The City of Cornwall has been making significant improvements to the community's sewer network.

The Cornwall Blueprint is a comprehensive plan to deal with issues such as basement flooding mitigation and environmental, water and infrastructure awareness. It serves to address two key pillars of the City's Strategic Plan - Quality of Life and Efficient Services.

Below you will find additional links and information on the Blueprint initiative and related flooding mitigation programs and initiatives.

 Flood Risk Reduction Rebate Program

Cornwall City Council has approved the framework for a new flood risk reduction rebate program to provide assistance to homeowners in flooding-affected areas.

The program provides a rebate of up to $3,600.00 to homeowners for specified work on private property that reduces flooding risk.

The program encourages installation of a backwater valve on the sanitary sewer lateral.

Other program objectives include redirecting eavestrough downpipes and foundation drains (weeping tiles) from the sanitary sewer to a storm or surface outlet, which helps to reduce flow in sanitary sewers.

Sanitary sewers are typically not designed to accommodate foundation drainage and these flows are a significant contributor to sewer overloading.

The objectives of the program are:

  • Reduce risk of flooding caused by sewer back-ups
  • Reduce contribution from storm run-off and groundwater to the municipal sanitary sewer network 
  • Encourage open dialogue between City staff and residents about flooding causes and protection
 Flood Risk Reduction Rebate Components

Eavestrough downspout disconnection
Downspout disconnection (with plugging of connection to sanitary sewer) and re-routing to surface drainage or other suitable outlet. The available subsidy is the lesser of $100 or 80% of eligible costs. The City may, at its discretion, disallow other rebates if downspouts remain connected (or are suspected of being connected) to the sanitary sewer.
Rebate of eligible costs: lesser of $100 or 80%, to a program maximum of $3,600


Backwater valve installation

Certified backwater valve (home interior) installation. The available subsidy is the lesser of $500 or 80% of eligible costs. Homeowners are also encouraged to undertake the foundation drain disconnection (if necessary) to reduce the risk of a possible self-flooding condition.
Rebate of eligible costs: lesser of $500 or 80%, to a program maximum of $3,600

Certified backwater valve (home exterior) installation. The available subsidy is the lesser of $1,000 or 80% of eligible costs. Homeowners are also encouraged to undertake the foundation drain disconnection (if necessary) to reduce the risk of a possible self-flooding condition
Rebate of eligible costs: lesser of $1,000 or 80%, to a program maximum of $3,600


Foundation drain disconnection
Foundation drain disconnection from sanitary sewer and either re-routing to sump pit with sump pump installation and surface discharge, or re-directing outlet to storm sewer. The available subsidy is the lesser of $2,000 or 80% of eligible costs.
Rebate of eligible costs: lesser of $2,000 or 80%, to a program maximum of $3,600


Lot grading improvements
Lot grading improvements (shed water away from the foundation). The available subsidy is the lesser of $500 or 80% of eligible costs.
Rebate of eligible costs: lesser of $500 or 80%, to a program maximum of $3,600

 Flood Risk Reduction Rebate Application Process
  1.  Fill out the application. (Available at the Municipal Works office). Submit to: Infrastructure & Municipal Works Department, ATTN: Flood Risk Reduction Rebate Program
  2. Allow one week for the City to contact you regarding your application.  Applications will be prioritized and a site visit will be scheduled with City staff. 
  3. Contact a licensed plumber or certified contractor to complete the appropriate upgrade(s). Permits must be obtained from: Permits Office, 100 Water St. E., Civic Complex. 
  4. Schedule rebate inspection upon completion of work.
  5. Submit rebate form to:
    Infrastructure & Municipal Works Department
    1225 Ontario Street
    Cornwall, ON K6H 4E1
    ATTN: Flood Risk Reduction Rebate Program
  6. The City will endeavour to issue a rebate within four to six weeks.
  7. Upon request, the City will provide a summary letter to the resident of upgrades undertaken.

For questions contact Tracy Gordon, Flood Risk Program Coordinator 613-930-2787 ext. 2271

Homeowners should note that some upgrades under the Rebate Program will require a permit and inspection to ensure compliance with the Ontario Building Code. This process is administered by The Permits Office and is separate from the Flood Risk Reduction Rebate Program. 

Please call the Permits Office for more information: 613-930-2787 ext. 2323

 Dialogue and Consultation with Stakeholders

Dialogue and consultation with residents and stakeholders is a key component of the Cornwall Blueprint initiative.

Through phone calls, online surveys and in-person conversations, the Infrastructure and Municipal Works Department has received input from hundreds of Cornwall homeowners. This input has assisted the Department in better understanding the 2010 and 2013 flooding events as well as the overall needs of the City's storm and sanitary sewer networks.

