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Protect your home from basement flooding

Basement flooding protection subsidy program

The City of Winnipeg and Province of Manitoba have introduced a subsidy program to help homeowners protect their basement from flooding caused by overloaded sewers during severe weather (e.g., heavy rain, high river levels).


Funding status

The 2014 Program is closed. We will continue to accept applications and when funding becomes available, we will continue to process applications in the order in which they were received.



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Subsidy for eligible installations
Category 1 – In-line backwater valve only
  • 60% of the invoiced cost, including eligible labour, materials, permit(s), and taxes, up to a maximum of $1,000
Category 2 – Sump pit drainage system only
  • 60% of the invoiced cost, including eligible labour, materials, permit(s), and taxes, up to a maximum of $2,000
Category 3 – Both in-line backwater valve and sump pit drainage system
  • 60% of the invoiced cost, including eligible labour, materials, permit(s), and taxes, up to a maximum of $3,000

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Subsidy conditions
  • Subsidies are provided one time only per property for each eligible installation.
  • Applications (including supporting documents) must be received by the City of Winnipeg Water and Waste Department, within one year of the date of final inspection by a City inspector.
  • Subsidies for eligible installations are subject to available funding and provided on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • To be eligible for labour costs, the invoice must show:
    • the address of the eligible installation,
    • the name of the contractor,
    • a cost breakdown of all charges, outlining in detail the eligible installation, and
    • the total amount paid, clearly marked as "paid in full".
  • Retail store receipts must clearly identify the materials being purchased.
  • The application form and invoices or receipts may be copies. We will not return your copies to you after we process your application.
  • The subsidy is not available to any homes that were required by Building or Plumbing Codes to have a backwater valve and/or sump pit drainage system installed at the time of construction, namely:
    • homes built since 1979, which were required to have backwater valves, and
    • homes built since 1990, which were required to have sump pits with pumps
  • All installations must be completed before the applicant applies for the subsidy.
  • The following are not eligible for the subsidy:
    • labour by the homeowner,
    • maintenance or replacement of an existing installation (e.g., replacing a non-functioning sump pump),
    • associated interior restorations or improvements (e.g., drywall, paint, cosmetic flooring),
    • associated exterior restorations or improvements (e.g., landscaping, gardening, sod, trees, porches, decks, concrete, asphalt), or
    • installation of a backflow device in a floor drain that is not an eligible in-line backwater valve as defined in the Manitoba Plumbing Code.
  • Incomplete applications will not be processed until all the information is received.
  • The property owner must sign and date the application form.

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Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the subsidy:

  • You must be the owner of a residential building (single-family home, duplex, multi-family home) serviced by a City wastewater sewer at the time of the eligible installation.
  • You must not have outstanding taxes or debts owed to the City of Winnipeg at the time your application is processed.
  • You must ensure that the required permits are taken out prior to installation.
  • Application must be received within one year of final inspection.
  • Any plumbing or electrical contractor you hire must be licensed by the City of Winnipeg.
  • You must ensure that appropriate permits are obtained from the Planning, Property and Development Department, and arrange for the necessary inspection of the eligible installation. The in-line backwater valve or sump pit drainage system must be installed to function as designed.
  • You must drain water collected in the sump pit drainage system in compliance with the Lot Grading By-law.

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Eligible labour costs

In-line backwater valve

Only labour costs from a plumbing contractor licensed by the City of Winnipeg are eligible for the subsidy.

  • The plumbing contractor must take out the plumbing permit and be responsible for the work to install the in-line backwater valve.
  • You must write the plumbing permit number on the application form.
  • The invoice must be from the plumbing contractor listed on the plumbing permit.

Sump pit drainage system

Installing a dedicated electrical circuit

Unless a dedicated electrical circuit for the sump pump already exists, it must be installed. An electrical permit is required for this installation. Only labour costs for this installation from an electrical contractor licensed by the City of Winnipeg are eligible for the subsidy.

