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Environmental funding

Community Environmental Projects Grant Program (CEPGP)

Ottawa Rural Clean Water Program

The Ottawa Rural Clean Water Program (ORCWP) provides funding for projects that protect surface water and groundwater quality. To find out more, please consult the program description.

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100% Municipally funded grants and contributions financial information and notice

Reports from prior years can be obtained from the program administrator.

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Residential Protective Plumbing Program

The Residential Protective Plumbing Program (RPPP) provides financial assistance to qualified City of Ottawa property owners for the installation of protective plumbing devices, such as sump pumps and storm and sanitary backwater valves to prevent water and sewage from flooding homes as a result of increased water level (surcharging) in the City’s sewer system.

Who is eligible for the program?

To be eligible for the Residential Protective Plumbing Program, the following must be satisfied:

  • Applicant must be the property owner
  • Property must be:
    • Residential
    • Located in the City of Ottawa
    • Served by City sewers
    • Built prior to January 1, 2004 for protective plumbing work related to the private storm sewer services
    • Built prior to January 1, 2012 for protective plumbing work related to private sanitary sewer services
  • Protective plumbing device(s) considered as part of the rebate application shall not be installed for the purposes of maintaining, repairing or replacing existing protective plumbing device(s)
  • Property taxes must be current
  • Applications must be completed and approved before any work can commence


Step 1: Submit Part 1 of Application

Download Part 1 of the application.

Discuss device options with a licensed plumber. Some backwater valves have been specifically designed and approved for retrofit installations to address potential issues such as pipe slope (drainage) and space limitations.

Ensure your completed application is signed and includes the following documentation:

  • Proof of ownership (copy of deed, land transfer or property tax bill), and

The following documents prepared by a licensed plumber:

  • Detailed listing of proposed work (included on application form)
  • Quote for the proposed work
  • Detailed diagram showing existing and proposed work (included on application form)

Applications can be sent via e-mail or mail to the Residential Protective Plumbing Program at or

Residential Protective Plumbing Program
Public Works and Environmental Services Department
City of Ottawa
951 Clyde Avenue
Ottawa, ON K1Z 5A6

Condominium Associations

To proceed with a Residential Protective Plumbing Program application, Condominium Associations must first obtain, in writing, permission from each property owner to act on their behalf.

Download the Homeowner Authorization form. The completed Homeowner Authorization forms should be submitted with the Part 1 Application form.

Step 2: Part 1 Application Review

The City will review your application and will contact you regarding the status of your application, next steps and assigned RPPP file number. Please refer to your RPPP file number when contacting the City regarding your application.

Step 3: CCTV Inspection

Once the application is approved, contact your contractor to arrange for a Closed-Circuit Television CCTV Inspection. The CCTV inspection reviews the sewer lateral from inside the home to the street (main City sewer).

The CCTV inspection and report must meet the City’s CCTV requirements for format, reporting and equipment. The contractor must submit an electronic copy of the CCTV inspection and the inspection report via DVD or to the City service provider’s FTP site.

Once complete, the City or its service provider will contact the applicant to arrange for a site visit.

Step 4: Site Visit

A site visit is required to confirm the protective plumbing work required. This may involve taking measurements and photographs of the existing plumbing. The site visit is free of charge.

NOTE: More than one site visit may be required.

Step 5: Site Visit Review

Once the site visit is complete, you will be contacted to confirm the status of the proposed work and next steps. To avoid unnecessary expenses, a Site Visit Review should be received by the applicant prior to applying for a building permit and undertaking any of the proposed work.

Step 6: Installation

Contact your contractor to arrange for the installation of the approved protective plumbing devices. The backwater valve and its installation must meet the current requirements of the Ontario Building Code, the current City of Ottawa By-laws, Sewer Design Guidelines and Standard Tender documents for Unit Price Contracts.

The applicant or the contractor must obtain a building permit prior to commencing the proposed work, and must arrange for inspections by the City’s Building Code Services Branch. The Building Inspector will need to review your project at several stages during construction – an inspection prior to covering underground plumbing, and a final inspection after the floor has been reinstated.