The Department continues to hold a series of Public Information Sessions to provide updates to the community-at-large on flood risk reduction projects that have been completed and/or planned.

  • June 4, 2015 - RBC Bluewater Day sponsored by SLRIES at RBC Eastcourt Mall
  • May 6, 2015 - Community Science Day sponsored by SLRIES at OPG Centre
  • April 22, 2015 - Flooding by 1000 Drips sponsored by SLRIES at OPG Centre
  • April 10-12, 2015 - Cornwall and Area Chamber of Commerce Spring Home & Leisure Show
  • March 11-12, 2015 - Connecting Water Resources at the Ottawa Convention Centre
  • December 3, 2014 - Science and Nature on Tap sponsored by SLRIES at Schnitzels
  • November 20, 2014 - Water in Your World sponsored by SLRIES at Cornwall Square
  • May 8, 2014 - Annual River Symposium in partnership with SLRIES
  • March 26, 2014 - Public Information Session

Please click below on the following PDF links:

Flood Risk Reduction Rebate Guide

Flood Risk Reduction Rebate FAQs 

Flood Risk Reduction Rebate Program Application

March 26, 2014 Public Info Session Presentation

Lawn Watering Restrictions Bylaw FAQs

Flooding Mitigation Projects
 Sewer Infiltration and Inflow Reduction
Extraneous water from infiltration and inflow (I/I) sources reduces the capacity and capability of sanitary, combined sewer systems, and treatment facilities to transport and treat domestic and industrial wastewater. I/I occurs when existing sewer lines and manholes undergo material and joint degradation and deterioration. The elimination of infiltration and inflow by sewer rehabilitation, operation and maintenance programs ensures protection in the investment in the sewer system. This initiative will reduce flow to the Wastewater Treatment Plant, combined sewer overflows and loading to the environment. Source control of I/I is the most cost effective method to limit extraneous flows and prolong large sewer replacement and expansion of treatment facilities and it is a key part of the Cornwall Blueprint.
 Grand/Miron/Eleventh Street Sewer Project

Chronic flooding in the Grand / Miron / Eleventh area will be mitigated by a project which commenced in 2014 to construct deeper sewers on Eleventh, Grand and Miron and redirect sanitary flow to another drainage area where sufficient capacity can be developed. Specifically this includes: . removal of the old Guy St. sewage pumping station. . constructing a new deeper sanitary sewer on Eleventh St. and parts of Grand Ave. and Miron Ave. . constructing a new pumping station at Eleventh and Marlborough Streets with state-of-the-art monitoring and controls, backup power and a new forcemain on Marlborough St. from Eleventh to Sixth Street. . constructing a new storm sewer on Marlborough from Second to Eighth Street to remove existing storm sewer and catchbasin contributions from the combined sewer on Marlborough and provide capacity to accept the flow from Grand / Miron / Eleventh area.

This project was approved for $2 million in funding from the Provincial Municipal Infrastructure Fund, to assist with the $5 million total project cost, with approximately $1.7 million received to date and the balance expected in early 2016.

