home Facebook Twitter LinkedIn YouTube RSS Feed

Sewage Water Alleviation Program (SWAP)

Policies and Procedures
Retroactive to July 31, 2004

The City of Welland is offering a Grant Program to residents. SWAP works to provide funding for the installation of devices which provide basement flooding protection.  A funding allocation to a maximum of $6,000 is available to assist the Homeowner with the improvements.  The work done is between the Homeowner and their Contractor.  The Homeowner is responsible for the on-going operation and maintenance of the devices.

Please read these Policies and Procedures including the attached Application Form carefully before making formal application.  It is imperative every Homeowner seeking funding under the Program understands the extent and requirements of the Program thoroughly, including the requirement to sign a statement releasing the City from all claims resulting from works carried out under this Grant Program.

Please note: Existing foundation drains/weeping tiles and sewer laterals which are plugged or blocked may be a contributing factor to basement flooding, unrelated to sewage backup.  If plugged drains/tiles or sewer laterals are discovered upon excavation for disconnection, or at any time, the Homeowner will be responsible to decide if repairs or new pipes are necessary and will be responsible for the cost of the related work.

Only the works listed below and those considered at the discretion of Infrastructure and Development Services are ELIGIBLE for submission of a Grant request. 

  1. Installation of a suitably sized, normally open, backwater valve (with clear cover, if available) inside the residence to prevent sewage flows from backing up into a basement.   The backwater valve by Mainline Backflow Products Inc. is currently one of the only backwater valves that complies with Article of the O.B.C. and is approved for installation in a mainline sewer or building drain.  The company is based in Edmonton at toll free (877) 734-8691 and has good information on their website at http://www.backwatervalve.com/#.  The product is distributed locally by most plumbing supply companies. 
  2. Installation of a sump basin complete with sump pump*, discharge piping* must be installed in accordance with article
    • “The discharge pipe from every pumped storm sewage sump shall be equipped with,
      1. a union and a check valve installed in that sequence in the direction of discharge and pumped to above grade level, or
      2. a union, a check valve and a shut-off valve installed in that sequence in the direction of discharge.”
    The electrical connections* (including Electrical Permit and Inspections, if necessary), and battery back-up power* (*MATERIALS MUST BE CSA APPROVED). Please note a battery charger is not required under this Program, and if a Homeowner chooses to install one, the Homeowner is fully responsible to ensure it is installed correctly and is suitable for interior use. Certain battery chargers have been reported to emit carbon monoxide fumes.
    Sump pump discharge must be in accordance with article
    • “Where gravity drainage is not practical, a covered sump with an automatic pump shall be installed to discharge the water into a sewer, drainage ditch or dry well.
    • Covers for sump pits shall be,
      1. designed to resist removal by children, and
      2. sealed in accordance with Sentence
    • Sump pit covers shall be sealed to maintain continuity of the air barrier system.”
  3. Disconnection of pipe connections from the foundation drain/weeping tile to the sanitary drainage system which aggravates basement flooding.  (Program pre-requisite)
  4. Disconnection of downspouts to prevent direct or indirect discharge to the sanitary sewer, if so connected.  (Program pre-requisite)
  5. Sewer lateral/weeping tile connection tracing by camera or other means.
  6. Installation of a clean-out if required.  (Note:  One should be present in each household).
  7. Associated excavation, sawcutting, backfilling, and basement concrete floor re-instatement necessary for the installation of the Program elements. Program may also include other reasonable associated restoration costs such as interior finishes (drywall, paint and finish flooring) and exterior repairs (landscaping, flowerbeds, seeding, sodding, trees, porches, decks, driveways, sidewalks, concrete or asphalt re-instatement).

City sketch X-08 and Mainline Drawings 1-5 show a typical sump pump and backwater valve installation (attached).

The maximum funding allocation of up to $6,000 is to assist Homeowners with the installation of backwater valves and specified other equipment and work that are required for a proper installation.  This would also include a sump pump with battery backup and disconnection of the foundation drains from the sanitary drainage system.  The upset value of $6,000 was based on contact with local Contractors and Homeowners who have already done the work.

