Stormwater Charge Survey – 2017

The City of Toronto is Considering a Stormwater Charge

Stormwater is rain and melted snow. Generally, the more hard surfaces a property has the more stormwater will flow off it and into the sewer system. An increase in extreme storms, combined with more paved surfaces in the city is resulting in more stormwater making its way into the sewer system. This has led to an increase in flooded basements and is contributing to poor water quality in local waterways including Lake Ontario.

Making infrastructure improvements is necessary to manage the impacts of stormwater. To help manage stormwater, the City is creating new holding ponds, tanks and tunnels, and revamping some sewer infrastructure that is more than 100 years old. This work will help to decrease the number of basements that experience sewer back-up and improve the water quality in local waterways and Lake Ontario.

The Stormwater Charge Proposal

Currently, stormwater management is being paid for from the water rate, which means the amount homeowners pay for stormwater management is based on how much water they use. The stormwater charge proposal is to remove the portion homeowners currently pay for stormwater management (currently embedded in the water rate), and show it as a separate charge on the water bill. The water rate would decrease and a stormwater charge would be added. The amount paid for stormwater would be based on property size and the average amount of hard space on properties of a similar size. Some bills would go up and some bills would go down.

The following example uses the average household water consumption of 265 cubic meters a year and assumes a medium size lot of 0.037 hectares (approximately 4,000 square feet, measuring 35 feet wide by 115 feet deep):
 

CurrentProposal: Lower water rate + stormwater charge
Water rate charge:$1,038Water rate charge:$805
  Stormwater charge:$225
Total annual bill:$1,038Total annual bill:$1,030
Per day:$2.84Per day:$2.82
  Annual difference:-$8
   -0.8%

Please consider reviewing the stormwater charge website before completing the survey where you will find more information, including:
  • Full details and information about the proposed stormwater charge
  • Public consultation dates and locations
  • Examples of how the proposed stormwater charge could impact water bills
  • A full list of the categories and tiers for the proposed stormwater charge

1. Please rate your level of agreement or disagreement with the following statement: "Upgrading our stormwater infrastructure is an important investment for the City of Toronto to be making."

2. Consider the following options to pay for all of your water services, including stormwater management:

Option 1: pay based only on how much water I use

Option 2: pay less for how much water I use and charge me separately for stormwater based on the average amount of hard space on properties of my size

3. If the water rate were to be lowered, and the stormwater charge calculated and shown separately on your water bill, how would you feel? Choose all that apply.