Stormwater service fee credit program

The City of Guelph and its consultant, AECOM, have developed a credit program for industrial, commercial, institutional (ICI) and multi-residential properties of six units or more. Credits provide landowners with opportunities to reduce stormwater runoff on private property for a credit towards the stormwater service fee they pay. The credit program also recognizes the efforts Guelph property owners are already making to reduce stormwater runoff and the pollutants that flow with it.

Everyone benefits from managing stormwater runoff. Property owners benefit from onsite flood control and the community benefits from reduced pressures on our stormwater management system. Both benefit from resulting cost savings.

Image shows flow of rain and snow melt through stormwater system


Stormwater systems include all the drains, pipes and ponds that carry or hold rain, melting snow and runoff from hard surfaces.

In 2012, the City’s stormwater management system received a failing grade (F) in the Sustainable Infrastructure Report and Infrastructure Scorecard. The report showed that Guelph’s stormwater drainage system was underfunded by more than $4 million a year. That report drove the City to begin the stormwater funding study in August 2013.

Guelph City Council approved a staff recommendation for a dedicated stormwater service fee by a vote of 11 to 2 at the Council meeting on March 21, 2016.
The recommendation to use to a service fee to fund stormwater services was made following more than two years of study and community consultation.
Through the stormwater funding study, staff:

  • Evaluated existing stormwater program costs and determined future costs required to provide an appropriate level of service to meet the City’s objectives for flood, and environmental protection and regulatory requirements, and to satisfy public service expectations.
  • Researched what other municipalities are doing to address underfunding of stormwater services, a common issue across Ontario and elsewhere.
  • Engaged residents, business and institution owners, environmental organizations and other stakeholders.
  • Identified a service fee as the best option for providing dedicated and sustainable funding that allocates stormwater costs fairly and equitably for all properties.
  • Developed a strategy to implement the stormwater service fee which was approved by Council on March 21, 2016.

For more details about the stormwater funding study, visit


759 KBStormwater Fees or Charges Credit Application Guidance Manual
This guidance manual includes an overview of the Stormwater Credit Program framework, which describes property eligibility and eligible stormwater measures, the application process, the terms and conditions of the program, site inspection requirements and penalties for any violation of the terms and conditions.

124 KBStormwater Credit Application Form
Stormwater credits are available in four categories, which align with the overarching objectives of the City’s stormwater management program, as outlined in the table below.

Stormwater credit categories
Credit category Description and basis for charge reduction Maximum credit
Peak flow reduction Facilities that control the peak flow of stormwater discharged from the property, based on the outlet rate in comparison to natural hydrologic conditions. 15 per cent
Runoff volume reduction Facilities that control the amount of stormwater retained on the property, based on retention volume resulting from increased infiltration, evapotranspiration, or reuse. 40 per cent
Water quality treatment Facilities that control the quality of stormwater discharged from the property, based on treatment type, pollutant load reduction, or MOECC level of protection. 15 per cent
Operations and activities Non-structural measures including education programs and pollution prevention / risk management practices. 15 per cent

Maximum credit available (capped) 50 per cent


For more information

Stormwater Service Team
Engineering and Transportation Services
519-837-5604 extension 3486