions about or are aware of an issue with a Municipal Drain, please contact the Township Drainage Superintendent:


  Mark Jemison, Drainage Superintendant
Phone: 905-899-3463 X 228   E-mail:

Hours of Operation

The Township of Wainfleet Operations department is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday.