Memoranda issued by Infrastructure and Water Services

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Information on the publication of memoranda

Memoranda issued by the City of Ottawa’s Senior Leadership Team to all Members of Council and the media will be published here when available. The memoranda are published on an ongoing basis as they become available and will remain online for a period of one year from the date of issuance.  Residents wishing to obtain copies of memoranda that are no longer available online should contact the relevant department through one of the City’s general inquiry processes.

In accordance with the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA), some attachments have not been proactively disclosed. If you are seeking an attachment that is not available online, please visit for information on filing an access to information request.

Memo: Structural Inspection at St-Laurent Station Tunnel (January 2, 2024)

To: Mayor and Members of City Council

From: Carina Duclos, Acting General Manager, Infrastructure and Water Services Department

The purpose of this memorandum is to provide an update to Mayor and Members of Council on the structural inspection at the St-Laurent Station on Tuesday, January 2, 2024. As outlined in the memo provided by Transit Services Department on January 2, the Infrastructure and Water Services Department (IWSD) was notified of pieces of concrete debris along the track and conducted a condition assessment to identify the cause. Following the preliminary assessment and out of an abundance of caution, IWSD engaged a structural engineering firm to conduct a detailed inspection.

Results from the inspection confirmed delamination, which is the separation of the paste layer at the surface, creating an unbonded layer with the main slab. With direction and oversight from the structural engineer, sounding and scaling was conducted by a contractor to remove the small concrete pieces that had separated from the main slab.

The St. Laurent Bus Rapid Transit Station was constructed in the mid 1980’s. The lower-level tunnel accommodates Light Rail Transit (LRT) and consists of a series of single span concrete rigid frame structures with the upper-level platform partially located on its deck surface. It is not uncommon to see delamination and scaling required in a structure of this age and with this level of complexity.

Required work concluded at approximately 4:15 pm and a report from the structural engineer deemed there are no hazards, and the structure is safe to resume service. As a result, O-Train Line 1 service resumed shortly before 5 pm.

IWSD will continue to conduct routine condition assessments of the structure. Transit Services and IWSD will collaborate to determine the appropriate schedule for these inspections.

Should you have any questions about this information, please contact me at extension 16507.


Carina Duclos
Acting General Manager
Infrastructure and Water Services Department

Memo: Infrastructure Master Plan Financial Update (December 5, 2023)

To: Mayor and Members of City Council

From: Tammy Rose, General Manager, Infrastructure and Water Services

The purpose of the memorandum is to provide an update on the financial implications in the Infrastructure Master Plan (IMP) and next steps. The IMP, initially scheduled for a Special Joint Planning and Housing and Environment and Climate Change Committee meeting November 23 was postponed. This postponement resulted from the Province’s announcement of the intent to introduce Bill 150, the Official Plan Adjustments Act, 2023.


The City’s Official Plan establishes the City’s goals, objectives and policies to guide growth and manage physical change to the year 2046, when the population is projected to rise to 1.4 million.

The Infrastructure Master Plan sets growth-related projects, policies, objectives, and priorities for municipal water, wastewater, and stormwater management infrastructure, supporting the City's New Official Plan. The IMP identifies major capital projects needed to meet growth needs to 2046.

Additionally, the IMP includes project funding and financing and identifies the percentage of project costs attributable to development charges and to City rate budgets. It also determines the approximate timing of expenditures based on the IMP’s priorities, objectives and growth patterns.

Given the recent introduction of Bill 150, the Official Plan Adjustments Act, 2023, and postponement of the Special Joint Planning and Housing and Environment and Climate Change Committee, circulating this memo ensures Council has up to date IMP financial information in their ongoing decision making and dialogue. The memo details the present state, acknowledging existing pressures and noting that the provincial proposal to remove expansion lands may impact capital costs outlined in the IMP for the period 2026-2046 but are yet to be determined.

Financial implications 

The total estimated cost of the growth-related upgrades in the IMP related to water and water services is $1.4 billion for the period 2023-2046 (excluding Tewin). This includes:

  • 26 proposed water distribution projects estimated to cost approximately $901 million; 
  • 37 wastewater collection projects estimated to cost approximately $742 million; and
  • Growth-related projects at ROPEC and at the Lemieux water purification plant are expected to cost approximately $376 million.

The $1.4 billion includes approximately $1.2 billion of development charfes and about $200 million in costs beneficial to the existing community.

Finance staff assessed the affordability of the IMP both from a ratepayer and development charge perspective. While projects needed to support new growth are funded from development charges, in some projects, there is a benefit provided to the existing community. Preliminary results indicate that the current level of funding from rate-supported budgets and development charge revenue are insufficient to cover all of the IMP’s capital costs.

Benefit to Existing (BTE) Ratepayers

Revenues related to the renewal of infrastructure assets and the share of growth costs that benefit existing ratepayers (BTE portion) are currently increased annually in line with the 2017 Long Range Financial Plan (LRFP) (ACS2017- CSD-FIN-0023). From a ratepayer perspective, to pay for the BTE portion, it is estimated that water/wastewater revenues would need to increase by an estimated $16 million annually (seven per cent) from the forecasted level of investment approved in the LRFP. The current funding plan cannot support the updated BTE portion of the IMP in addition to the targets previously set. Consequently, the IMP would necessitate rate increases beyond initial projections.

Development Charges

Development charges (DCs) also need to keep pace with growth needs to help keep the City affordable. While existing DCs in Ottawa are among the lowest in Ontario compared to other municipalities, the principle tenet of the DCs is to ensure growth needs are paid for by new growth, not by existing ratepayers.  The current level of development charge collections, taking into consideration the mandatory transition impacts from Bill 23, cannot support the IMP’s growth-related capital costs (excluding Tewin) that total $1.2 billion, in particular for water services. The total impact of mandatory discounting for water and wastewater development charges until 2046 is $54 million and $61 million, respectively. Financial funding options to improve affordability could include a combination of increasing water services development charge revenue, issuing debt, or deferring projects. The degree to which these funding levers would be applied, could potentially be reduced by funding from other levels of government. Consultation with the development industry during consideration of the IMP and the upcoming DC By-law update is critical to ensure that Ottawa remains a competitive place for housing development.


The cost to service the Tewin Community is approximately $618 million: $396 million for water and $222 million for wastewater and in accordance with Council direction needs to be funded by the development. These costs include costs related to oversizing Tewin’s infrastructure which will benefit growth areas outside of Tewin’s development, the magnitude of which has prompted further discussions about how and who will finance these project costs because the cost is incurred in advance of development.

For the $618 million to service Tewin, staff continue to work under the direction that Tewin will pay for Tewin, putting no additional burden on City finances. A total of $167 million of Tewin’s water and sewer costs are required to accommodate potential growth needs beyond the 2046 planning period. Although this oversizing of the water and wastewater infrastructure is cost-effective over the long term the cost must be financed in the near term. Annex 12 of the Official Plan indicates that oversizing costs associated with Tewin infrastructure are to be front-ended and covered by Tewin. However, given the size of these costs, size of the area for future potential growth that currently does not have an urban designation status in the Official Plan and multiple landowners that could potentially benefit from the provision of oversizing, discussions about how these costs will be financed remain on-going.

Next Steps

The IMP is anticipated to be presented for Council’s consideration in 2024. Discussions with Tewin are also ongoing to determine how best to finance oversizing costs associated with Tewin infrastructure. Future Development Charges By-Law will rely on the information and recommendations provided in the IMP, ensuring that water, wastewater, and stormwater management infrastructure needs, and funding strategies are aligned with the City's growth goals and policies.

An update to the Rate Long Range Financial Plan, expected in Q2 2025, will guide the overall rate revenue requirement, incorporating the pressures identified in the IMP and the Asset Management Plans to be completed, which will also identify capital asset renewal requirements and operating costs.

Additionally, staff continue to focus efforts on maximizing funding opportunities from various levels of government. This includes submitting future applications to the newly announced Building Faster Fund and Housing-Enabling Water Systems Fund aimed at supporting critical water infrastructure projects that enable housing development.

