The purpose of this program is to assist property owners with mitigating the risk of a basement flood occurring at their property. There are two separate grants that can be applied for through this program for a total maximum value of $5000 available for each property.

How do I Qualify?

The applicant(s) for the grant program must meet the following criteria to qualify for the Program:
1. Must be the Owner(s) of the Residential Home, a Condominium Corporation – or a non-profit housing cooperative
2. The Owner must have no other outstanding debts to the City.
3. Owner must not have commenced, prior to grant approval any construction works they are applying for grant funding
4. Not withstanding (3) above, an applicant for the grant may qualify for the Program, if the applicant provides the City with the respective invoices for the applicable construction work that commenced after January 1, 2020, but before July 26, 2021.

What is the Application Process?

1. The applicant, will be required to complete Basement Flooding Grant Program application form. In addition to the completed form, the applicant, must provide:
a) A minimum of two quotes for the work from a licensed plumbing/drainage Contractor, not a 3rd party representative
b) The quotes must detail what work is to be done, and separate out costs for each portion of construction work, i.e. total cost of labour and materials to install backwater valve, total cost of labour and materials to disconnect footing tiles, etc.

2. City staff reviews the application and supporting documentation and decides whether to approve the grant, and determines the approximate grant amount. The City advises the applicant in writing of its decision. Final grant amounts are established based on the final paid invoice submitted once the work has been completed.

3. The Applicant or Contractor obtains any necessary permits. Failure to obtain appropriate permits prior to work commencing will result in cancellation of any previously approved grant amounts. For the installation of a backwater valve a Plumbing Permit must be submitted to Lambton County. For the disconnection of foundation drains and the installation of a sump pit/pump a Building Permit will be required to be submitted to the City of Sarnia.

4. Within six months of receiving grant approval, the Owner(s) must submit to the City the final invoice from the Contractor setting out the amount due and paid for the work. Any Owner submitting a final invoice six months after the grant approval will be ineligible for payment of the grant, subject to the discretion.

5. Where there is a request to do so, subject to the discretion, the City may advance 100% of the grant amount as set out in item (2) above to the qualified and licensed plumbing contractor who completes the construction works for the applicant Owner(s) upon receipt of a final invoice for the completed construction works and confirmation of that the applicable permit(s) have been issue and passed in full.

Common Questions:

What if my backup happened in 2020?

An applicant for the grant may qualify for the Program, if the applicant provides the City with the respective invoices for the applicable construction work that commenced after January 1, 2020, but before July 26, 2021.

What is the Difference between a Backwater Valve or Foundation Drain?

A backwater valve is installed in the basement of the home on the sanitary lateral line. This allows wastewater to travel from the property to the sanitary sewer, but when the flow reverses and travels from the sewer back into the home the valve closes and does not allow flooding to occur.

Foundation drains are located underground around the outside of the foundation of the house. They collect stormwater and direct it away from the foundation of the building. When these foundation drains are connected to the sanitary lateral it adds significant load on the City’s sanitary system during rain events, contributing to sewer back-up conditions.

Can I choose which Option I want my house to have?

If you have a foundation drain connected to the sanitary lateral you must apply for both grants to be eligible for the program. If your foundation drains are not connected to the sanitary lateral you may apply for the backwater valve grant on its own.

How will I know which option I Qualify for?

City staff reviews the application and supporting documentation and decides whether to approve the grant, and determines the approximate grant amount. The City advises the applicant in writing of its decision. Final grant amounts are established based on the final paid invoice submitted once the work has been completed.

Where can I obtain a list of Licensed Plumbers in Sarnia?

The Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership Office maintains a Business Directory of approximately 3,500 businesses in Sarnia-Lambton. To obtain a copy or access this directory and search for Licensed Plumbers please visit the website linked below or call 519-332-1820.
https://www.sarnialambton.on.ca/business

How do I apply for a Building Permit?

The City of Sarnia building permit application form can be found here. For any questions regarding the building permit please call 519-332-0330 Ext: 3301 or email building@sarnia.ca

Can I apply to the program multiple times? What if it happens again?

Program has a lifetime limit of $5000 per property. Each grant can only be applied for once.

Can I apply for multiple properties?

Each property can be applied for individually provided they meet the eligibility criteria.

How long do I have for the work to be finished?

You must complete approved works and submit your paid invoice within six months of receiving approval for the grant or you will not be eligible for the grant

If I am building a home, do I qualify?

The grant is available only to existing homes, not homes in the planning stages or currently under construction.

Other questions:
City of Sarnia Customer Service at 519-332-0330 ext. 3131 or customerservice@sarnia.ca