Stormwater Climate Action Fund

On February 14, 2022, City Council approved the Stormwater Climate Action Fund to help improve the City’s resiliency against climate change impacts, mitigate flooding, and protect Lake Simcoe and groundwater sources. Starting in Spring 2023, the costs of Barrie’s stormwater program will shift from property taxes to a more equitable user fee.

Starting in Spring 2023, City of Barrie water customers will see a Stormwater fee on water/wastewater bills. This is not a new tax. Stormwater management costs are currently paid for from your property taxes; effective Spring 2023 they'll be paid for via your water/wastewater bill and based on the type of property you own.

The money collected from this charge is used exclusively to meet the increasing demand and investment for stormwater management, including planning and operations, new capital construction and improvements.

Fair & Equitable

We need to invest more to maintain and improve our stormwater system. But it wouldn’t be fair to charge everyone the same amount. Some properties create more runoff than others. Your charge for stormwater is based on the amount of hard surface (impervious area)  on your property. Properties with more hard surfaces are charged more, making it a far more equitable way of funding stormwater management.

How the Stormwater Fee is Calculated

The fee is based on a fair and sustainable model and is calculated by the amount of impervious area on a given property.

An impervious area is a hard surface such as concrete, asphalt or rooftops that do not absorb water. Water runs off the impervious surface, collects pollutants, and flows into our local creeks and Lake Simcoe. In undeveloped areas, stormwater soaks into the ground and slowly flows into aquifers and waterways. In developed areas, impervious surfaces prevent stormwater from soaking into the ground.

  • Residential properties will be charged a fixed bi-monthly rate based on average impervious area (any surface that does not allow water to soak into the ground, such as roofs, driveways and roads). The average impervious area for residential properties is different for each property type (e.g., detached homes, townhouses or condominiums).
  • Non-residential properties (such as commercial, institutional and industrial) will be charged a monthly rate based on actual imperviousness of their property measured from aerial photography.

The amount charged will vary by property. Currently, the average detached home contributes $174 per year towards stormwater management through property taxes. Under the proposed new funding model, a detached home would only pay $129 per year towards stormwater management through their water bill.

The Importance of Stormwater Management

Managing stormwater allows us to control flooding and reduce pollution. In undeveloped areas, rainfall and melted snow soak into the ground and into natural creeks. In developed areas, rainfall and melted snow travel more quickly over roof tops, driveways and roads while collecting pollutants like dirt, oil, fertilizer, grass-clippings, pet waste, litter etc., and carrying them to our local creeks and Lake Simcoe.

Frequently Asked Questions