The building permit application must include copy of the approved Part 1 Application and Site Visit Review.

Sewer Design Guidelines

For more information on the Sewer Design Guidelines or to order a copy, please email the City of Ottawa at Fees do apply.

Note: The Sewer Design Guidelines contain applicable information regarding backwater valve installation, including but not limited to the following sections:

  • 4.4.5 – Sanitary Backwater Valves 
  • 5.7.5 - Service Connection Hydraulics
  • 5.7.7 – Storm Backwater Valves
Standard Tender documents for Unit Price Contracts

For more information on the City of Ottawa Standard Tender documents for Unit Price Contracts or to order a copy free of charge, please email the City of Ottawa at

Note: The City of Ottawa Standard Tender documents for Unit Price Contracts contain applicable drawings and material specifications, including but not limited to the following drawings:

  • S14 – Foundation Drain Backwater Valve Installation
  • S14.1 – Sanitary Backwater Valve Installation Type 1
  • S14.2 – Sanitary Backwater Valve Installation Type 2
  • S16 – Exterior Foundation Drain Backwater Valve Exterior Retrofit Applications (Exception Basis Only);
  • S18 – Typical Depressed Driveway Backwater Valve and Standpipe Detail
  • MS-22.15 - Approved Sewer and Miscellaneous Products Listing (S18.2-1 and S18.2-2).

Step 7: Submit Part 2 of Application

Download Part 2 of the application or obtain a form from your nearest City of Ottawa Client Service Centre.

Ensure your completed application is signed and includes the following documentation:

  • Copy of Building Permit, including receipt(s)
  • Original contractor invoice marked paid in full
  • Copy of Building Code Services inspection report

Prior to the expiration of the one-year deadline (as indicated on the initial approval), you must complete Part 2 Application and submit to the Residential Protective Plumbing Program.

Step 8: Part 2 Application Review and Rebate Processing

The City will review the application and notify the applicant(s) of the status of the rebate. Processing time depends on the volume of applications received. Once approved, a rebate cheque will be issued and mailed to the applicant(s) within eight to 10 weeks.

Application forms

Rebate payment and limits

How much are the rebates?

Item Maximum Rebate Amount
Permit $80
Closed-circuit television video (CCTV) – Sanitary $100
Closed-circuit television video (CCTV) – Storm $100
Indoor sanitary backwater valve only $700
Indoor storm backwater valve only $500
Indoor sanitary and storm backwater valves $1,000
Outdoor storm backwater valve only $1,750
Sump with battery backup power (high gradient or flat roof) $1,250

The City will rebate up to a maximum of each of the individual rebates available at the time of the submission of Part 1 of the application form. Should the cost of the work be less than the amount of the available rebate, the City shall rebate the lesser of the two amounts.

Prior application(s) specific to the property, including those by previous owners, may limit eligibility for specific rebates.

Are there limits to the rebate availability?

Funding is limited. Applications will be processed on a first come, first served basis. If an application is not fully processed due to insufficient funds, the applicant(s) will be notified and the application will be closed. Applicants may submit a new application once funding becomes available.

Can I withdraw from the program?

The RPPP is a voluntary program and you may withdraw at any time.

Protective plumbing: Frequently asked questions

What is protective plumbing?

Protective plumbing prevents water and sewage from entering your home during a backup. These methods can range from installing a sump pump and changing the footing drains around your foundation to installing an approved backwater valve on the sewer pipes connecting your sanitary sewer to the City sewer system.

Function of protective plumbing in a sewer system

What is a sewer lateral?

A sewer lateral is the pipe that connects your home or business to the main sewer in the street. The property owner is responsible for the portion from the property line to the home or business. The City is responsible for the portion from the property line to the main sewer.

How does a sewer backup occur?

Excess rain or snowmelt or a blockage in the sewer system can cause an increase in water level or surcharge. A backup occurs when the increased water level (surcharge) pushes water backwards through the service lateral into the home through floor drains, sinks and toilets.

How can water enter my home?

How water can enter your home

How do I know if I have a backwater valve installed on my property?

Backwater valves were mandatory in new homes after 2004 (stormwater) and 2012 (sanitary), but some older homes have had them installed retroactively.

