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Halifax Water Stormwater Service Expansion

This page was last updated on July 20, 2021

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

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.

In order to accept responsibility for these areas, Halifax Water is required to seek approval from the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board (NSUARB). This regulatory application will begin in the fall of 2021.

Pending NSUARB approval of the transfer, Halifax Water will begin providing stormwater service in the expanded areas on June 1, 2022.

To learn more about Halifax Water’s Stormwater Services, click here.

This page will be updated as new information becomes available.

Related Pages

Details on this transfer from the Province of Nova Scotia to Halifax Regional Municipality can be found here.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

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.

It’s important to note that the details are still being finalized and will continue to develop over the coming months. The most updated information can be found on this HRM web page. This web page will be updated regularly once more information becomes available.

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.

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

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. Once the transfer is complete and the NSUARB approves, we can take responsibility for these areas and better understand the financial impacts. Initially, Halifax Water is proposing to apply the existing stormwater rates while we determine the costs required to provide the services and update the rates if necessary.

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 Halifax Water stormwater charges are available on our website and depend on your impervious area and whether your property drains to the Halifax Water storm system.

Depending on your property, you can expect to pay an annual stormwater Site-Related Flow (SRF) charge that is currently up to $81 annually or up to approximately $0.23 per day.

HRM funds its portion of stormwater expenses for the impervious surfaces in the right-of-way (streets, sidewalks, packed gravel road shoulders, etc.) through a right-of-way (ROW) charge. Halifax Water collects this $40 annual charge on behalf of HRM.

These stormwater charges will come into effect on June 1, 2022, pending the outcome of the Application to the NSUARB this fall.

Pending NSUARB approval, new customers in the expanded service area should receive their first bill in the spring of 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.