Staff are analyzing the impacts of removing the Provincially added urban expansion lands and plan for the impacts of legislative changes and the effects on the IMP. City staff will continue to identify key initiatives, projects, and costs essential for meeting the City’s growth needs and the goals of our provincial and federal partners. Collaborative efforts are critical to fostering a sustainable city for all residents.

If you have any questions, please reach out to Susan Johns, Director Asset Management, at or Isabelle Jasmin, Deputy City Treasurer, Corporate Finance at . We would be pleased to schedule a briefing with you.


Tammy A. M. Rose, P.Eng
General Manager
Infrastructure and Water Services

Memo: Infrastructure and Water Services and Ottawa Public Health: Clean Drinking Water Roles and Responsibilities (October 25, 2023)

To: Mayor and Members of City Council

From: Tammy Rose, General Manager, Infrastructure and Water Services and Dr. Vera Etches, Medical Officer of Health, Ottawa Public Health

The purpose of this memorandum is to provide an overview of the roles and responsibilities of Ottawa Public Health (OPH) and the Infrastructure and Water Services Department (IWSD) in safeguarding our community's access to clean drinking water.

Additionally, OPH and IWSD responded collaboratively to concerns raised by residents in the Richmond area regarding the water quality in some private wells. Below is an update on the investigation and its results.

Roles and Responsibilities

Municipal Drinking Water:

Infrastructure and Water Services Department

The Infrastructure and Water Services Department (IWSD) is responsible for the City’s municipal drinking water systems. The central system, which provides water to approximately 950,000 people, is supplied from the two drinking water treatment plants at Lemieux Island and Britannia. There are also six communal groundwater well systems in the communities of Carp, Munster Hamlet, Richmond (Kings Park), Richmond West, Greely (Shadow Ridge) and Vars.

In Ontario, municipal drinking water is governed by the Safe Drinking Water Act, 2002, and the Ontario Water Resources Act, 1990, which are both regulated by the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP).

The Ontario Safe Drinking Water Act, 2002, has five elements working together to provide a consistent approach for all drinking water treatment systems across the province, namely:

  • Robustly designed and well-maintained water treatment and water distribution infrastructure.
  • The Drinking Water Quality Management System, providing the essential framework to ensure transparency and oversight of our drinking water system.
  • Water systems and teams who work within it must be licensed and permitted.
  • Careful monitoring and testing to ensure quality and compliance.
  • Annual Reporting to the MECP and to City Council, to demonstrate full accountability.
Ottawa Public Health

Under the Health Protection and Promotion Act, Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is mandated to investigate health hazard complaints, which can include complaints regarding contamination of groundwater feeding private wells. OPH also has a responsibility to:

  • Work with the City and other partners to develop plans for responding to water quality emergencies or infrastructure failures.
  • Educate the public about safe drinking water practices and encourage private well users to sample their drinking water.
  • Issue advisories or warnings to the public in cases of waterborne disease outbreaks or other health concerns related to drinking water.

OPH and IWSD are closely integrated and collaborate to achieve these objectives.

Ministry of Environment, Parks and Conservation: Private Wells

The Ministry of Environment, Parks and Conservation (MECP) has legislative and regulatory authority over private well water in Ontario. There are over 50,000 private wells in the Ottawa area. Well owners are responsible for ensuring water from their wells is safe to drink, and their wells are not contaminating the groundwater. Wells must be properly designed and maintained to ensure drinking water is safe.

Infrastructure and Water Services Department: Wastewater

Ottawa's wastewater collection system gathers wastewater from homes, businesses, and industrial sites, transporting it to trunk sewers through a network of sewers, pumping stations and forcemains. The wastewater then flows to the Robert O. Pickard Environmental Centre for treatment.

In Ontario, municipal wastewater is governed by the Environmental Protection Act, 1990 and the Ontario Water Resources Act, 1990, which are both regulated by the MECP. The City also adheres to the Canada Fisheries Act, 1985 requirements.

