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Halifax Water Stormwater Service Expansion

This page was last updated on April 13, 2022

This stormwater service expansion is the result of a road transfer from the Province of Nova Scotia to Halifax Regional Municipality.

Background Information

On July 16, 2021, Halifax Regional Municipality staff submitted a proposal to Halifax Regional Council (Council) to approve a road transfer from the Province of Nova Scotia. This is in accordance with a Road Transfer Agreement (titled HRM-01) between HRM and the Province, which was signed in 1996.

On July 20, Council voted on these road transfers. Council voted to formally request that Halifax Water take responsibility for stormwater services in the expanded area set by HRM.

On April 13, 2022, the NSUARB approved Halifax Water's application to accept responsibility for stormwater services in these two expanded areas.

The transfer areas are illustrated on page 71 (Area 1) and page 79 (Area 4) of the HRM staff report.

  • Area 1 includes parts of Boutiliers Point, Ingramport, Head of St Margarets Bay, Lewis Lake, Hubley and Upper Tantallon.
  • Area 4 includes parts of East Preston, Lake Echo, Mineville, and Lawrencetown.

In order to accept responsibility for these areas, Halifax Water was required to seek approval from the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board (NSUARB). This regulatory application was submitted on October 13, 2021 and is under NSUARB matter No. M10295. View documents related to this matter here.

Halifax Water will begin providing stormwater service in the expanded areas on June 1, 2022.

Public Information Sessions

Halifax Water remains committed to engaging local communities that are impacted by the stormwater service expansion. In January 2022, Public Health measures and gathering limits were in place to protect against COVID-19 and its variants, as such, we could not host in-person events.

However, to ensure stormwater service customers continue to have access to information and subject matter experts, Halifax Water transitioned to online/virtual public information sessions.

The two virtual public information sessions for areas 1 and 4 are now complete and the recordings are available to watch below. We would like to thank everyone who signed up and participated in these sessions, and we encourage everyone who is impacted to submit any questions or concerns through the online form here.

 

 

Past Public Information Sessions

In-person public information sessions began in late November 2021 and were designed to provide residents and property owners within the potentially impacted communities with the latest information. Online sessions took place in early February 2022. We thank those property owners who attended our in-person and online information sessions.

Date Time Location Address
Tues., Nov. 30 4:00 PM - 8:00 PM Tantallon Library 3646 Hammonds Plains Rd., Upper Tantallon
Wed., Dec. 1 4:00 PM - 7:30 PM St. Luke's United Church 5374 St. Margaret’s Bay Rd., Upper Tantallon
Thurs., Dec. 2 4:00 PM - 7:30 PM Estabrooks Community Hall 4408 St. Margaret’s Bay Rd., Lewis Lake
Mon., Dec. 6 4:00 PM - 7:30 PM Masonic Lodge 6384 St. Margaret’s Bay Rd., Head of St. Margaret’s
Tues., Dec. 7 4:00 PM - 7:30 PM Lawrencetown Community Centre 3657 Hwy 207, Lawrencetown
Wed., Dec. 8 4:00 PM - 7:30 PM Lake Echo Fellowship Baptist Church 17 Peter Court, Mineville
Thurs., Dec. 9 4:00 PM - 7:30 PM Lake Echo Community Centre 3168 Hwy 7, Lake Echo
Fri., Dec. 10 2:00 PM - 6:00 PM East Preston Rec Centre 24 Brooks Drive, East Preston
Date Time Areas of Focus Video Recording
Feb. 3, 2022 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM Boutiliers Point,  Head of St. Margaret’s Bay, Hubley, Ingramport and Upper Tantallon Video
Feb. 7, 2022 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM East Preston, Lake Echo, Lewis Lake, Lawrencetown (western areas) and Mineville Video

Register for Updates or Ask a Question

Property owners in either of the two stormwater service expansion areas can sign up for updates, or submit questions using the form below. Be sure to check out the Frequently Asked Questions section at the bottom of this webpage.

In accordance with Section 485 of the Municipal Government Act (MGA) [PDF], the personal information collected on this form will only be used by Halifax Water staff for purposes relating to the provision of water, wastewater, and/or stormwater services.

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Stormwater Service Expansion Timeline

Find out what is happening and when below:

Stormwater Service Expansion Timeline

Please note: On April 13, 2022, the NSUARB approved Halifax Water's application to accept responsibility for stormwater services in these two expanded areas.

Frequently Asked Questions

This infrastructure is being transferred from the provincial government to the Halifax Regional Municipality. As a result, the municipality will be responsible for maintenance within the Right-of-Way (ROW), effective June 1, 2022. Learn more here.

In 2006, the Province of Nova Scotia transferred ownership and maintenance responsibilities of streets within the Urban Core Boundary to HRM. HRM Council directed HRM staff to find a way to properly fund stormwater service to be able to maintain and upgrade the stormwater system properly.

In 2007, at the direction of HRM Council, Halifax Water assumed responsibility for wastewater and stormwater service delivery within the Urban Core Boundary/Stormwater Service Boundary. The Halifax Water Stormwater Service Boundary is set by HRM.

No property is an island. The flow of stormwater through and around our entire community must be managed to protect your property, public/municipal transportation infrastructure and the environment. Whether you have a roadside drain directly in front of your property or not, proper stormwater management includes a network of culverts, ditches, pipes and catchbasins to collect and convey stormwater that flows off impervious areas (hard, water-resistant surfaces, such as asphalt, concrete, roofs, packed gravel driveways, etc.). The stormwater may flow across properties at varying rates and distances to reach the system.

