Backwater Valve Subsidy Program

Image of a backwater valveA backwater valve is designed to reduce the risk of basement flooding caused by overflowing sewers during severe weather events, for example. When installed in the basement plumbing system, the backwater valve allows sewage to flow out, but prevents it from coming back into the house should the sanitary system overflow.

Eligible Richmond Hill residents can apply to receive up to $1,500 towards the cost of installation through the City’s Backwater Valve Subsidy Program. All subsidies are subject to available funding and available on a first come, first served basis.


To be eligible for the Backwater Valve Subsidy Program properties must meet the following requirements:

  • All installation work must be carried out by a plumber or drain contractor licensed by the Ontario College of Trades.
  • The property must be registered as a single-family residential, duplex or triplex property within the City of Richmond Hill.
  • The home must be an existing home. New homes in the planning stages or under construction are not eligible.
  • Eaves trough downspouts must be properly disconnected from the City sewer system to the satisfaction of the City.
  • On old combined systems, the storm weeping tile must be disconnected from the sanitary system and directed into a sump pump which gets pumped to a safe location outside.
  • Installation should be completed before applying for the subsidy.
  • Invoice(s) must show a cost breakdown of all charges, the contractor’s Ontario College of Trades registry, the total amount paid and be clearly marked as ‘paid in full’.
  • Eligible costs include labour, materials, permit fees and taxes.
  • The backwater valve must be approved as per the Ontario Building Code.
  • Labour provided by the homeowner is not eligible for reimbursement under this program.
  • Subsidies are provided one time only, per property.

Steps for installing a backwater valve

  1. Hire a plumber or drain contractor currently licensed by the Ontario College of Trades to determine if a backwater valve is suitable for your home. Note: Main clearout must be installed separately downstream of the backwater valve.
  2. Before installing a backwater valve, you must first obtain a plumbing permit from the City of Richmond Hill. You can apply for a permit online at, by mail, courier or drop-off.
  3. Once you have the plumbing permit, your licensed plumber or drain contractor can install the backwater valve. Please be sure not to enclose or cover the installation work as it will require inspection by a City of Richmond Hill Plumbing Inspector to ensure it meets Ontario Building Code requirements.
  4. Request a plumbing inspection online at

How to apply for a subsidy

Apply online using the form below.

Backwater Valve Subsidy Program Application Form

City staff will review your application within 10 business days and determine your eligibility.

Subsidy application and supporting documentation must be received by the City of Richmond Hill within six months of the date of completion of the work. Applications that are incomplete or missing documentation will not be processed until the information is received.

If you have any questions, please email