Sewer maintenance activities include inspections and monitoring to ensure that municipal infrastructure is in a state of good repair and that the environment is protected.

In the rural areas, a variety of collection methods are used:

  • Richmond, Munster Hamlet, and Carp are connected to the municipal trunk system.
  • Elsewhere, individual septic systems, which are the responsibility of the property owner, are used and the contents are transported to the Robert O. Pickard Centre for treatment.

Update on Private Well Water Quality in Richmond

Following up on concerns from residents in the Richmond area regarding water quality in private wells, OPH, IWSD and the MECP undertook an investigation.

As part of this investigation, OPH reviewed over 2000 private well water results from Public Health Ontario Laboratory test results from the Richmond area dating back to August 2017. OPH found that the current results from Richmond are typical of what one would expect from private well systems elsewhere in the broader area. Put another way, the Richmond private well test results are not triggering any alerts that there may be private well problems that are linked (share a common cause).

Results with total coliform or E. coli findings showed no geographic clustering. Specifically, any sampling results showing E. coli were sporadic and transient, which would not be consistent with sewage contamination of ground water. OPH has reviewed reports of laboratory-confirmed enteric diseases of public health significance across Ottawa and found no evidence of higher-than-expected rates or clustering in Richmond.

Regular closed-circuit television (CCTV) inspections by IWSD are conducted on sanitary pipes to ensure there are no leaks or exfiltration. Additional inspections were carried out in response to residents’ concerns and no issues were found.

At a drop-in information session for the community in August 2023, IWSD and OPH provided information and answered questions about well water testing processes and results. OPH also hosted an information booth at the Richmond Fair in September 2023 to further provide residents an opportunity to ask questions and learn about well water sampling.

The MECP recently assessed several private wells in the vicinity of the Richmond Pump Station and found some homes were not in conformance with the Ministry’s well maintenance requirements. As a result, the MECP followed up with property owners, who are responsible for ensuring their wells are properly maintained at all times to ensure a safe and reliable source of drinking water.

Moreover, the MECP’s assessment of analytical results from drinking water well sampling in the area showed no indication of a spill or discharge from the sewage systems related to the Richmond Pump Station.

The MECP has provided guidance to residential well owners about proper well maintenance, including instructions for well and plumbing disinfection, and general tips to protect their wells from naturally occurring sources of potential contamination.

There has been no evidence to suggest any sewage contamination has taken place. As a result, OPH’s and IWSD’s investigation of this complaint has been concluded.



Tammy A.M. Rose, P. Eng,
General Manager
Infrastructure and Water Services Department

Dr. Vera Etches
Medical Officer of Health
Ottawa Public Health

Memo: Infrastructure and Water Services: Flood Update (August 15, 2023)

To: Mayor and Members of City Council

From: Tammy Rose, General Manager, Infrastructure and Water Services

The purpose of this memorandum is to provide Council with an update on the Infrastructure and Water Services Department's (IWSD) flood response and next steps.


On August 10, Ottawa faced a severe rain event that caused power outages and localized flooding. The rain's intensity surpassed our storm sewers' capacity, leading to surface flooding, especially in older areas of the city, such as Wards 8, 9, 16, 17, and 18.

IWSD Flooding Response

IWSD has certified operators responsible for monitoring the water systems 24 hours per day, seven days a week to maintain continuous and reliable operation, even during emergencies.

  • Immediate response: Our front-line teams addressed 176 basement flood- related calls and maintained continuous operation of the City’s water and wastewater treatment plants.
  • Data collection and community feedback: Feedback and data from the community are valuable to us, and we have been proactively reaching out to Councillors in the most impacted areas. We encourage Councillors to reach out to us at any time to share flooding locations, impacts and other concerns.
  • Engineering analyses and risk assessments: Data and information from this recent storm will be used to prioritize sewer renewal projects. Previous flooding incidents and future flood risks are important criteria for informing the risk assessment and annual prioritization of the City’s infrastructure renewal program. In some cases, we have identified targeted flood mitigation projects and programs, such as the Combined Sewage Storage Tunnel ($232 million), Sandy

Hill storage tank ($19.8 million), West End Flood mitigation ($32.5 million), and Orleans Flood Mitigation ($5 million).

