Stormwater Financing

The City of Windsor is changing how it calculates the stormwater component of the sewer surcharge.

Currently, the sewer surcharge funds both wastewater and stormwater services in Windsor. In 2021, City Council approved the Stormwater Financing Study recommendation to separate the sewer surcharge into two different fee structures: wastewater and stormwater. This will improve the management and maintenance of our stormwater system to prevent flooding of homes, businesses, schools, and roads; and reduce pollutants from entering our waterways.

Starting in January 2025, the wastewater fee will still be based on your water usage, but the stormwater fee will now be based on the amount of impervious area (hard surfaces) on your property.

What is Stormwater?

Stormwater is the water that flows into our sewers, creeks and rivers after it rains or from melting snow. In natural areas, stormwater can soak into the ground where it lands or be absorbed by vegetation.

In urban areas, stormwater runs off hard surfaces (such as rooftops, parking areas, patios, sidewalks, etc) which can carry debris and chemicals into streams and rivers. Stormwater runoff from urban areas is greater in amount (since water cannot get into the natural ground that is covered with houses, roads, parking lots etc.), and flows off the land much more rapidly, increasing the potential to cause flooding and erosion along the way. Pollutants carried in stormwater enter the natural environment and have negative effects on water quality and the natural environment.

Stormwater must be managed to reduce the risk of flooding and erosion, and to minimize harm to the environment.

What is the City’s role in managing stormwater?

The City is responsible for managing stormwater within the municipality. Stormwater management is key in protecting public safety and health, and works to reduce flood risk, control erosion and maintain water quality.

Managing stormwater includes planning, designing, constructing, operating and maintaining stormwater management structures. These structures consist of storm sewers, ditches, inlets, stormwater management facilities (ponds), bridges, culverts, infiltration facilities, oil grit separators, engineered and natural channels, and storm sewer outfalls to streams and watercourses.


Did you know?

The City manages:

  • More than 1025 kilometres of pipes
  • Approximately 15,300 manholes
  • More than 22,615 catch basins
  • 29 stormwater ponds (wet and dry)
  • 39 pump stations
  • Approximately 124 kilometres of municipal drains
  • Approximately 254 kilometres of roadside ditches

The estimated replacement cost value of the existing stormwater system is approximately $2 billion (in 2023 dollars).

Some of the City's management activities include the following:

  • Undertaking flood protection projects
  • Maintaining, repairing and restoring existing infrastructure
  • Providing emergency response to flooding, spills and clean-up
  • Carrying out street sweeping
  • Enforcing by-laws to protect the environment and prevent interference with the operation of the stormwater management system

Extreme High Water Levels in Grand Marais Drain
Stormwater Fee Credit Program Manual

A credit program was approved by Council on March 18, 2024 as a financial incentive to non-residential and multi-residential and properties. The credit program aligns with the City’s mandate to mitigate flooding and increase resiliency during storms, namely towards peak flow reduction, runoff reduction and water quality improvement. Learn more by reading the Stormwater Fee Credit Program Manual.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Learn more about how the City manages stormwater and about the Stormwater Financing Project by reviewing the Frequently Asked Questions.

Don’t see your question? Ask it here: sfs@citywindsor.ca

The City of Windsor is changing how it calculates the stormwater component of the sewer surcharge.

Currently, the sewer surcharge funds both wastewater and stormwater services in Windsor. In 2021, City Council approved the Stormwater Financing Study recommendation to separate the sewer surcharge into two different fee structures: wastewater and stormwater. This will improve the management and maintenance of our stormwater system to prevent flooding of homes, businesses, schools, and roads; and reduce pollutants from entering our waterways.

Starting in January 2025, the wastewater fee will still be based on your water usage, but the stormwater fee will now be based on the amount of impervious area (hard surfaces) on your property.

What is Stormwater?

Stormwater is the water that flows into our sewers, creeks and rivers after it rains or from melting snow. In natural areas, stormwater can soak into the ground where it lands or be absorbed by vegetation.

In urban areas, stormwater runs off hard surfaces (such as rooftops, parking areas, patios, sidewalks, etc) which can carry debris and chemicals into streams and rivers. Stormwater runoff from urban areas is greater in amount (since water cannot get into the natural ground that is covered with houses, roads, parking lots etc.), and flows off the land much more rapidly, increasing the potential to cause flooding and erosion along the way. Pollutants carried in stormwater enter the natural environment and have negative effects on water quality and the natural environment.

Stormwater must be managed to reduce the risk of flooding and erosion, and to minimize harm to the environment.

What is the City’s role in managing stormwater?

The City is responsible for managing stormwater within the municipality. Stormwater management is key in protecting public safety and health, and works to reduce flood risk, control erosion and maintain water quality.

