Inflow and Infiltration Reduction Program
As per the Halifax Water Rules and Regulations [PDF] discharging stormwater into the Halifax Water separated wastewater system is illegal in the Halifax Regional Municipality. The Regulatory Services Department of Halifax Water manages the Inflow and Infiltration (I&I) Reduction Program.
The goal of the I&I Reduction Program is to reduce stormwater inflow and infiltration from private properties from entering into Halifax Water’s wastewater system.
The I&I Reduction Program:
- identifies, investigates, and prioritizes areas of significant inflow and infiltration
- requires private properties to make repairs to address these issues
Investigation techniques performed by the Halifax Water I&I team include:
- flow monitoring
- smoke testing
- dye testing
- Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) videos
- property inspections
Where inflow and infiltration are found, the property owner is required to perform actions to fix the problem(s), within a specified timeframe, to bring the property into compliance. Not complying with this requirement may result in suspension of service and/or other penalties.
What do I need to fix?
It is your responsibility as a property owner to manage the stormwater generated on your property and prevent stormwater inflow and infiltration from entering the Halifax Water wastewater system.
You are required to disconnect/repair those fixtures that are directly connected to the wastewater system or are allowing leakage into the wastewater system such as:
- sump pumps and interior drains connected to the wastewater pipe in your basement including connection of these to a set tub or floor drain
- roof downspouts that extend underground and connect to the underground wastewater pipe
- foundation drains (weeping tile) connected to the underground wastewater pipe
- damaged/leaking wastewater lateral caused by roots, poor joints, cracks, etc.
- clean-out caps that are missing or damaged and allowing stormwater to flow into the wastewater pipe (these clean outs may be found in your basement floor or outdoors in your yard)
- exterior area drains such as French drains in the yard, driveway drains, and exterior stairwell/window drains that are connected to the interior sewer plumbing in your building or to underground wastewater system
Ideally, stormwater should be dissipated across your property, allowing it to flow across the surface and soak into the ground. Roof drains, sump pumps, and foundation drains should be directed to your yard where possible. You need to ensure this does not cause drainage issues on your property or neighbouring properties and will not cause icing concerns on private and public properties during the winter months.
In areas of Halifax where piped stormwater systems exist, you may contact Halifax Water to get a permit to connect your stormwater sources to the underground stormwater system.
You may want to engage a qualified professional (contractor, plumber, or engineer) to help you assess your options about how to best handle your property’s stormwater.
BC Capital Regional District, I&I Reduction Program (including video series)
Downspout Disconnection “Do-It Yourself”, City of Toronto Downspout Disconnection Program
Institute of Catastrophic Loss – Basement Flooding Handbook – Flood Reduction Options [PDF]
Insurance Bureau of Canada – Flooding and Sewer Backups – Backwater Valves [PDF]
Better Business Bureau – Request Estimate from Trustworthy Businesses