Water Infrastructure Planning

Aligning with the Climate Resiliency strategy, IWSD is planning for the impacts of climate change and continues to build resiliency into the City's water infrastructure. Upcoming plans include:

  • The Infrastructure Master Plan (IMP) – The IMP will be presented to Council for consideration this fall. The IMP will play a pivotal role in setting the direction for growth-related infrastructure, focusing on water, wastewater and stormwater management policies, ensuring that future critical infrastructure is resilient to changing climate and weather patterns.
  • Asset Management Plans (AMP) - By Q2 2025, IWSD will be tabling a report to Council on wastewater, stormwater, drinking water and transportation Asset Management Plans as per the provincial regulations. These reports will identify future infrastructure renewal needs that will also incorporate climate change considerations and other sustainability goals. The AMPs will serve as inputs into the City’s next Long Range Financial Plan for water, wastewater and stormwater.

We recognize the overwhelming stress and anxiety caused by flooding, and the intense feeling of vulnerability that can follow. We are committed to working with Council, residents and business to improve our City’s infrastructure.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact Susan Johns, Director, Asset Management Services, at extension 16003.


Tammy A. M. Rose, P.Eng

General Manager

Infrastructure and Water Services Department

Memo: Infrastructure Master Plan (May 18, 2023)

To: Mayor and Members of City Council

From: Tammy Rose, General Manager, Infrastructure and Water Services

The purpose of this memorandum is to provide Members of Council with an update on the Infrastructure Master Plan (IMP), upcoming milestones, key policy considerations and next steps.


The Infrastructure Master Plan, sets growth-related policies, objectives, and priorities for municipal water, wastewater, and stormwater management infrastructure, supporting the City's New Official Plan.

A critical aspect of the updated IMP involves new strategies and programs to manage the impacts of increasing rates of intensification and ensure efficient and sustainable servicing solutions.

The IMP also identifies major capital projects that will achieve expected levels of service for new greenfield communities and help to maintain or improve service levels in existing communities. Infrastructure needs and cost forecasts will be identified based on the 2046 Official Plan horizon and will inform the 2024 City Development Charges By-law update.

The Infrastructure Master Plan programs and projects consider potential social, environmental, and economic impacts and opportunities to implement the City’s Climate Change Master Plan.

Among many important elements, the IMP is crucial because it:

  • Reinforces and supports Official Plan policies
  • Offers clear guidance for infrastructure planning approvals
  • Incorporates climate change considerations
  • Aligns with Asset Management Plans

Key Policies and Program Recommendations

When previous Infrastructure Master Plans were developed, there was generally sufficient capacity within local municipal water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure to serve projected intensification growth. With the significant increase in intensification projected through the new Official Plan, local capacity upgrades need to be identified, planned, and implemented. Currently, any local capacity issues identified through the development review process are addressed case-by-case.

Prior to the passage of Bill 23, intensification or redevelopment applications involving 1 to 3 dwelling units were not subject to Site Plan Control requirements, including on-site stormwater management and verification of adequate off-site water and sanitary sewage capacity. Bill 23 exempts applications up to 10 dwelling units from Site Plan Control.

To address the above issues, the IMP will include the following recommendations:

  • Develop a program aimed at addressing local infrastructure capacity challenges and supporting the demands of urban intensification. This program will focus on proactive measures to optimize the utilization of existing infrastructure while identifying and implementing necessary upgrades at the local level.
  • Establish a program to extend stormwater management requirements to encompass smaller redevelopment projects that are not subject to Site Plan Control.

Stakeholder and Public Consultations

We have engaged with various stakeholders throughout the process, including the development industry and Community Associations.

Public feedback on preliminary policy and program recommendations was solicited through the Engage Ottawa Infrastructure Master Plan webpage from May 20 to July 15, 2022.

On June 14, 2023, the project team will host a public consultation meeting covering the full scope of the draft plan, including major capital project requirements, revised draft policies, a Stormwater Management Strategy, and updated information on the proposed programs.

