Managing storm water impacts
Sandra Yeung Racco Richmond Hill Ward 4 Councillor
The City of Vaughan’s approach to managing storm water protects the environment, property and the quality of water. The city is working on a long-term plan for managing the potentially damaging environmental impacts of storm water. Excess runoff can pick up pollutants before flowing into storm drains, drainage ditches and creeks.
This water is untreated and doesn’t get naturally filtered by the soil before flowing into rivers and lakes that supply our drinking water. Higher and faster water flow during storms can result in flooding and property damage. It can also impact water quality and result in the loss of aquatic life. Vaughan’s storm water system includes more than 1,000 kilometres of pipes, 18,000 catch basins and 143 storm water ponds.
The 2016 operating budget for maintaining storm water programs in Vaughan was an estimated $5.4 million. To expand capacity to address more challenges, the city will move to an annual funding target of $15.3 million by 2026.
The city’s funding approach calculates a fee according to the amount of rainwater runoff customers contribute.
The storm water charge is not a new fee as it was previously funded through property taxes and a waste water fee. However, starting in June, the storm water charge will appear as a separate item on the utility bill for residents, based on property type. A detached home will pay a one-time fee of $50 in 2017. This fee will increase to $67.92 by 2026. This approach helps the city manage storm water to protect your property and the environment.