On May 27, Council approved a stormwater charge which will reduce the risk of flooding and improve water quality in the City. The charge will be shown on your Region of Peel water bill in 2016.

With heavy rainfall and a large amount of non-porous lands, including rooftops and asphalt, the amount of stormwater flowing into the system is much higher than the stormwater system was designed to handle. The stormwater charge will be collected in a reserve account for only this purpose: to upgrade the existing infrastructure and do emergency repairs.

The charge is based on the amount of hard surface on your home. Larger homes create more runoff than small homes.

Take a look at this story in the Toronto Star. There’s an excellent graphic that shows the different fees for the five roof areas outlined by the City.

The smallest homes will be charged $50 per year. Most residential homes in Mississauga fall into the first three tiers, with charges of $100 or less per year. This charge will build up a fund to be used to repair the stormwater system, rather than being added to yearly taxes.It will allow the City to plan construction in an orderly fashion.

Because the major contributors to stormwater are multi-residential and industrial/commercial properties, a credit system will be in place for owners of these properties if they take action to reduce their impact on the system, including installing green roofs, bioswales or using permeable paving materials.

The City looked at extending the credits to residential homes, however, the cost for the City to run a residential credit program would have used up the yearly credits.

Council has passed a motion to send the matter to the Environmental Action Committee to consider how residents can be recognized for taking measures to reduce their impact on the stormwater system, including incentives like reduced prices on rain barrels.

For more information about the stormwater charge, visit www.stormwatercharge.ca.