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Located in South Niagara between the Welland River and the shores of Lake Erie, the Township of Wainfleet is rural community that is grounded in agriculture, family and rural traditions. Whether you are a long time resident or new to our community there are a few aspects of country living to be aware of.

Agriculture

Wainfleet has a thriving agricultural community and agricultural production continues to be a solid pillar of Wainfleet’s economy. Some aspects of farming may affect you as there might be:

  • Noise from the operation of farm machinery, planting or harvesting activities, livestock being moved, bird scaring devices, truck movements in the early or late hours and livestock noise at weaning time
  • Smell from animal enclosures, manure piles or lagoons and manure spreading
  • Dust from cultivation, planting and harvesting activities and vehicles on dirt or gravel roads and driveways

Normal farm practices are activities that happen on the farm as part of day-to-day business. Some of these activities create disturbances, such as noise, odour, dust, flies, smoke, light and vibration. Farm activities and disturbances that are considered normal farm practices are allowed to happen on a farm.

The Farming and Food Production Protection Act (FFPPA) was established in 1998 and oversees farming activities and promotes normal farm practices. The Act also established the Normal Farm Practices Protection Board which has a conflict resolution process to help farmers and their neighbours solve conflicts and disagreements. More information of the FFPPA and the Board can be found on the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) website.

OMAFRA has also developed the Minimum Distance Separation (MDS) Formulae and Guidelines to minimize conflicts between livestock operations and sensitive land uses (such as residential). When a new livestock facility or a new dwelling is proposed, the structures must meet the setback requirements under the MDS guidelines. For more information regarding MDS please visit the Planning Department section of the website.

Municipal Drains

As a rural, agricultural-based municipality, Wainfleet has an extensive system of Municipal Drains that provide the drainage infrastructure necessary to sustain crop production, protect land values and provide effective flood controls.  The Township of Wainfleet is legally responsible for the construction, maintenance and repair of these drains under the authority of the Drainage Act, R.S.O. 1990.  You can view a current copy of the Act here

With over 250 kilometers of Municipal Drains, many properties have drains located on them, and most properties in the Township are assessed to one or more drains.  For more information on Municipal Drains in the Township, please take some time to review the Municipal Drain webpage by clicking here.

If you own or are purchasing a property in Township you can find out if you have a drain on your property, or are assessed to a drain by contacting the Drainage Superintendent at 905-899-3463 extension 228 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Septic Systems

Every developed property in Wainfleet has a septic system because the Township does not have municipal infrastructure to move waste water from homes and businesses to a Regional treatment facility. All wastewater produced on any property is wither treated on site or held in a tank to be pumped out and treated at a Regional facility. These systems are commonly known as septic systems. The following information gives an overview of the information you should know about your system.

What is a septic system and how does it work?

A septic system is an onsite system to treat or hold solid and liquid waste from sinks, bathtubs, showers and toilets. Below is a video of septic expert Rob Davis explaining the components of a septic system and how it works.

Poop Talk - It's All About The Water from Sticks and Stones Productions on Vimeo.

How can I keep my septic system working properly?

DO:

DON’T:

  • Familiarize yourself with the location of your septic system
  • Keep the tank access lid secured to the riser at all times
  • Keep an as built system diagram in a safe place for reference
  • Keep accurate records of septic system maintenance and service calls
  • Test your well water at least three times a year (spring, summer and fall) for indicator bacteria
  • Have your tank inspected for sludge and scum buildup on a regular basis (3-5 years) and clean out when a third of the depth of your tanks is full of sludge and scum
  • Have your effluent filter checked and cleaned every year – if you don’t have an effluent filter consider adding one
  • Divert surface water away from your leaching bed
  • Conserve water in the house to reduce the amount of wastewater that must be treated
  • Repair leaky plumbing fixtures
  • Replace inefficient toilets with low-flush models
  • Consider installing a lint filler on your washing machine’s discharge pipe
  • Spread the number of loads of laundry throughout the week
  • Enter a tank – gasses and lack of oxygen can be fatal
  • Put cooking oils or food waste down the drain
  • Flush hazardous chemicals, pharmaceuticals, cigarette butts or sanitary products
  • Use garbage disposal unit/garburator unless your system has been designed for it
  • Use special additives that are claimed to enhance the performance of your tank or system – you don’t need them!
  • Dig without knowing the location of your leaching bed
  • Drive or park over your tank or leaching bed
  • Pave over your leaching bed
  • Allow livestock on the leaching bed
  • Plant trees or shrubs too close to the septic tank or leaching bed
  • Connect rain gutters, storm drains, sump pumps or allow surface water to drain into a septic system
  • Connect leaching bed or greywater system to agricultural field drainage
  • Discharge water softener backwash to the septic system unless your system has been designed for it
  • Drain hot tub and spa water to the septic system


If you rent your property to others or have guests staying with you, make sure they are aware of the dos and don’ts.

How will I know if there is a problem with my septic system?
  • Sinks, showers and toilets back up with sewage or drain slowly
  • The lawn over the leaching bed has patches of abnormally healthy-looking grass
  • There are soggy areas, areas with surfacing grey water, or areas with surfacing sewage on or near the leaching bed
  • The lawn above the leaching bed is wet
  • There is a sewage odour in your home or over the area of your leaching bed
  • Large amounts of algae growth occur in or around nearby lakes or water bodies
  • Nearby well water tests indicate high levels of nitrates, bacteria, or other contaminants
  • Dosing pumps, if your system has them, run constantly or not at all

What should I do if I suspect a problem with my septic system?

Contact a qualified septic contractor to conduct an inspection to determine if a problem exists and possible remedies. Any repairs or replacements of any of the components (tank, leaching bed) will require a building permit. The Ontario Onsite Wastewater Association (OOWA) has resources available to find qualified contractors here.


If you have any questions regarding your septic system please contact the Building Department at 905-899-3463 ext. 272 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Water Testing

Niagara Region Public Health provides free well and cistern water testing service to all residents. Residents can pick up water testing kits and drop off samples at various locations throughout the Region. There are two pick up locations and one drop off location in Wainfleet:

Pick Up Location Only

Township of Wainfleet Municipal Office

31940 Highway #3, Wainfleet

Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Pick Up & Drop Off Location

Long Beach Conservation Area

12965 Lakeshore Road, Wainfleet

Sunday – Thursday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.*

*Only available Victoria Day Weekend in May to Labour Day Weekend in September.


Additional pick up and drop off locations throughout the Region can be found here.


Step-by-step instructions on how to take a water sample can be found here.


Within 4 to 5 business days after dropping your water sample off at a drop off location you can call 1-877-723-3426 and enter the PIN number from the bottle to hear your results. Your results will also be mailed to you directly within 5 to 10 business days.