Municipal Drains

Municipal Drains

The Drainage Act provides for the construction and management of many of the communal drainage systems in rural Ontario.  "Municipal drains", are vital to the communities, roads and surrounding lands in rural Ontario. They reduce flooding, improve safety and reduce property damage.

New Drain

Landowners in an area requiring drainage can sign a Petition for Drainage, which will set in motion a project to create a new municipal drain. This falls under Section 4 of the Drainage Act.

Repair & Improvement

If an existing drain requires significant repair and as a result the repair includes changing the original drain's infrastructure in a way that is different from the original engineered plans, an application should be filed under Section 78 - Repair & Improvement. Examples of this include widening, lengthening, deepening a drain, etc.

Maintenance & Repair

The most common application is one that falls under Section 74 of the Drainage Act, which is your basic Maintenance & Repair work. This usually includes work such as clean outs, removal of beavers/dams, repairing/replacing tile and generally repairing the existing drain in a way that does not detract from the drain's original construction.

You Should:

  • If you know there is a municipal drain on your property, find out how the municipal drain affects your property. How much is your property assessed?
  • If you notice any problems with the municipal drain, immediately notify the Clerk's Department
  • Before purchasing a property, investigate how municipal drains may affect it.

You should not:

  • Obstruct access. Along every municipal drain is an unregistered work space that the municipality has the right to use to maintain or repair the drain. Please keep this work space accessible.
  • Store materials (ie brush or other floatable material) near the drain. During storm events and spring runoff this material may block the drain.
  • Perform the work yourself. Notify the Clerk to arrange for maintenance on a municipal drain.
  • Direct septic system waste, milkhouse waste, barnyards and manure storage runoff or other pollutants directly to these drains.

Drain Forms

To download a copy of a Drain Maintenance Request Form, click here.

To download drainage forms or information about Municipal Drains, please refer to: Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs.

Municipal Drains

View Municipal Drains Information

View Top 10 Common Law Drainage Problems Between Rural Neighbours

Tile Loans

Installing tile drainage is a very common land improvement practice among farmers in Ontario. Corrugated plastic tubing, clay and concrete drain tile are installed beneath the surface of agricultural land to drain excess water from the crop root zone. The benefits of tile drainage for crop productivity, farm efficiency and even for reducing environmental impacts have been studied and are generally well known to farmers.

In Ontario, the Tile Loan Program, authorized by the Tile Drainage Act  provides loans to agricultural property owners to help them finance these tile drainage projects.

Click here to print a Tile Loan Application.

The Program in a Nutshell

Landowners in South Huron planning to install a tile drainage system on their agricultural land are eligible for a tile loan under this program.

  • All tile loans have 10-year terms, and repayments are made annually with your property tax instalments.
  • Landowners are eligible for a loan of up to 75% of the value of the tile drainage work, up to $50,000
  • The provincial government sets the program interest rate .This rate is fixed for the full term of the loan, regardless of changes in market interest rates.

The application process is quite simple. Application forms are available at the Municipal Office, please contact the Clerk. The Application must be submitted to South Huron Council. Once Council approves the application, the owner arranges to have the work completed by a licensed tile drainage contractor (for more information see the OMAFRA Factsheet Agricultural Drainage Licensing. The Municipality will inspect the work.

The Municipality collects the loan repayments from the owner and remits them to OMAFRA. Defaulted payments are rare but are treated in the same manner as unpaid taxes. The loan can be repaid in full at any time. Contact Wil Telford, (519)235-0310 ext. 232 to find out the amount still owing at the time of your proposed payout date.

Is Your Farm Tiled?

You can visit the Agricultural Information Atlas site - once past the agreement of terms, you will be able to zoom to your property and see the random and systematic tile that exists. Please note that this map is not provided by the Municipality of South Huron, so if you have any questions about the map or that website, please contact OMAFRA.