If you are unsure of if you have a valve installed on your property, check between the last branch of your sewer line and where the pipe exits your foundation. It may look like a Y-shaped (wye) fitting with the wye branch plugged and pointing upward. If it’s in your yard, it is most likely buried and could be several feet deep.

Backwater valve

Why do I hear an alarm near the backwater valve?

An alarm may be added to a backwater valve to alert you that the valve has been engaged and is restricting flow back toward your basement. When you hear the alarm and when you see that the valve is engaged, it means that the backwater valve is working as it should. Do not shower, flush toilets or wash clothing until the system has returned to routine functioning, as additional water will not flow out of the residence when the valve is engaged. You can resume routine use when the alarm and the backwater valve are no longer engaged.

Do I have to maintain my protective plumbing devices?

Yes, the property owner is responsible for maintaining protective plumbing devices according to the manufacturer’s direction. A protective plumbing device should be maintained periodically or before a forecasted heavy rainfall to ensure it is free of debris, functioning properly, and that cleanout caps and access covers are firmly secured. If you are unsure about the condition of the valve or are not able to complete the required maintenance, a licensed plumber can perform an inspection.

For more tips on backwater valve maintenance, refer to a video on Backwater Valve Maintenance from the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction.

Will protective plumbing keep water out of my basement?

If properly installed and maintained, protective plumbing devices will prevent water and wastewater from a surcharging event from entering the home.

Protective plumbing devices will not stop water from entering through:

  • Cracks in walls or window wells,
  • Failed foundation drains or sump pumps,
  • Overflowing eaves troughs and plugged downspouts,
  • Poor foundation drainage,
  • Poor lot drainage, or
  • Water sources inside the house.

Where can I find further resources on protective plumbing?

Contact information

For more information on the Residential Protective Plumbing Program, please contact the City of Ottawa at 3-1-1 or by email at or by mail at:

Residential Protective Plumbing Program
Public Works and Environmental Services Department
City of Ottawa
951 Clyde Avenue
Ottawa, ON K1Z 5A6

Schoolyard Tree Planting Grant Program

Application deadline

Applications must be received by the City by June 1. Applications that are approved will be planted or funding awarded for spring season the following year. A minimum of one site visit with a City representative is required as part of the grant review process and must be completed between June 1 and December 1 of the application year.

Application form

Typical project timeline

June 1
Year X
? December 1
Year X
February 1
Year X+1
March 1
Year X+1
Year X+1
? May 1
Year X+2
Submit application on or before June 1 Review of application Site visit with City representative required by December 1 Final approval by property owner by February 1 Final approval by City Project completion and receipts submission Care of trees Final report due by May 1 following installation

 (X= Year of application)

Eligible projects

Tree planting projects on school property within the City of Ottawa are eligible to apply for the Schoolyard Tree Planting Grant Program. Applications will be accepted from Student or Parent Councils, environmental/garden clubs, or other groups/ individuals that can demonstrate a commitment to the tree planting project in partnership with the school. In addition to project coordination, applicants must demonstrate the ability to perform tree maintenance activities.

Funding will not be awarded for projects that have already been completed. Groups may receive funding in successive years however; priority will be given to those groups who have not received past funding. Groups receiving funding will not be eligible for funding for tree planting through other City of Ottawa grant programs within the same year. 

Projects are eligible for funding to cover the purchase and installation of trees only. The following project elements are not eligible for funding:

  • Site furnishings (benches, gazebos, play structures, etc.)
  • Ponds 
  • Pathways 
  • Fencing
  • Signage
  • Planters 
  • Site preparation
  • Cedar hedges
  • Shrubs, perennials, grasses or other ground covers
  • Other non-tree related item

Expenditures and reporting

Funding must be spent and projects completed within eighteen months (18) of grant approval. For projects which have received funding dollars, submission of receipts is required within 3 months of expenditures. The City reserves the right to reduce or reject a previously approved funding application if the required documentation is not submitted within three months of project completion. 