Upcoming Milestones

  • IMP Public Engagement Event – June 14, 2023
  • Joint Planning and Housing Committee and Environment and Climate Change Committee meeting and Council consideration of the Infrastructure Master Plan – Fall 2023

Next Steps:

After the June 14 public engagement session, staff will review and consider the feedback received to inform the draft final Infrastructure Master Plan which will be considered by Committee and Council in Fall 2023.

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to Christopher Rogers, Program Manager, Infrastructure Planning, at or 613-580-2424 at extension 27785. We would be pleased to schedule a briefing with you.


Tammy A. M. Rose, P.Eng

General Manager

Infrastructure and Water Services Department

Memo: Significant Weather Event Update: IWSD’s Response and Impacts (April 6, 2023)

To: Mayor and Members of Council

From: Tammy Rose, General Manager, Infrastructure and Water Services

Following the significant weather event on Wednesday, April 5, 2023, this memorandum is to update Council on the City’s water and wastewater operational response.

Since yesterday, some of the City’s water and wastewater facilities experienced power interruptions, I can confirm, there are no impacts on drinking water quality. Infrastructure and Water Services Department (IWSD) has proactive measures in place for these types of events. In anticipation of utility power interruptions, critical processes are transferred to backup emergency generators at the outset of significant weather events to ensure continuity of operations.

Water Treatment Plants

Throughout the weather event, the two drinking water treatment plants, Lemieux and Britannia, worked in tandem to provide continuous clean and safe drinking water. All of the City’s drinking water pumping stations and six communal well systems also functioned as intended and without any service interruptions.

Wastewater Treatment Plant

The Robert O. Pickard Environmental Centre (ROPEC), located at 800 Green Creek Road, is the City of Ottawa’s wastewater treatment plant. The facility receives and treats wastewater from across the city before discharging treated effluent to the Ottawa River, ensuring it is safe for the environment. 

On April 5, 2023, at approximately 4:00 pm, ROPEC lost utility power, and it was restored on April 6, 2023 at approximately 3:30 pm. During the utility power outage, critical processes were powered by diesel generators to continue to treat wastewater, though at a partially reduced quality. The plant operations responded as expected; however, when the treatment quality is impacted, the Regulations classify this as a by-pass, and staff have reported the event to the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks.

It is important to note that ROPEC is located downstream of the City’s two drinking water treatment plants and therefore, there was no impact to the City’s drinking water.

We have been in contact with our partners in the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks, as well as Ottawa Public Health and municipalities immediately downstream from the outfall.

Wastewater treatment is a highly regulated industry, and we continue to follow all regulations to ensure our wastewater is safe.

Laporte Sanitary Pumping Station

The Laporte Sanitary Pumping Station, located at 1056 Laporte Street, lost utility power on April 5, 2023, at 3:18 pm, for approximately 25 minutes, until staff were able to bring a portable generator onsite to restore power.

During the utility power outage, the pumping station overflowed to the local storm sewer. As a result, approximately 10 cubic meters of sewage spilled into the storm sewer. Staff immediately responded and attempted to prevent the discharge and clean up the spill. This station does not currently have an installed backup generator but a capital project is underway to install a permanent backup power system and other upgrades.

A review will also be undertaken to determine the cause of the spill and find opportunities to mitigate or eliminate future occurrences.

The spill has been reported to the Ministry of the Environment, Parks and Climate Change.

Next Steps

Staff will continue to monitor all facilities over the weekend. We continue to work with our partners in the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks, Ottawa Public Health and Hydro Ottawa.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of the IWSD staff who stepped up and worked diligently to ensure that the City was able to supply clean, safe drinking water to our community and to ensure wastewater continued to flow without backups, and be treated as well, given these challenging circumstances.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact Gen Nielsen, Director, Water Facilities and Treatment Service, at extension 12686 or Marilyn Journeaux, Director, Water Linear and Customer Service, at extension 21528.

Tammy A. M. Rose, P.Eng

General Manager

Infrastructure and Water Services Department