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Council Considers Stormwater Runoff Credit Program

Web posted on June 26, 2017

Guelph, Ont., June 2017City staff have finished a study looking into the possibility of a stormwater service fee credit program for property owners that make changes to their properties to reduce stormwater runoff. The recommended program was reviewed to ensure it would not affect the City's sustainable stormwater funding strategy.

Staff are proposing that residential stormwater credits be aligned with existing water efficiency rebate and incentive programs. This collaborative approach would help keep program development and administration costs low. Residential credits would be a one-time rebate rather than monthly credits on the stormwater service fee.

"By piggy backing on our successful water efficiency programs, such as the rainwater harvesting rebate program, we can offer our residents better rebates and incentives for their efforts that not only save water, but also reduce stormwater runoff," said Arun Hindupur, Supervisor of Infrastructure Engineering.

The following at-home measures will be considered for the residential credit program:

  • Adding rain gardens
  • Using permeable pavement
  • Installing green roofs
  • Using silva cellstree planters that maximize water efficiency by storing rainwater
  • Replacing irrigated turfgrass lawns with drought-tolerant vegetation

For businesses and large property owners (e.g. plazas or malls), the City is proposing to develop a credit program that would apply monthly credits toward stormwater service fees. These credits would continue indefinitely as long as owners demonstrate that stormwater mitigation on the property continues to be effective.

"The recommended non-residential program would focus on providing credits for solutions that provide stormwater quantity or quality control," said Hindupur. "This includes landscaping measures, on-site stormwater management ponds, or oil and grit separators that remove sediment and separate oil from stormwater."

Credits may also be provided for onsite operational activities such as pavement sweeping, the development of onsite pollution prevention plans, and the provision of community stormwater education.

Credits would be calculated to reflect the reduction of stormwater runoff and pollutant loading to the City's stormwater management and drainage system. For example, a 10 per cent reduction of stormwater runoff impacts to the City's system would result in a 10 per cent credit.

"Everyone benefits from managing stormwater runoff," noted Hindupur. "Property owners benefit from onsite flood control; and the community benefits from reduced pressure on our stormwater management system and the resulting cost savings."


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