Managing stormwater includes planning, designing, constructing, operating and maintaining stormwater management structures. These structures consist of storm sewers, ditches, inlets, stormwater management facilities (ponds), bridges, culverts, infiltration facilities, oil grit separators, engineered and natural channels, and storm sewer outfalls to streams and watercourses.


Did you know?

The City manages:

  • More than 1025 kilometres of pipes
  • Approximately 15,300 manholes
  • More than 22,615 catch basins
  • 29 stormwater ponds (wet and dry)
  • 39 pump stations
  • Approximately 124 kilometres of municipal drains
  • Approximately 254 kilometres of roadside ditches

The estimated replacement cost value of the existing stormwater system is approximately $2 billion (in 2023 dollars).

Some of the City's management activities include the following:

  • Undertaking flood protection projects
  • Maintaining, repairing and restoring existing infrastructure
  • Providing emergency response to flooding, spills and clean-up
  • Carrying out street sweeping
  • Enforcing by-laws to protect the environment and prevent interference with the operation of the stormwater management system

Extreme High Water Levels in Grand Marais Drain
Stormwater Fee Credit Program Manual

A credit program was approved by Council on March 18, 2024 as a financial incentive to non-residential and multi-residential and properties. The credit program aligns with the City’s mandate to mitigate flooding and increase resiliency during storms, namely towards peak flow reduction, runoff reduction and water quality improvement. Learn more by reading the Stormwater Fee Credit Program Manual.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Learn more about how the City manages stormwater and about the Stormwater Financing Project by reviewing the Frequently Asked Questions.

Don’t see your question? Ask it here: sfs@citywindsor.ca

  • Property Tax Bill Insert

    supporting image

    An insert was included in your Property Tax bill in June. Click to download a copy: Property Tax Bill Insert (June 2024).

  • Public Information Centre - June 12, 2024 at WFCU Centre

    Please stop by the WFCU Centre to learn more about the stormwater fee and new sewer surcharge structure. City staff, ENWIN staff and consultants (WSP and Watson and Associates Economists) will be on hand in the Great Lakes Rooms from 5-8 pm to answer any questions.


    The WFCU Centre is located at 8787 McHugh Street, Windsor, ON N8S 0A1.


    The Public Information Centre presentation panels are available here. Click to download a copy: PIC Slides June 12, 2024

  • ENWIN Utility Bill Insert

    supporting image

    An insert was included in your ENWIN utility bill in April. Click to download a copy: ENWIN Utility Bill Insert (April 2024).

  • Engagement Timeline

    Stakeholder Advisory Group

    The City reached out to various organizations in September 2022 to participate on the Stormwater Advisory Group (SAG), where 13 stakeholders from manufacturing, business, retail, institutional, environmental groups and residential accepted the offer. The purpose of the SAG is to provide a forum for in depth discussions of program implementation progress, bring transparency to activities associated with the fee, help foster good community relations and to share information with the community.

    1. SAG Meeting #1: December 2022
    2. SAG Meeting #2: May 2023
    3. SAG Meeting #3: February 2024


    Non-Residential Property Owner Meetings

    Over 120 organizations were contacted through Canada Post in October and November 2023 to participate in these meetings, with follow-up emails and phone calls made in November where further contact information was available. This included organizations from industry, retail, manufacturing, transportation, property management, and Business Improvement Associations. The purpose of the meetings was to provide a summary of the program including Study recommendations, review of current and new funding models, proposed credit policy, and provide an overall sanitary and stormwater sewer fee impact for their properties.

    Meetings were subsequently held over 6 days in November 2023 with 26 organizations that showed interest in taking part.


    Future Communications

    A Public Open House is slated in June 2024 where information will be shared for all property owners, including residential.

    Along with the Open House, further communications will be provided through this project website, Enwin bill inserts, the City property tax bill insert, and the City's communications and social media platforms.

  • Stormwater Financing Study

    The City of Windsor retained consultant WSP (formerly known as Wood Environmental & Infrastructure) in association with Watson & Associates Economist Ltd. in 2018 to undertake the Stormwater Financing Study. The goal of the study was to develop a balanced approach to funding stormwater management through a review of the level of service and funding options.

    The study objectives were as follows:

    • Quantify the existing stormwater infrastructure program (including level of service)
    • Quantify the future stormwater infrastructure program needs (existing and enhanced service levels)
    • Investigate and recommend a preferred alternative for funding the future stormwater infrastructure program that is fair and equitable.


    The study report has been completed, and the findings were endorsed by City Council in January 2021. Download a copy of the Final Study Report.

    Learn more about this study by watching our video presentation. Download a PDF copy of the video presentation transcript.

Page last updated: 24 Jun 2024, 02:20 PM