This week the Environment and Climate Change Committee approved a local improvement by-law needed to extend the municipal sanitary sewer along Taunton Place to four private properties that do not currently have sanitary sewer access. Two-thirds of the affected property owners have requested this project as a local improvement process, where the City provides the capital funding for the work up front, and then recovers a set amount through a levy on their property tax bills.
The City would extend the sanitary sewer system 135 metres along Taunton Place, connecting it to existing infrastructure on Davidson Drive. At the same time, the City would also replace the existing watermain and reconstruct the roadway, as a coordinated project. The sanitary sewer work is estimated to cost $720,000, and the maximum amount to be recovered from the benefiting property owners is estimated at $479,500.
The Committee also received a presentation on the City’s endorsement of Service Line Warranties Canada (SLWC) to offer Ottawa homeowners protection plans to help cover repair costs associated with their portion of water service and sewer/septic lines. SLWC is a Canadian company that provides optional and voluntary warranty repair plans to cover internal plumbing, and the private portion of exterior water services and sewer/septic lines. You can watch the presentation on the City Council YouTube channel.
Since the program launched, SLWC has sent out a series of promotional mailouts to residents, initially in 2021 and later during the summer of 2023. These mailouts have generated some concern among residents and uncertainty regarding the City’s role in SLWC’s program.
Following this update, Committee directed staff to negotiate with SLWC to amend the agreement to prohibit further direct mailouts to residents. Should such negotiations fail, the City would terminate the agreement with SLWC. Should the program continue as amended, the agreement would not be renewed when it expires in 2027. In addition, the City would undertake an educational campaign to inform residents about their options to protect their properties from private sewer and water line failure, and options in the case of sewer backups related to significant rainfall events.
Items considered at this meeting will rise to Council on Wednesday, October 25.