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Updated: May 5, 2023

The drainage department in Howick Township is responsible for maintaining the municipal drainage system, ensuring proper water flow and reducing the risk of flooding for residents and businesses.

With proper care, well-drained soil increases the opportunity to produce sustained high yields with a variety of crops. Have the soil examined by a professional contractor.

Not all soils respond favourably to subsurface drainage. Verify whether installing a system is a good investment for the farm. A key consideration for every drainage system is the outlet used to discharge the collected water.

Ensure that you have the legal right to use the outlet before starting any planning or work. Also confirm that the outlet can handle the amount of water to discharge.

For a subsurface drainage system to work effectively, it must be carefully and accurately designed and installed. Consider hiring a reliable licensed contractor to plan and install the drainage system. Contractors can advise if they are able to plan the drain layout or if the services of a professional engineer are required.

Qualified drainage contractors are available for the design and construction of your drainage system. The OMAFRA website contains up-to-date listings of licensed drainage contractors.

Considerations when planning to drain land

Learn how to get the most value from an investment in land drainage

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Municipal Drains

Municipal drains are funded by the properties that use the drain. The general levy does not fund this user pay system. All drainage work is legislated by the Provincial Drainage Act.

A one-third agricultural grant is available to all eligible farmlands to help with the cost of drainage repairs and capital projects through the Agricultural Drainage Infrastructure Program (ADIP) managed by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA).

Work is done within the guidelines established by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and the Endangered Species Act as established by the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR).

The OMAFRA drainage website has more details on the Drainage Act and ADIP.

Who can I contact to see about repairing or improving a municipal drain?

Please call the Drainage Superintendent at the Township of Howick at 519-335-3208.  All work performed on a municipal drain requires authorization from the Drainage Superintendent.  

Maintenance Activities Performed Under an Existing Engineer's Report may Include:

  • Brushing of banks
  • Bottom cleanout of sediment
  • Culvert repairs
  • Erosion control
  • Catch basin repairs
  • Tile flushing

Construction Activities Requiring an Engineer’s Report may Include:

  • Construction of new tile drains
  • Construction of new culverts
  • Realignment of open ditches
  • Wetland restoration projects
  • Excavation and brushing of open ditches

Tile Drain Loan Application

The installation of tile drainage is a very common land improvement practice among farmers in Ontario.

Corrugated plastic tubing, clay and concrete drain tile are installed beneath the surface of agricultural land to drain excess water from the crop root zone. The benefits of tile drainage for crop productivity, farm efficiency, and even for reducing environmental impacts, have been studied and are generally well known to farmers.

Landowners in a municipality in Ontario planning to install a tile drainage system on their agricultural land are eligible for a tile loan under this program.

All tile loans have 10-year terms, and repayments are made annually. Landowners are eligible for a loan of up to 75% of the value of the tile drainage work, but the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) and the local municipality may have policies that further restrict the total dollar amount of any loan in any given year.

The provincial government sets the program interest rate at a competitive level. This rate is fixed for the full term of the loan, regardless of changes in market interest rates. The interest rate is calculated annually, not semi-annually, as is done by most financial institutions.

Contact the Township of Howick Municipal Office at 519-335-3208 for more information on current tile loan policies and interest rates.

Tile Drain Loan Application File Size: 950.24 KB Download

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Scott Richardson Drainage Superintendent