 Drain and Ditch Maintenance 
Sediment and debris removal and bottom reshaping of strategic open overland storm drainage systems; removal of sediment buildup from within box culverts and corrugated steel pipe culverts located within strategic overland storm drainage systems; removal of sediment and debris from large storm water sewers. To date, all overland storm drainage systems have been cleaned and reshaped.
 Easton Avenue Sewer Inflow Reduction 
As part of the Flood Reduction Initiative developed in response to storms in 2010 and 2013, flooding clusters were identified. Some areas required further investigation to establish appropriate mitigative measures. One such area is south of First St., east of Danis, where the sanitary sewer is prone to backup. Catchbasins in some low areas were found to be connected to the sanitary sewer. The proposed project will redirect these inflows, requiring a storm sewer in Easton Ave from Danis to Anthony, and in parts of Danis and Lefebvre. Approximately 18 catchbasins, along with associated runoff that is collected, will be redirected to the storm network, thus reducing loading in the sanitary network.
 Christy/Dunkirk Flood Risk Reduction Project
Some higher risk areas required further investigation to establish appropriate measures to reduce potential for basement flooding. One such area is the vicinity of Christy and Dunkirk. Investigation determined that the sewer from the area to the north (Birmingham/Lascelle alignment) has high flows, exacerbated by stormwater inflow to the sanitary sewer. Storm sewer construction to intercept these flows is proposed for 2015. Future work includes redirecting flow directly to the Northern Trunk sewer (instead of through the Christy/Dunkirk area then to the Northern Trunk) by constructing a relief sewer on Lemay St. when this street is reconstructed.
 Sewer Separation Projects 
Separation of combined sewers has the objective of reducing wet weather flows in the sewage system and to the Waste Water Treatment Plant. It reduces the potential for basement flooding because flows are lowered in the pipe that houses are connected to. Separation also reduces Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) volumes and the potential for bypasses from the Wastewater Treatment Plant to the St Lawrence River. It is achieved by constructing new storm sewers so that the combined sewer can be converted to sanitary. Projects are prioritized based on roadway surface condition so that sewer works can be done before resurfacing. Projects proposed for this year are; - Walton St. from McConnell to Guy - Surgenor St. from Boyd to Joyce.
 Boales Drain Culvert Replacement 
The culvert crossing Boales Drain at the intersection of Cumberland Street and Emma Avenue was found to be deteriorated. If not replaced could affect the roadway over it, in addition to possibly obstructing flow in Boales Drain. Cumberland Street and Emma Avenue are both arterial streets and failure would have serious traffic disruption impacts. Boales Drian is a major drainage channel. The existing corrugated steel pipe culvert is to be replaced with a concrete box culvert.
 Eamers Corners Stormwater Retention Pond 
A stormwater retention pond is to be constructed on the south side of McKenzie Street, between Ross Avenue and Pitt Street, on land the City purchased some years previously. Work includes upgrade of the large culvert crossing Pitt Street at McKenzie. The pond's purpose is to balance runoff from Eamers Corners with the culvert crossing under Hwy 401 and into the South Branch of the Raisin River. Surface flooding at the south end of Eamers Corners is contributing to inflow and infiltration into the sanitary sewer. In past years construction of storm sewers and redirection of about 75% of foundation drains has reduced extraneous water from infiltration and inflow (I/I). This project will reduce potential for both surface flooding and stormwater contribution to the sanitary sewer.
 Seventh Street Low Impact Development (LID) Stormwater Management 
Reconstruction of Seventh Street East from Sydney Street to east of Amelia Street was identified as an opportunity to initiate a stormwater management demonstration project. Low Impact Development techniques are an effective way to transform the high volume, rapid response of impervious urban watersheds into something that is more consistent with a predevelopment environment. Primarily by means of vegetation topped bioswales that promote infiltration/groundwater recharge, runoff storage, and evapotranspiration, stormwater is attenuated and the total contribution to the sewer outlet is reduced. Because in this case the sewer outlet is a combined sewer, the reduced discharge helps to lower flows to the wastewater treatment plant and reduces risk of sewer overloading and potential for basement flooding. LID techniques can improve a community's visual environment as well, and have been successfully applied throughout North America. For more see
 Plan 240 (Grant's Subdivision) Stormwater Collection Improvements
Replacement/construction of new inlet structures to the Boales Drain within the limits of Plan 240 (west side of Brookdale Avenue, south of Tollgate Road) will enable surface runoff from a 1:100 year storm to enter the Boales Drain box culvert. This major storm drainage system was designed to convey the 1:100 year flood, and improvements in capturing runoff will reduce ponding and localized surface flooding which contributes to sewer inflow/infiltration. In addition, manhole covers deemed susceptible to inflow will be sealed, thus reducing stormwater contribution to the sewer system in an area severely impacted by rain events in 2010 and 2013.
 Sewer Network Monitoring 
To better understand the baseflow (dry weather) and storm response (wet weather) of sewer collection systems, 16 flow monitors have been installed at various locations within the trunk sewer network. Information on sewer flows is available in real time, accessible through a web browser. Together with computer modelling, this is an integral component of assessment of future upgrades to infrastructure and understanding of impacts of future growth and development. It will help to identify mechanisms of sewer overloading which affect the various flooding clusters, and in turn permit optimal use of capital and other programs for I/I reduction and flood-proofing, as part of the Cornwall Blueprint. A dedicated weather station with data logger located at the Municipal Works administration building is part of the monitoring effort, to quantify the volume and duration of rainfall, and therefore be able to assess the impact of various rain events on sewer flows.

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John St. Marseille
General Manager, Infrastructure & Municipal Works
1225 Ontario Street, Box 877, Cornwall ON, K6H 5T9
T.: 613-930-2787 ext. 2201
F.: 613-932-8891
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Michael Fawthrop
Division Manager, Infrastructure
1225 Ontario Street, Box 877, Cornwall ON, K6H 5T9
T.: 613-930-2787 ext. 2209
F.: 613-932-8891
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