  1. Contact Infrastructure and Development Services – Building Services Technician who is the SWAP Program Project Co-Ordinator – 905-735-1700, Extension 2317 to discuss the Program.  The Project Co-Ordinator will review your situation and advise you if you may be eligible for the SWAP Program.
  2. If it is determined that you may be eligible for the Program, the attached Application Form must be completed and submitted.  At this point, the Project Co-Ordinator will arrange a satisfactory time with you to view your property for a pre-work site inspection, if necessary.
  3. At the pre-work site inspection, City representatives will review the general installation with you and given the characteristics of your home and property will advise you of what work is eligible for funding under this Program.  There may be a video inspection provided by the City.  This information will be indicated on the Application Form, and a copy will be left in your possession.  The form will list the eligible works for the Contractor’s use to help itemize costs.
  4. You will then need to obtain and submit two (2) written quotations for the eligible works from two (2) Contractors you are prepared to hire.  It is your responsibility to find suitable Contractors as is usual with any work on private property.  Only works identified in the pre-work inspection will be eligible, the Contractor must not quote on restoration items not covered in the Program.  Two (2) completed quotes from two (2) different Contractors MUST be submitted to the Project Co-Ordinator for review.
  5. The Project Co-Ordinator will then discuss the options available with you, e.g. to have the work done by a Contractor (lowest quotation submitted), or by yourself, or by a Contractor and yourself working together.  If you intend on working with a Contractor to reduce costs, the Contractor must price the complete job as if you are employed by the Contractor.  The Program will only provide funds based on the lowest quotation submitted.  If you prefer the Contractor with the higher quotation, you will be required to fund the difference. 
  6. Once you and the Project Co-Ordinator have established the most acceptable approach and costs, permission will be given to proceed with the eligible works, but only after the appropriate Plumbing Permit has been issued.
  7. The Municipality will not supervise or be responsible for the work other than to inspect the plumbing and related works to ensure that they are installed in accordance with the Building Code.  You will oversee the work as is usual when private residence work is carried out, and are ultimately responsible for its satisfactory completion.  The Project Co-Ordinator and Building/Plumbing Inspectors will be available for consultation on technical concerns, however remember you will be hiring the Contractor who will be working for you as Owner of the property and building. 
  8. REQUIRED INSPECTIONS – Pre-work, backwater valve, weeping tile disconnection, sump pump connection, final.   It is the responsibility of you or your Contractor to schedule the inspections with the City well in advance of the intention to backfill or cover.
  9. Once all of the Program work has been done and you are content that your Contractor has completed everything to your satisfaction, you must submit the completed Application Form along with all other relevant documentation (original quotations, bills and invoices) to the Project Co-Ordinator.  Please note that you MUST sign the release portion of the Application Form before your Grant will be processed, so please ensure you read it carefully in advance of proceeding with the Program.
  10. This information will be reviewed to ensure that only costs associated with the eligible works are funded.  A Grant will then be issued to you in the form of payment for all costs deemed eligible to a maximum of $6,000 per home.  All efforts will be made to evaluate these forms and issue cheques in a timely manner.  You will then pay the Contractor. 
  11. If the cost of work exceeds the maximum allotted funding of $6,000, you will be responsible to fund the amount in excess of $6,000.

BACKWATER VALVE MAINTENANCE AND INSPECTION:  You as Owner are responsible for preventative maintenance including regular inspection to ensure proper operation and maintenance for the backwater valve and sump pump.  Please refer to manufacturers recommendations.   Regular inspection of the Mainline Valve is facilitated with the clear cover.

A Grant shall not exceed $6,000 per residence.  A Grant will only be awarded for the amount outlined on the Application Form submitted and the documentation such as bills for Contractor’s work, labour and materials used to complete the eligible works.  Two (2) Contractor quotations will form the basis of evaluation even if the work is to be carried out by the Homeowner. 

Both the disconnection of foundation drains with sump discharge to surface (if required) AND the installation of backwater valve MUST be completed before the Grant is released.  The Application does not necessarily have to cover both works since one or the other items may have been previously installed, or may not be required.

Downspouts must also be disconnected from below ground discharge as appropriate to the individual situation.



  • Preliminary contact with the Project Co-Ordinator 
  • Application submitted 
  • Pre-work inspection with City
  • Review Application/inspection report
  • Search out prospective Contractors
  • Obtain and submit two (2) quotations on eligible works 
  • Select approach and agree on cost
  • Receive permission to proceed under Program
  • Discuss and agree on work with Contractor
  • Obtain Plumbing Permit
  • Begin work
  • Schedule inspections with City
  • Work completed
  • Submit documentation for Grant processing
  • Grant awarded to Homeowner
  • Payment to Contractor by Homeowner
  • Maintain equipment (responsibility of Homeowner)

In some cases Homeowners may have completed the installation of a Mainline Fullport Backwater Valve prior to finalization of this Program.  While it is not the intention of the City to disqualify such Homeowners from the Program, documentation must be supplied by the Homeowner and sufficient inspections performed to satisfy the City the required work has been completed satisfactorily and reasonable costs were incurred.

Homeowners will be asked to complete an Application form as usual, and the process will proceed as closely as is possible in accordance with procedures established for work that has not already been completed.  If a required sump pump has not been installed or if the weeping tile has not been disconnected from the sanitary drainage piping, such work must be done and inspected to qualify for any funding under the Program.

January 1, 2019

Information and Forms (Attached)


For further information, please contact any one of the following people at City Hall during regular business hours (8:30am - 4:30pm) at 905-735-1700:

SWAP Project Co-Ordinator - ext. 2317

Building/Plumbing Inspectors - ext. 2257 or 2251 (for inspections 24-48 hours notice required)