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Municipal Drains in Wainfleet

What is a Municipal Drain?

As a rural, agricultural-based municipality, Wainfleet has an extensive drainage system, which is crucial to crop production, protecting land values, and providing effective flood controls. 

A Municipal Drain is simply a drainage system designed to include open ditches or closed systems such as pipes and tiles. They may also include structures such as pumping stations, buffer strips, grassed waterways, ponds, culverts and bridges. Many creeks and smaller rivers are also considered to be Municipal Drains. The primary purpose of a Municipal Drain is to improve the drainage of agricultural lands. However, they also remove excess water collected by roadside ditches, as well as other properties, and are an important component of the Township’s infrastructure.

What is the Drainage Act?

The Township of Wainfleet is legally responsible for the construction, maintenance and repair of Municipal Drains under the Drainage Act, R.S.O. 1990.




Drain Maintenance

The Township of Wainfleet has over 250km of Municipal Drains that it is responsible to maintain. If you have a Municipal Drain located on your property, you can expect that the Township will periodically arrange to enter onto your property and perform the necessary maintenance. Maintenance may include removing trees, beaver dams or other obstructions.

Many properties in Wainfleet are assessed to a Municipal Drain and the cost of their maintenance is the responsibility of the landowners within the catchment of each drain. Properties that are assessed to a drain and have a Farm Property Class Tax Rate are eligible to receive a 1/3 grant from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs (OMAFRA). More information on this program can be found here: Farm Property Class Tax Rate Program. The Township submits the necessary approvals for these grants on behalf of the landowners and credits maintenance costs on each property bill.

Due to the timing of the applications and approvals of the provincial grants, billing to the properties for maintenance activities may not occur for up to 24 months after maintenance has taken place. 

Responsibility to pay for these activities falls to the properties assessed to the drain, not the landowners at the time that maintenance took place.

Drain Construction

Landowners who feel that they may benefit from a new Municipal Drain should contact the Township Drainage Superintendent for more information.

Do’s & Don’ts for Property Owners  

You should:

  • Contact the Township Drainage Superintendent if you notice problems or have concerns about a Municipal Drain.

  • Remove debris from a Municipal Drain if you can do so safely. This can reduce the risk of flooding during a storm event. If you cannot safely do the work, please contact the Township Drainage Superintendent who will make arrangements to have the debris removed.

  • Investigate how Municipal Drains may affect your use of a property before you purchase it.

You should not:

  • Obstruct access to the Municipal Drain. Keep the working space accessible and do not plant trees, build structures or place debris adjacent to a Municipal Drain.

  • Store materials including brush, lumber or other floatable items near a Municipal Drain as these could cause blockages during high water events.

  • Do any repair work yourself directly on a Municipal Drain. If the drain requires maintenance or repair, please contact the Township Drainage Superintendent. Landowners who do unauthorized work could be responsible for paying the costs of repairs or damages.

  • Direct pollutants directly or indirectly to a Municipal Drainage. This includes septic system waste, milkhouse waste, and barnyard and manure storage runoff.

Drainage Related Information

Report Drainage Issues

If you have questions about or are aware of an issue with a Municipal Drain, please contact the Township Drainage Superintendent:


  Mark Jemison, Drainage Superintendant
Phone: 905-899-3463 X 228   E-mail:

Hours of Operation

The Township of Wainfleet Operations department is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday.