Backwater Valves

Backflow Prevention Device is all part of the Protective Plumbing Program featuring the Full Port Back Water Valve.

Protect your home from sewage backup in basement with a sewer backwater valve installation.

Backwater Valve

Many homeowners in Ottawa and Kanata have had the unfortunate experience of city sewage backup into their basements causing thousands in home damages (not to mention the disgusting clean up & smell).

What most homeowners in Ottawa and Kanata don’t know is that the city is now offering a Protective Plumbing Grant that covers 50% to 100% of the cost of having a Protective Plumbing Device (called: mainport back water valve or back flow valve or backflow preventer valve) installed in your home. (applications and City links at the bottom of this page)

Even if you don’t live in the area most heavily effected by sewage backup you could still qualify for a Grant (Residential Compassionate Grant) for homeowners who experience repetitive sewage backup in their homes.

We are writing to compliment your staff for their pleasant and professional demeanour when they did some work for us. This involved the installation of backwater valves to prevent future flooding of our home from city storm sewage backups.

The initial onsite inspection was done by Jamie, and he, along with Dan and one other person, did the installations. We found them to be competent, courteous and patient, and it seems the work was done well — no storm sewer backups this summer.

We also appreciated the prompt and friendly treatment we received whenever we had to call your office regarding the project. It was a pleasure to deal with all of you and we are certainly prepared to have you do other work for us if and when the occasion arises.

Dennis Gruending & Martha Wiebe

The following information has been provided by the City of Ottawa explaining what a plumbing protective device is, how it works, who these grants are for and how to go about applying for a protective plumbing device grant. Additional information provided by Francis Plumbing & Heating has been highlighted in green.

Grants for Protective Plumbing Devices

What is Protective Plumbing?

Protective plumbing describes the devices and/or means used to protect homeowners against the entry of wastewater into basements resulting from a main sewer backup such as the main full-port back water valve or water flow valve (also called a backflow preventer valve, backwater check valve, and drain backflow preventer). When these devices are installed properly, in accordance with site-specific needs, they stop the back flow of waste-water and can significantly reduce the potential of sewage backup in basement causing flooding.

Protective plumbing methods can range from the installation of sump pumps and reconfiguration of footing drainage to the installation of an approved full-port backwater valve / backflow valves (backflow preventer valve, drain backflow preventer or backwater check valve) on the building’s sanitary drain connected to the main City sewer.

The proper fit of protective plumbing is determined through the careful investigation of site-specific needs, and requires building permits and plumbing inspections to ensure installation in accordance with building code requirements.

The improper use or installation of protective plumbing may only aggravate an existing problem. Please check with the City before undertaking these measures to ensure a full understanding of Bylaw and permit requirements, and to ensure that any proposed work will actually help resolve your problems.

The City of Ottawa’s “Residential Protective Plumbing Program” can provide financial assistance toward a portion of the costs of the installation of protective plumbing backwater valve for some eligible property owners.

Is protective plumbing an effective means of preventing a basement flood?

Protective plumbing backwater valves (also called backflow preventer valves) helps to protect against sewer backups resulting from sewer surcharges and main sewer blockages. Sewer mains can’t always handle the extra water flow (sewage surcharge) caused by spring run-off and heavy rains. When these events occur suddenly, back-flow valves and drain backflow preventers help to prevent the entry of waste-water into the residential sewer lateral.

Protective plumbing offers little protection against flooding that results from the damage or blockage of a sewer lateral on the homeowner’s property where the waste-water flow from the residence is the source of the flooding.

Maintenance of Protective Plumbing Devices

Protective Plumbing devices require periodic maintenance and should be kept free of debris to maintain operational efficiency. Regular maintenance of these devices is important to ensure that they continue to work as intended. Consult with the manufacturer’s recommendations and your installer for additional information on this topic. Francis Plumbing can help you with the ongoing maintenance of your backflow preventer valve on your home sewer system.

Definitions

The following terms are commonly referred to when talking about sewers:

  • Foundation drainage or footing drainage – describes the underground and surface water (groundwater) that makes its way to a     building’s foundation and footings, which is collected and drained away from the building to the City’s drainage and sewer networks.
  • Sanitary sewage – waste-water typically from toilets, showers and sink drains
  • Storm water run-off or drainage – wet weather run-off collected around roads, parks, rooftops, private property and building footing drains
  • Sump pump – a device located in a pit in your basement to pump water from your foundation drainage system to the surface or the City’s storm sewer main
  • Backwater valve – a valve that permits flow in one direction but prevents a return of flow in the opposing direction.
  • Sewer mains, which are the public sewers on City property, can be three different types:
  • Combined sewer” – a City sewer system that collects and sends municipal sewage (sanitary sewage), intercepted surface storm water runoff, and foundation drainage, all within a single pipe.
  • Partially separated sewer” – a City sewer system that consists of a storm runoff drainage system that collects and conveys intercepted surface runoff, and a separate sanitary sewer system that receives and conveys municipal sewage as well as foundation drainage and some driveway and surface drainage.
  • Separated sewer” – means a City sewer system in which municipal sewage is collected and conveyed through a sanitary sewer pipe network, and surface storm water runoff and foundation drainage is collected and conveyed through a separate storm runoff drainage system.

The Residential Protective Plumbing Grant, what is it?

The Residential Protective Plumbing Grant Program offers homeowners in flood prone areas, the opportunity to have their protective plumbing requirements evaluated by a City of Ottawa representative and obtain grants to offset the cost of protective measures required to prevent basement and cellar flooding.

Who is eligible for the grant program?

To be eligible for the Residential Protective Plumbing Program, the following must be satisfied:

  • Applicant must be the property owner
  • Property must be:
    • Residential
    • Located in the City of Ottawa
    • Served by City sewers
    • Built prior to January 1, 2004 for protective plumbing work related to the private storm sewer services
    • Built prior to January 1, 2012 for protective plumbing work related to private sanitary sewer services
  • Protective plumbing device(s) considered as part of the rebate application shall not be installed for the purposes of maintaining, repairing or replacing existing protective plumbing device(s)
  • Property taxes must be current

Retroactive eligibility – October 2017 flooding
To address October 2017 flooding impacts, Council has approved retroactive eligibility for flooded properties to apply to the Residential Protective Plumbing Program, where protective plumbing devices were installed prior to receiving Part 1 application approval from the City.

To be eligible to apply, the property must have been flooded during the October 29 to October 30 flooding event, and the property owner must have installed an approved device between October 31, 2017 and March 31, 2018.

The application must be received on or before December 31, 2018, and is required to meet all remaining criteria of the Residential Protective Plumbing Program.

Note: The application may be modified to address additional work identified as part of the Site Review.

How can I apply for a grant?

Homeowners who are eligible for the program, must submit an application to the City of Ottawa and obtain approval for the grant before undertaking any of the work. The application form (which comes in 2 parts) can be applied online for part 1 and part 2 or picked up in person at a Client Service Centre or provided by a program representative. Refer to “For more information”.

NOTE: Francis Plumbing can provide you with a free* in-home quote if you plan on doing the backwater valve installation without participating in the City Grant program or if you already have your drawings completed by another plumbing company.

* Please note that the quote is free but not the technicial drawings as required by the City Grant Program or the camera inspection. If we have to create the technical drawing then there is a charge for the technicial drawings application (you only need one set of drawings, so if you are getting multiple quotes you only need to pay one company to create these documents for you).

Does anything have to be included with my application?

Grant application will not be processed unless they contain the following information:

  • “Proof of ownership” such as, a copy of the registered deed or transfer of land or tax bill confirming the applicant as the registered owner of the property;
  • “Proof of flooding” such as a letter or statement from the Insurance Company to provide information regarding the date and extent of the basement or cellar flooding (if applicable).
  • The applicant’s signature to acknowledge the terms and conditions of the program and to provide permission for City of Ottawa Representatives to conduct inspections and investigations on the homeowner’s property.

How much will the City pay? 

How much are the rebates?

Item Maximum Rebate Amount
Permit $80 (current Building Permit fee)
Closed-circuit television video (CCTV) – Sanitary $100
Closed-circuit television video (CCTV) – Storm $100
Indoor sanitary backwater valve only $700
Indoor storm backwater valve only $500
Indoor sanitary and storm backwater valves $1,000
Outdoor storm backwater valve only $1,750
Sump with battery backup power (high gradient or flat roof) $1,250

The City will rebate up to a maximum of each of the individual rebates available at the time of the submission of Part 1 of the application form. Should the cost of the work be less than the amount of the available rebate, the City shall rebate the lesser of the two amounts.

Prior application(s) specific to the property, including those by previous owners, may limit eligibility for specific rebates.

Are there limits to the rebate availability?

Funding is limited. Applications will be processed on a first come, first served basis. If an application is not fully processed due to insufficient funds, the applicant(s) will be notified and the application will be closed. Applicants may submit a new application once funding becomes available.

Can I withdraw from the program?

The RPPP is a voluntary program and you may withdraw at any time.

For more information on the Residential Protective Plumbing Program, please contact the City of Ottawa at 3-1-1 or by email at protectiveplumbing@ottawa.ca(link sends e-mail) or by mail at:

Residential Protective Plumbing Program
Public Works and Environmental Services Department
City of Ottawa
951 Clyde Avenue
Ottawa, ON K1Z 5A6

What if I live in a Condominium?

To proceed with a Residential Protective Plumbing Program application, Condominium Associations must first obtain, in writing, permission from each property owner to act on their behalf.

Download the Homeowner Authorization formPDF opens in a new tab or window or obtain a form from your nearest City of Ottawa Client Service Centre. The completed Homeowner Authorization forms should be submitted with the Part 1 Application form.

NOTE: Francis Plumbing is a licensed contractor able to provide both homeowners and condominium associations with both the backwater valve installation and on going services and assistance they need to qualify for these grants.

The Application Process 

Applications are processed as follows:

Step 1: Submit Part 1 of Application

Download Part 1 of the applicationPDF opens in a new tab or window or obtain a form from your nearest City of Ottawa Client Service Centre.

Ensure your completed application is signed and includes the following documentation:

  • Proof of ownership (copy of deed, land transfer or property tax bill), and

The following documents prepared by a licensed plumber:

  • Detailed listing of proposed work (included on application form)
  • Quote for the proposed work
  • Detailed diagram showing existing and proposed work (included on application form)

Applications can be sent via e-mail or mail to the Residential Protective Plumbing Program at protectiveplumbing@ottawa.ca(link sends e-mail) or

Residential Protective Plumbing Program
Public Works and Environmental Services Department
City of Ottawa
951 Clyde Avenue
Ottawa, ON K1Z 5A6

Condominium Associations

To proceed with a Residential Protective Plumbing Program application, Condominium Associations must first obtain, in writing, permission from each property owner to act on their behalf.

Download the Homeowner Authorization formPDF opens in a new tab or window or obtain a form from your nearest City of Ottawa Client Service Centre. The completed Homeowner Authorization forms should be submitted with the Part 1 Application form.

Step 2: Part 1 Application Review

The City will review your application and will contact you regarding the status of your application, next steps and assigned RPPP file number. Please refer to your RPPP file number when contacting the City regarding your application.

Step 3: CCTV Inspection

Once the application is approved, contact your contractor to arrange for a Closed-Circuit Television CCTV Inspection. The CCTV inspection reviews the sewer lateral from inside the home to the street (main City sewer).

The CCTV inspection and report must meet the City’s CCTV requirementsPDF opens in a new tab or window for format, reporting and equipment. The contractor must submit an electronic copy of the CCTV inspection and the inspection report via DVD or to the City service provider’s FTP site(link is external).

Once complete, the City or its service provider will contact the applicant to arrange for a site visit.

Step 4: Site Visit

A site visit is required to confirm the protective plumbing work required. This may involve taking measurements and photographs of the existing plumbing. The site visit is free of charge.

NOTE: More than one site visit may be required.

Step 5: Site Visit Review

Once the site visit is complete, you will be contacted to confirm the status of the proposed work and next steps. To avoid unnecessary expenses, a Site Visit Review should be received by the applicant prior to applying for a building permit and undertaking any of the proposed work.

Step 6: Installation

Contact your contractor to arrange for the installation of the approved protective plumbing devices. The backwater valve and its installation must meet the current requirements of the Ontario Building Code(link is external), the current City of Ottawa’s By-laws, Sewer Design Guidelines and the City of Ottawa Standard Tender documents for Unit Price Contracts.

The applicant or the contractor must obtain and provide payment for a building permit to perform the proposed work and should arrange for a final inspection by City’s Building Code Services.

The building permit application must include copy of the approved Part 1 Application and Site Visit Review.

Sewer Design Guidelines

For more information on the Sewer Design Guidelines or to order a copy, please email the City of Ottawa at StandardsSection@ottawa.ca(link sends e-mail). Fees do apply.

Note: The Sewer Design Guidelines contain applicable information regarding backwater valve installation, including but not limited to the following sections:

  • 4.4.5 – Sanitary Backwater Valves
  • 5.7.5 – Service Connection Hydraulics
  • 5.7.7 – Storm Backwater Valves

Standard Tender documents for Unit Price Contracts

For more information on the City of Ottawa Standard Tender documents for Unit Price Contracts or to order a copy free of charge, please email the City of Ottawa at StandardsSection@ottawa.ca(link sends e-mail).

Note: The City of Ottawa Standard Tender documents for Unit Price Contracts contain applicable drawings and material specifications, including but not limited to the following drawings:

  • S14 – Foundation Drain Backwater Valve Installation
  • S14.1 – Sanitary Backwater Valve Installation Type 1
  • S14.2 – Sanitary Backwater Valve Installation Type 2
  • S16 – Exterior Foundation Drain Backwater Valve Exterior Retrofit Applications (Exception Basis Only);
  • S18 – Typical Depressed Driveway Backwater Valve and Standpipe Detail
  • MS-22.15 – Approved Sewer and Miscellaneous Products Listing (S18.2-1 and S18.2-2).

Step 7: Submit Part 2 of Application

Download Part 2 of the applicationPDF opens in a new tab or window or obtain a form from your nearest City of Ottawa Client Service Centre.

Ensure your completed application is signed and includes the following documentation:

  • Copy of Building Permit, including receipt(s)
  • Original contractor invoice marked paid in full
  • Copy of Building Code Services inspection report

Prior to the expiration of the one-year deadline (as indicated on the initial approval), you must complete Part 2 Application and submit to the Residential Protective Plumbing Program.

Step 8: Part 2 Application Review and Rebate Processing

The City will review the application and notify the applicant(s) of the status of the rebate. Processing time depends on the volume of applications received. Once approved, a rebate cheque will be issued and mailed to the applicant(s) within eight to 10 weeks.

Application forms

If you are interested in this program, it is important to contact the City to discuss your requirements and the circumstances pertaining to your home before undertaking any work. Application forms can be obtained from:

The City’s Web site, electronic Homeowner application form (fillable PDF) and electronic condominium owner authorization form (fillable PDF)

For more information from the City of Ottawa

For additional information regarding the Residential Protective Plumbing Program, please contact our
Water and Waste Water Information Line at 613-580-2424, ext. 22300 or contact the City at:

For more information from Francis Plumbing & Heating or to book your free in home quote simply call 613-224-0041. Please note that although the quote is free if we have to provide technicial drawings there is a charge to create technical drawings.

Francis Plumbing and Heating ClimateCare takes pride in offering Ottawa home plumbing services including: backflow preventer valve, backwater valve installation, backwater check valve, drain backflow preventer, sewer backwater valve installation – protecting your home sewer system from sewage backup in basement! All work guaranteed, fast, dependable, licensed and insured.

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