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Frequently asked questions about the Preventative Plumbing Program

This page addresses some of the most frequently asked questions about the Preventative Plumbing Program. 

  • The Preventative Plumbing Program is a financial assistance program approved by the council of the City of Kingston on January 10, 2012 in the wake of two major flooding events in 2011. This program provides homeowners with financial assistance for work on their home to protect against future basement flooding.

    Specifically, the program provides financial assistance for eligible works on the home to reduce the risk of sewage backups and to reduce the amount of storm or groundwater that the home introduces into the sanitary sewer system. The program also helps homeowners comply with the City of Kingston By-law No. 2008-192.

  • Yes, probably! While the most interested homeowners are likely to be those who have experienced a flood in the past, the program is open to all homeowners who meet the eligibility criteria, even if your home has never flooded.

  • Eligibility is based on the following:

    • The home is located within the City of Kingston, within the municipal wastewater collection area, and the home has an active water and sewer account in good standing with Utilities Kingston.
    • The home is a single family detached home, semi-detached home, row-house, duplex or triplex with its own sanitary service.
    • The applicant is the owner of the home.
    • Work is by qualified contractors licensed by the City of Kingston where required.
      • A licensed plumber in the City of Kingston must be hired to install a backwater valve.
      • A qualified contractor in the City of Kingston must be hired to install a sump pump system and for capping the foundation drain (this could include a plumber)
    • Contractor(s) must use materials or fittings that are approved by the Ontario Building Code.
    • Each owner shall acquire any required permit(s) for the completion of eligible works.
    • At the completion of the program, to be eligible for any rebates, the home’s downspouts, sump pump and foundation drainage must be fully compliant with City of Kingston By-law No. 2008-192, Clause 3.8-3.11, and not be capable of discharging storm water or ground water to the sanitary sewer.
    • Invoice(s) must show a clear and detailed breakdown of all charges to indicate those items that qualify for rebate and those that do not, total amount paid and clearly marked PAID IN FULL by the Contractor(s).
    • Work must be completed within the calendar year for which the application was made.
    • Funding for eligible work is subject to available budget, first-come, first-served.
    • Any single owner may only apply for a maximum of two buildings per calendar year.

    For more details, review the Preventative Plumbing Program terms and conditions.

  • Here is a basic summary of how the program works:

    1. Apply to the program by submitting the online program application form. (Alternatively, a document version of the application form (printed or electronic) is available by calling customer service at 613-546-1181 or by emailing The program manager will contact you and set up an appointment to visit your home and give you more details.
    2. Obtain quotes from qualified and licensed contractors for the eligible works, pick a contractor and get the work done. Schedule a follow up visit by the program manager.
    3. The program manager conducts a follow-up visit, confirms the work was completed and that your submission is complete, and that your property drainage complies with the “The Sewer Use By-law”. The program manager then arranges to have the appropriate funds reimbursed to you.
    4. Keep your new backflow and/or sump maintained as per the manufacturer instructions and enjoy the added protection to help prevent basement floods and sewage back-ups in your home.

    The program manager will provide you with the finer details on the first visit to your home.

  • There are four main items that are included in this program:

    1. Installation of a new backwater sewer valve on your sanitary sewer lateral
    2. Installation of a new sump and sump pump with backup pump system
    3. Capping of a foundation drain connection to the sanitary sewer lateral
    4. Redirection of a sump pump discharge away from the sanitary sewer
  • Refer to the table below for an overview of eligible costs.
    Item % of Eligible Costs(1) Maximum Assistance(2)
    Backwater Sewer Valve 75% $1,200
    New Sump Pit and Pump 75% $1,400
    Capping of Foundation Drain Connection 50% $1,000
    Redirection of Existing Sump Pump 50% $300
    Maximum Financial Assistance available per home $3,000
    1. Each element of the program has prescribed items that are considered eligible, i.e., ALL costs associated with the work may not be covered. In very general terms, costs that are ineligible are those generally associated with internal or external restoration (i.e., restoration of landscaping or floor and wall finishing). The percent of eligible costs refers to the percentage of cost of the work that will be eligible for financial assistance.
    2. The maximum assistance is the maximum dollar value that will be eligible for financial assistance for the specific item and for the home in total.
  • For more detailed information about the program, contact customer service at 613-546-1181.