A final project report is due by May 1 in the year following project installation and must include the number of trees planted, an evaluation of your tree maintenance program, and photographs of the new plantings. Recipients must acknowledge the City’s support from the Schoolyard Tree Planting Grant program in any news articles or related promotional material related to the project. 

Follow-up inspections by Forestry Services staff may be conducted to verify the plant installation and use of appropriate maintenance techniques and to suggest appropriate measures if problems arise. After the tree is planted, it is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that the trees are watered and maintained to ensure healthy growth and establishment and that the trees will remain in their planted location.

Grant Evaluation Report (PDF)

Funding levels

The maximum grant funding level in any one year is $10,000. Grants may be awarded in funds (up to $500 per tree) or in trees supplied and planted by the City of Ottawa’s Forestry Services. No matching funding is required on the part of the applicant. The number of projects awarded each year is subject to the availability of City funds for this program. A limited number of schoolyard projects each planting season will be awarded with trees. The selection of these projects is at the discretion of Forestry Services.

For all project inquiries, please contact: 3-1-1

High Volume User Program

Save money and water with the City’s High Volume User (HVU) Program. The HVU Program offers rebates to property owners for installing eligible water efficient toilets, urinals, spray valves and commercial dishwashers and washing machines.

What are the benefits?

Inefficient use of water increases utility costs and places undue stress on the environment. These negative outcomes can often be avoided by retrofitting inefficient fixtures with devices which use less water while providing equal or superior performance. The HVU program aims to offset the costs when retrofitting water fixtures by providing rebates. Find out how these Ottawa organizations benefitted from the High Volume User Program:

  • Ottawa Community Housing Bank Street location cut $78,000 from its annual water bill
  • Osgoode Properties sees return on investment eight months after installing water efficient toilets
  • Ramphos Holdings Inc. saves money with water efficient toilets and washing machines

Are you eligible?

The business or facility must be built before 1996, located in the City of Ottawa and be either:

An industrial, commercial or institutional property consuming a minimum of  25,000 m3 of water per year


A multi-residential property with six or more units.

Ready to apply?

  1. Complete the Screening and Application form [ PDF - 196 KB].
  2. Before removing old fixtures and appliances, take photos of what is being replaced.
  3. Send completed form and photos for review to:

WaterWise Coordinator
City of Ottawa 
951 Clyde Avenue
Ottawa, ON K1Z 5A6

Once your application has been approved, you will receive more information about next steps.

Frequently asked questions

Which toilet should I purchase?

Review the maximum performance (MaP) testing information to ensure the toilets you are considering meet the HVUP criteria. Toilet selection will be reviewed by the City as part of the screening form review and approval process.

What dollar rebate values are available?

Qualifying applications may receive:

  • Toilets: $50 rebate for single-flush and dual flush high-efficiency toilets
  • Urinals: $60 rebate for 3.8L or less; $75 rebate for waterless urinals
  • Spray valves: 50% of the pre-tax price, to a maximum of $200
  • Commercial dishwashers and washing machines: 25% of the pre-tax price, to a maximum of $1,000

The total maximum rebate is $10,000 per tax roll number.

Is there a deadline for completing the work?

After a project is approved, applicants must complete the work within 18 months.


Contact the City of Ottawa at 3-1-1 or send an e-mail to:

High Volume User success stories

Find out how local property owners have benefitted from the High Volume User Program.

Ottawa Community Housing

In 2011, the Ottawa Community Housing Corporation (OCH) installed 144 water-efficient toilets at a facility located on Bank Street.

Water conserved: ~20,000 m3 of water/year
Rebate received: $7,200 rebate
Return on investment: 1 year
Annual savings: ~$78,000

Osgoode Properties

In 2011, Osgoode Properties installed 122 water-efficient toilets in their building.

Water conserved: ~14,000 m3 of water/year
Rebate received: $6,100 rebate
Return on investment: 8 months
Annual savings: ~$54,000

Ramphos Holdings Inc.

From 2011-2012, Ramphos Holdings Inc. installed 18 water-efficient toilets and 2 water-efficient washing machines.

Water conserved: ~400 m3 of water/year 
Rebate received: $1,643 rebate
Return on investment: Five years  
Annual savings: ~$1,500