  • An electrical contractor licensed by the City of Winnipeg must take out the electrical permit and be responsible for installing the dedicated electrical outlet.
  • You must write the electrical permit number on your application form.
  • The invoice must be from the electrical contractor listed on the electrical permit.

Installing the sump pit drainage system

This work may be done under either a plumbing permit (already required if you are having an in-line backwater valve installed) or a building permit. Only labour costs from a plumbing contractor licensed by the City of Winnipeg or a building contractor are eligible for the subsidy:

  • If you are hiring a plumbing contractor, the plumber must take out the plumbing permit and be responsible for installing the sump pit drainage system.
  • If you are hiring a building contractor, the contractor must take out a building permit and be responsible for installing the sump pit drainage system.
  • You must write the permit (either plumbing or building) number on your application form.
  • The invoice must be from the either the plumber or building contractor listed on the permit.

Please note – work done by the property owner is not eligible for the subsidy

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How to apply for the subsidy

Step 1

In-line backwater valve

Depending on the plumbing in your house, you may require one or more in-line backwater valves of either the normally open or normally closed type to properly protect your basement from flooding. We recommend that you consult with a plumbing contractor licensed by the City of Winnipeg for an assessment of the cost involved in installing any of the following eligible devices. For backwater valve installation requirements, see the Manitoba Plumbing Code.

An in-line backwater valve:

  • must be installed in your main sewer pipe or the basement branch line of your home so that it protects all fixtures below grade from sewer backup,
  • must close if sewage backs up from the main sewer, and
  • must be a Manitoba Plumbing Code approved device.
Backwater valve normally open
Backwater valve
normally open
backwater valve normally closed
Backwater valve
normally closed
Typical household backwater valve installation thumbnail image
Select image to view larger version of typical household backwater valve installations.

Examples of backflow devices that are installed in basement floor drains. These devices are not eligible for the subsidy.Note: Backflow devices installed in the floor drain protect only the floor drain, not any other basement plumbing. These devices are not eligible for the subsidy program.

Sump pit drainage system

Before hiring a contractor (e.g., plumbing, electrical, building), we recommend that you:

  • get at least three estimates (ask friends and neighbours for referrals),
  • ask for and check contractor references, and
  • call the Better Business Bureau for a reliability report on contractors.

Step 2

Ensure that appropriate permits are obtained from the Planning, Property and Development Department. The contractor must take out the permit(s) (e.g., plumbing, electrical, building). You will need to write the permit number(s) on your application.

Step 3

  • You must arrange for the necessary inspection of the eligible installation once the installation is complete. Your contractor may arrange the inspection for you.
  • Note: The final inspection must take place before enclosing or covering the eligible installation. If the inspector is not able to see if the installation meets the applicable Building Code requirements, he or she cannot sign off on the final inspection.

Step 4

If you are claiming labour costs performed by your contractor, obtain an itemized invoice from your contractor showing:

  • the address of the eligible installation,
  • the name and licence number of the contractor,
  • a cost breakdown of all charges, verifying installation of an in-line backwater valve approved by the Manitoba Plumbing Code and/or a sump pit drainage system, and outlining in detail the eligible installation that was done, and
  • the total amount paid and be clearly marked as "paid in full".

Step 5

Send in a Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy Program application form Adobe Acrobat icon indicating a pdf file that will open up in a new browser window. Close the new window to return to this page. (pdf - 50kb) Selecting this link will open the french version of this pdf file in a new browser window. Close the new window to return to this page. Icon indicating a pdf file which will open up a new browser window.. Forms are also available by contacting 311.

Step 6

Attach copies of invoices to the completed application form, and mail or drop off to:

Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy Program
City of Winnipeg, Water and Waste Department
110 - 1199 Pacific Avenue
Winnipeg, MB   R3E 3S8
Monday to Friday (except holidays) from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Step 7

We will review your application within four to six weeks of the date we receive it and send you a letter along with your original receipts advising you that we have:

  • approved your application (you will receive a cheque in the mail within 30 days), or
  • denied your application (we will explain why).

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For more information

Last updated: December 12, 2014

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