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The Drainage Department is responsible for the maintenance and construction of municipally owned drains within the Township of Wainfleet.

Municipal drains are watercourses constructed to provide drainage outlet for lands in a given area and are legal works in accordance with the Drainage Act, which is provincial legislation that has existed for many years. While municipal drains can exist in urban areas they are most common in rural agricultural areas and are vital to efficient farming operations, to residential properties and commercial operations as well as to roads and utility services in the area. These drains may follow the course of an original natural drainage area or may be constructed through areas where no previous watercourse existed.

Municipal Drains are usually initiated as a result of landowners requiring improved drainage outlets. The Drainage Act provides the mechanism for landowners requiring drainage to petition the Municipality. Upon receipt of a valid petition an engineer is appointed and a procedure is followed whereby meetings are held with affected landowners. An engineering report is prepared that details the area requiring drainage, the location and design of the drain, the area that contributes water to and receives benefit from the drain and the portion of associated costs to be charged to each property in the drainage area. After further meetings and the hearing of any appeals, the Municipal Council passes a bylaw adopting the report and work is commenced on the construction of the drain. On completion of the drain the costs are assessed to the lands in the drainage area as determined in the engineer’s report. Once the bylaw has been passed and the project is constructed, it is known as a municipal drain.

The Drainage Act requires that, once constructed, drains are the responsibility of the Municipality; as such, they must be repaired and maintained in accordance with the original report. The costs for the repairs are assessed to all upstream landowners in the drainage area in the same relative proportions as for the original construction or as otherwise specified in the report. Municipalities that fail to carry out drain repairs can be held liable for damages resulting from the non-repair if notification has previously been given of the need for repair. Regular repair of municipal drains is important to ensure continued good drainage and to keep costs at a minimum.

To report drainage issues or for any other inquiries contact the Drainage Superintendent. For additional information about drainage matters, please visit the Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs.