FAQS 

Questions

  1. What is the Basement Flooding Grant Program?
  2. When does the grant program become available to me?
  3. Am I eligible to apply for the Basement Flooding Prevention Grant Program?
  4. What kinds of preventative flooding works are considered eligible under this program and how much money I am entitled to receive?
  5. Can I apply for costs to replace or repair any of my current preventative flooding equipment or for costs towards maintenance work to prevent flooding, e.g. cracked foundation, leaking window wells or plugged foundation drains?
  6. Are there any maintenance requirements for any of the remedial works eligible under this grant program?
  7. Are there any other issues with the installation of backwater valves that I should be aware of?
  8. Are there any other issues with the installation of sump pumps that I should be aware of?
  9. How can I find out more about this grant program?
  10. Am I able to still apply for a grant towards my flood damage cleanup costs under the Compassionate Flood Grant Program?
  11. Who can I call to advise me on what I need to prevent future flooding of my basement and provide quotes?
  12. Is there any concern about the grant program expiring before I am able to take advantage of it?
  13. I have already installed a backwater valve and/or sump pump to prevent future flooding. Can I submit these expenses under this grant program?
  14. I don’t want to wait – or could not wait until March 1st to install preventative works, (backwater valve, sump pump, etc.). For work completed prior to March 1st, can I submit my receipts when the grant program comes into effect?
  15. I applied for the Compassionate Flood Grant last year but was denied for costs to install preventative flooding devices (eg. backwater valve and/or sump pump). Will I be eligible to apply to this new grant program?

1. What is the Basement Flooding Grant Program?

The Basement Flooding Prevention Grant program is a pilot program that will provide financial assistance to homeowners living in the North East residential area of the City to undertake works that reduce the risk of basement flooding. Based on the outcome of the pilot program, the Grant Program may be rolled out to the entire City in 2019 and will be continued in subsequent years subject to annual funding approval. A map of the applicable North-East area can be viewed here. The council report can be viewed here.


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2. When does the grant program become available to me?

The program comes into effect March 1st, 2018. Grant applications will be accepted from this date.


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3. Am I eligible to apply for the Basement Flooding Prevention Grant Program?

You are eligible to apply for a grant if the following criteria are met:

  • You are the owner of and reside at a single-family, duplex or triplex home where the grant is to be used
  • Your home is within the North-East Flood Remediation Study Area of Brantford
  • Your property taxes are paid current
  • Your house is not still under a new construction warranty
  • You have not received a subsidy from the City of Brantford through a previous Basement Flooding Prevention Grant Program, (i.e. 2010)
  • You have not commenced installation of preventative works prior to grant program approval*
  • *Only Residents who had applied for grant funding under the Residential Compassionate Flood Grant Program will be eligible to also apply under this grant program.

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4. What kinds of preventative flooding works are considered eligible under this program and how much money I am entitled to receive?

The maximum allowable grant per household is $2,000. The grant amount per eligible remedial works is 80% of the cost to a maximum amount per eligible works in accordance with the following:

1. Basement Flooding Risk Assessment - $250

Applicants can pay for an evaluation of potential sources of water entry into the home and a report listing top ranked actions to reduce risks of basement flooding. Only one quote is required for this item. This can be applied for in conjunction with or prior to making a second application for other eligible works to be undertaken.

2. Disconnection of downspouts with capping of sewer access - $200

Where downspouts are found connected to sewer, disconnection is a mandatory requirement to be eligible for any further grant amounts under this program. Disconnections must meet Property Standards Bylaw 465.22.4 Downpipes – Sump pump lines – Prevent – Nuisance. Downpipes and sump pump discharge lines shall be designed, provided and maintained so as to discharge water run-off away from the building and to prevent flooding, erosion and other nuisance to neighboring properties. “Before” pictures showing the condition before undertaking the work and sketch of proposed work must be submitted with application. “After” pictures showing the completed work must be submitted along with paid invoice following disconnection.

3. Disconnection of weeping tiles from sewer and reconnection to sump pump discharging to a permeable outside surface with backup power - $1,800

Sump pump discharges to surface must not create nuisance drainage issues for neighbouring properties in accordance with Property Standards Bylaw 465.22.4 reference above. A Plumbing Permit is required however the fee will be waived. Please show the executed basement flooding grant agreement between the City and Property Owner to the Building Department to get the Plumbing Permit fee waived.

4. Installation of a Backwater Valve - $1,200

Backwater valve must meet Ontario Building Code and may be installed on either the storm sewer or sanitary sewer, or both. A Plumbing Permit is required however the fee will be waived.

5. Other remedial works, describe – Up to $2,000

Recommended works by contractor that address a flooding issue not specified in this list of eligible works may be considered for grant eligibility on a case-by-case basis during the pilot testing phase of this program at the discretion of the General Manager for possible inclusion in future program. Grant amount to be determined at the discretion of the General Manager.


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5. Can I apply for costs to replace or repair any of my current preventative flooding equipment or for costs towards maintenance work to prevent flooding, e.g. cracked foundation, leaking window wells or plugged foundation drains?

Direct replacements or repairs to your existing system or devices are not eligible under this program as these are considered to be issues of upkeep or maintenance on your property.


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6. Are there any maintenance requirements for any of the remedial works eligible under this grant program?

Yes. Backwater valves and sump pumps require maintenance checks to ensure proper operation.

Backwater valves can be affected by grease build-up and debris that can cause them to not close when needed in the event of a flood. Regular cleaning of the backwater valve is the responsibility of the homeowner. It is recommended you follow the backwater valve manufacturer's guidelines and recommendations for maintenance of your backwater valve.

Sump pumps have limitations to their effectiveness and ease of use. Sump pumps are designed to pump water at a slow rate and may not pump water fast enough if your basement is flooding. Since they run on electricity, they will not work during power outages without a backup power source and they require regular maintenance checks to ensure they are in good working order. It is a good idea to regularly test your sump pump, especially if it does not run very often or not at all. Take a bucket of water and slowly dump it into the sump pit. The sump pump should turn on when the float reaches a predetermined level.


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7. Are there any other issues with the installation of backwater valves that I should be aware of?

Yes. Backwater valves installed on the sanitary sewer will stop flood waters from backing up into your home when working properly. This may seem like the perfect solution to prevent flooding due to a backflow event, however it is very important to be aware that once the backwater valve is closed (or in check), wastewater cannot escape to the sewer system. This means that you cannot bathe, shower, wash clothes, run the dishwasher, flush the toilet or put anything in the system until the conditions that have caused the backflow have been eliminated and the valve returns to its normal position.

In addition to wastewater being unable to discharge through a closed backwater valve, if your weeping tiles or foundation drain is connected to your sanitary sewer lateral, stormwater building up around your foundation will also have nowhere to go and can build up pressure around your home’s foundation. If a backwater valve is installed, it is important to disconnect any weeping tiles from sanitary and install a sump pump that will discharge this stormwater to grade.


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8. Are there any other issues with the installation of sump pumps that I should be aware of?

Yes. To be eligible for a sump pump under this program, it must discharge water to the surface of your property. This means that it is necessary for your property to be properly graded to allow for stormwater runoff to be discharged away from the building and to prevent flooding, erosion and other nuisance to neighboring properties.


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9. How can I find out more about this grant program?

A public information session will be held on Monday, February 26th from 5:00 – 8:00 pm at the Bran-Lynn Community Centre Meeting Room. You can also call the City at 519-759-4150 for more information


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10. Am I able to still apply for a grant towards my flood damage cleanup costs under the Compassionate Flood Grant Program?

Unfortunately, no. This program, which covered cleanup costs from flood damage due to flooding that occurred on August 11, 2017, ended on November 30th, 2017.


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11. Who can I call to advise me on what I need to prevent future flooding of my basement and provide quotes?

You can call a plumbing contractor or sewer drain layer who is licensed by the City of Brantford. Homeowners are strongly encouraged to conduct due diligence before hiring a contractor. Although only 2 quotes are required, it is suggested that you obtain a minimum of three quotes where possible as well as references before hiring a City of Brantford licensed contractor. A variety of quotes will help to give confidence in the advice on remedial works most recommended when cross-referencing quotes.

You may also wish to have a flooding risk assessment performed. This is an expense that is eligible under the current grant program for reimbursement Applicants can pay for a professional evaluation of potential sources of water entry into the home and causes of flooding. This can be done by a third-party consultant with residential flooding expertise or a contractor who conducts an in-depth investigation of plumbing connections using CCTV, dye testing and/or smoke testing techniques or other means to support their analysis. Depending upon the information you already have, it should be noted that only professionals with comprehensive knowledge of flooding mechanisms may be able to identify flooding causes so it may be prudent to start with a flooding expert.


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12. Is there any concern about the grant program expiring before I am able to take advantage of it?

Since grant approvals are subject to the availability of funding at any given time it is possible that funding may eventually run out as applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Furthermore, funding agreements will only be valid for six months from the date of approval and will expire if:

  • Work is not completed within the 6-month timeframe
  • Paid invoices are not received by the City
  • Inspection of eligible works is not satisfactory and not corrected
  • Any other forms are incomplete (i.e. Declaration of Work Completion Form)

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13. I have already installed a backwater valve and/or sump pump to prevent future flooding. Can I submit these expenses under this grant program?

If you received grant funding under the Residential Compassionate Flood Grant Program you are eligible to apply for grant funding under this program, come March 1st, 2018.


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14. I don’t want to wait – or could not wait until March 1st to install preventative works, (backwater valve, sump pump, etc.). For work completed prior to March 1st, can I submit my receipts when the grant program comes into effect?

If you want to proceed with installation of eligible works to prevent basement flooding or have already done so but prior to March 1st, 2018, your costs are not currently eligible under the current program UNLESS you had also applied for financial assistance under the Compassionate Flood Grant Program in 2017. For anyone who has already undertaken eligible remedial works following flooding that occurred August 11, 2017, who did not apply under the Compassionate Flood Grant program you may submit your name, address, phone number and email address and the City will contact you should any program changes occur that would allow you to participate in future.


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15. I applied for the Compassionate Flood Grant last year but was denied for costs to install preventative flooding devices (eg. backwater valve and/or sump pump). Will I be eligible to apply to this new grant program?

Yes. See point #10 above. Click for question 10