Drainage eReference Tool

Introduction to Drainage in Ontario

Drainage is the movement of water. Drainage occurs naturally through rivers, creeks, streams and other natural watercourses. Drainage is also enhanced through the construction of ditches, pipes and pumping systems, commonly referred to as "drains".

If you have a drainage question, concern or problem, this website may be able to direct you to a solution. To find the best solution for your specific situation, identify the type of drain you have and what type of concern you have.

This website includes information on:

  • What is a Municipal drain?
  • What is a Mutual agreement drain?
  • What is an Award drain?
  • What is a private drainage system and roadside ditch?
  • How do I find information on drainage options?
  • How to avoid them
  • How to handle them

The information contained in OMAFRA's eReference Tool is not authoritative. It was prepared for educational purposes only, and deals with complex matters in summary form. It is derived in part from the Drainage Act and its regulations and is subject to change. It is not meant to constitute legal advice, but merely summarizes select parts of legislation and the common law. Efforts have been made to make it as accurate as possible, but in the event of a conflict or inconsistency or an error or omission, take notice that the Act and its regulations prevail. Please refer to www.e-laws.gov.on.ca or the official volumes of the Act and its regulations printed by Publications Ontario in this regard.

The Government of Ontario assumes no liability for any inaccurate, delayed or incomplete information, or for any actions taken in direct or indirect reliance thereon. Prior to implementing any drainage changes to your property or operations, it is recommended that you seek advice from a lawyer or other professional advisor experienced in drainage matters as to your duties, requirements and obligations.


For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
E-mail: ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca
Author: OMAFRA Staff
Creation Date: 27 April 2011
Last Reviewed: 27 April 2011