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Sewer and water main installations in existing neighbourhoods

As Winnipeg continues to grow and develop at historically high rates, City of Winnipeg wastewater sewers (also known as wastewater collection systems) and water mains (also known as water systems) are being installed in neighbourhoods where service was not previously provided by the City. In such areas, existing properties are typically serviced by well water and have either septic fields or holding tanks for wastewater.

Background

According to provincial regulations when a wastewater collection system is installed in an area not previously serviced, landowners in that area must connect their wastewater sources to the wastewater collection system.

In cases where water and wastewater system are being installed in an area not previously serviced by the City, property owners will be notified in advance of the installation. The City will also provide more details about property owners' responsibilities and explain the process of connecting to the new sewer and water mains.

Requirements

Property owners are required by provincial regulations to connect to the sewer main either within five years of it being installed or before they sell or subdivide their property.

Property owners must also remove or abandon their on-site wastewater management (septic) system.

Connecting to the water main is optional at this time; however, it is important to note there are frontage and service costs for water mains, and choosing to not connect to the water main at the same time as connecting to the sewer main could lead to higher connection costs if done retroactively.

Wastewater Sewer Costs

There is a connection charge for the new wastewater sewer that is generally based on the frontage width of the property. The current cost per assessable foot for wastewater sewer main can be viewed on the fee schedule page.

Property owners have the option to have the sewer connection charges amortized instead of paying a lump sum payment at the time of connecting to the sewer.

Property owners are also responsible for paying the cost of installing and connecting a private sewer service pipe from the home to the sewer main as well as adapting internal plumbing as necessary. This is a cost quoted by the contractor selected by the individual property owner. The City will provide property owners with a list of licensed contractors.

A service application fee and sewer connection application fee are also required.

Frequently asked questions

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Property owners will be notified by the City if wastewater sewers and water mains are being installed in front of their property and will provide more details about property owners' responsibilities and explain the process of connecting to the new sewer and water mains.

While your septic system may be in operation, Province of Manitoba regulations outline that if a wastewater collection system is installed in an area not previously serviced by a wastewater collection system, the landowner in that area must connect his or her wastewater sources to the wastewater collection system.

There is no opt-out option. The requirement to connect to the City's wastewater sewer system comes from Province of Manitoba regulations. Section 8.1 (1) of the Province of Manitoba Regulation 83/2003 outlines that if a wastewater collection system is installed in an area not previously serviced by a wastewater collection system, an owner of land in that area must connect his or her wastewater sources to the wastewater collection system.

Property owners are required to connect to the sewer main either within five years of it being installed or before they sell or subdivide their property.

Contractors that perform work on services, or install services that connect to the City sewer or water systems must be licensed by the City. The City has compiled a list of licensed contractors.

The City does not guarantee, and does not accept any liability or responsibility for, work performed or other actions taken by licensed contractors.

Before you hire any contractor, it is good practice to:

  • Get at least three estimates from licensed contractors
  • Ask for and check contractor references
  • Call the Better Business Bureau for a reliability report on contractors

The City requires property owners to be responsible for their share of the cost of wastewater sewer service benefitting their property. In a new development, the cost is included in the price of the home. For properties where the service was not provided by the City, the share of the cost is payable when connecting to the expanded collection system.

Costs associated to connecting to the newly installed wastewater sewer main will depend on the size of your property and the contractor you have chosen for the project.

There is a connection charge for the new wastewater sewer that is generally based on the frontage width of their property. The current cost per assessable foot for wastewater sewer main can be viewed on the fee schedule page.

Property owners are also responsible for paying the cost of installing and connecting a private sewer service pipe from the home to the sewer main as well as adapting internal plumbing as necessary. This is a cost quoted by the contractor selected by the individual property owner. The City will provided property owners with a list of licensed contractors.

A service application fee and sewer connection application fee are also required.

Property owners have the option to have the sewer connection charges amortized instead of a paying lump sum payment at the time of connecting to the sewer.

There may be a couple of changes to the annual property tax bill once a property owner has connected to the City service.

Frontage Levies:
Once the services are installed frontage levies will be added to your annual tax bill. Frontage levies are imposed regardless of whether or not the property is connected with/to the City services or whether or not the property is vacant.

Amortization of special connection costs:
If a property owner elects not to pay the total costs at the time of connection they can amortize the special connection costs on their annual tax bill. This annual charge includes the cost, interest and administration fees and will appear on the annual property tax bill as a Special Connection Charge under the local improvement section of the tax bill for the length of the amortization period. Sewer mains are a 20 year term while the water mains are a 10 year term. Property owners have the ability to pay the remaining balance at any time prior to the end of the term.

Please note this charge only appears if the property elects to amortize the costs of the connecting to the improvement.

Currently, properties that receive neither water nor sewer services from the City and meet other established eligibility criteria may receive an annual tax credit of up to $250. If water and/or sewer mains are installed on your street, your property will no longer be eligible for the Sewer and Water Tax Credit regardless of whether you connect to the services or not.

Council must establish a uniform rate to be applied throughout the city for each frontage tax imposed. Currently frontage is based on a property fronting on a street that contains a sewer main or water main.

Calculation of the frontage levy is based on the length of the boundaries (frontage) of the property that fronts or abuts any portion of the service. That measurement is then multiplied by the applicable rate to determine the total frontage levy for the property.

Property owners must also remove or abandon their on-site wastewater management (septic) system (as required by the Province of Manitoba). Additional information is available at http://www.gov.mb.ca/sd/envprograms/wastewater/.

Please contact 311 for more information.

Last updated: December 12, 2018