As part of this service, property owners benefit from Halifax Water’s comprehensive stormwater management system. All of this infrastructure is maintained by Halifax Water and includes providing access to replacement culverts, ensuring effective roadside drains, connections to our stormwater drainage networks and retention ponds.

As a result, our customers can have peace of mind knowing that the responsibility for management of the stormwater infrastructure system is with Halifax Water.

The transfer areas are illustrated on page 71 (Area 1) and page 79 (Area 4) of the HRM staff report.

We have also provided more simple maps below:

Area 1 includes parts of Boutiliers Point, Ingramport, Head of St Margarets Bay, Lewis Lake, Hubley and Upper Tantallon.

Area 4 includes parts of East Preston, Lake Echo, Mineville, and Lawrencetown.

This web page and the HRM web page will be updated regularly once more information becomes available.

On April 13, 2022, the NSUARB released their decision, approving that Halifax Water will become responsible for stormwater services in these areas effective June 1, 2022.

Stormwater charges are illustrated on this page and depend on your impervious area and whether your property drains to the Halifax Water storm system.

Typically, when the province transfers roads to any municipality, residents in the area will have adjustments to the services they receive. For information about property taxes, visit the Halifax Regional Municipality website.

Every property is individually analyzed. Halifax Water uses satellite imagery and topographical maps that show where stormwater such as rain and melting ice/snow flows when it leaves your property. If stormwater travels from your property and eventually into stormwater infrastructure managed by Halifax Water, such as a ditch or a culvert, you would become a Halifax Water customer.

You may also become a customer if no stormwater from your property enters the Halifax Water stormwater system, but you have a driveway culvert. In which case, you would be charged the annual culvert-only service charge (currently $14/year) and the $40 annual HRM Right-of-Way (ROW) charge.

Staff will be contacting residents in the affected areas. Extensive community outreach will take place in the impacted areas prior to the anticipated June 1, 2022 transfer.

Ice and snow in roadside drains are a normal occurrence. Halifax Water does not take any action for ice and snow unless a culvert is blocked with ice and the flow is impeded; Halifax Water endeavours to remove any blockage to assist the flow.

The current residential Halifax Water Site-Related Flow (SRF) stormwater charges range from $14/year to $81/year, plus $40/year for the HRM ROW charge.

HRM currently funds its portion of stormwater expenses through the ROW charge. Halifax Water collects this charge on behalf of HRM. A full breakdown of stormwater rates is available here.

These stormwater charges will come into effect on June 1, 2022.

Service will begin on June 1, 2022. The first bills will be sent to new stormwater service customers sometime between January and April 2023.

The flow of stormwater through and around our entire community must be managed to protect your property, public transportation infrastructure and the environment.

As part of this service, property owners benefit from Halifax Water’s comprehensive stormwater management system, where it conducts routine inspections of the system within their service boundary. This includes itemizing the infrastructure assets and their condition, performing periodic maintenance of stormwater ditches and culverts etc., to ensure control of stormwater flows through vegetation control and culvert replacement.

Halifax Water does not undertake the initial installation of infrastructure within the right of way; however, once installed, Halifax Water owns the infrastructure, and Halifax Water becomes responsible for managing, maintaining and replacing that infrastructure.

No. Stormwater service is unrelated to water service or wastewater service. HRM is responsible for extending water or wastewater service into new areas. Requests for water or wastewater service extensions should be sent to your district councillor.

Yes. Although your property is on a private road with privately-owned infrastructure, if stormwater travels from your property and eventually into stormwater infrastructure managed by Halifax Water, such as a ditch or a culvert, you would become a Halifax Water customer. If the private road drains to the Halifax Water stormwater infrastructure, it will be considered as receiving service as well.

Yes. The frontage of your property is not used to determine whether or not you receive stormwater service from Halifax Water. If stormwater travels from your property and eventually to a piece of stormwater infrastructure managed by Halifax Water, such as a ditch or a culvert, you would become a Halifax Water customer.*

An example of this might be that all of the stormwater that leaves your property runs through your backyard into your neighbour's yard, and then it flows into a ditch or culvert managed by Halifax Water. This would mean you are receiving stormwater service, and you would become a customer.

If no stormwater from your property drains through any Halifax Water infrastructure at any point, you will not become a customer and, therefore, will not be billed unless you have a driveway culvert on your property. In which case, you would be charged the annual culvert-only service charge (currently $14/year) and the annual HRM ROW charge.

We have a formal appeals (Notice of Objection) process in place. Once you have been notified that you will become a Halifax Water stormwater service customer, you have the right to appeal. The first step is contacting Halifax Water. The details of this process are available here.

We are not sure what the net impact will be to Halifax Water. There will be new costs to provide service, but there will also be new customers and revenues. With the approval from the NSUARB to accept the transfer, on June 1, 2022, we can take responsibility for these areas and begin to better understand the financial impacts. Initially, Halifax Water will apply the existing stormwater rates while we determine the costs required to provide the services and update the rates if necessary.

The last transfer was in 2006 – this included the Hammonds Plains area primarily.

The most updated information can be found on this HRM web page. This web page will be updated regularly as more information becomes available.