Stormwater Management Requirements for Land Development Proposals

About This Document

Land development proposals are routinely submitted to the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) to obtain appropriate approvals. Stormwater management (SWM) reports may accompany these proposals to present the drainage works associated with the proposed land development and to identify any potential impacts to the highway drainage works. This guidance tool, "MTO Stormwater Management Requirements for Land Development Proposals" (MTO, Draft 1998), was developed to provide the proponent with a comprehensive set of MTO documentation requirements that might have to be satisfied before obtaining an MTO approval. The approach used in this document is consistent with the approach applied in the planning and design of provincial highways ("Drainage Management Manual" (DMM), MTO 1997); the planning and design of stormwater management controls (“Stormwater Management Planning and Design Manual”, MOE 2003), and the watershed management approach ("Integrating Water Management Objectives into Municipal Planning Documents", and "Subwatershed Planning", MOE/MNR, 1993).

Purpose of this Document

This document was developed to enable the drainage practitioner to identify all drainage related impacts to the highway, caused by the proposed land development, at the earliest possible design stage. As issues are identified, MTO requirements can then be considered and incorporated into the design. Finally, the drainage practitioner can consider MTO documentation requirements when completing the SWM report, to ensure that each issue has been resolved. If MTO requirements are appropriately considered when completing these tasks, the number of iterations involved with identifying and resolving drainage issues should be reduced. The end result: the review and approval time frame is minimised.

Objectives of this document are:

  • to strengthen the management of highway drainage works by implementing the modern drainage management approach to the management and control of highway corridors;
  • to consider the use of alternative drainage management techniques while maintaining the integrity of the highway infrastructure;
  • to ensure consistency in the application of the drainage management practice across all MTO regions of the province, as it is applied to the management and control of highway corridors;
  • to ensure that MTO regulatory concerns are not addressed in an ad hoc manner; and
  • to minimise potential liabilities incurred by MTO in the approval of drainage works associated with the proposed land development.

The Role of MTO Drainage Directives in this Document

MTO Drainage Directives present internal MTO policies and standards that are to be applied to highway drainage works.

  • PHY Directive B014 (PDF - 68.9 KB): Drainage management policy for highway corridors. This directive replaces Directive B-237 as of 23 August 2007.
  • PHY Directive B012 (PDF - 1.36 MB): petition drains under the Drainage Act for both private and MTO petitions.
  • PHY Directive B217 (PDF - 91 KB): agricultural piped drains discharging into the highway right-of-way.

The requirements set out in this document conform to these directives, and portions have been directly incorporated into appropriate sections (complete with references).

Note: Documents are best viewed when printed. To view and print PDF files will require Adobe Acrobat Reader.

The Role of the Drainage Management Manual in this Document

The "Drainage Management Manual" (DMM) (MTO 1997) provides technical support to this document. Although the requirements presented within it are oriented towards the design of highway drainage works, most of the design examples, considerations, and computational methodology are, for the most part, appropriate for use in the design of drainage works associated with the proposed land development. The Drainage Management Manual is distributed through Ronen House Publishing. For additional information on acquiring a copy of the DMM visit the Ronen House web site.

However, there is a difference in the application of the DMM and this document: the procedures presented within the DMM supports the highway planning and design process, which is not necessarily suited to the land development planning and design process. Why is this the case? Because the basic processes are different: the highway planning and design process is structured to suit Environmental Assessment Act requirements while the land development planning and design process follows the framework outlined within the Planning Act. Recognising these differences and similarities, the following criteria were used to avoid unnecessary duplication.

  • This document sets out MTO requirements, and introduces them at the most appropriate stage in the land development planning and design process.
  • Drainage computational methodologies are presented within this document to provide guidance to the drainage practitioner regarding MTO requirements for each of the various methods. The objective is to have the drainage practitioner select the appropriate method, and then provide documentation in the SWM report on the appropriateness of the selected method.
  • This document does not present examples on the application of the various computational methodologies; instead, the DMM is referenced, where appropriate.
  • This document does not present design examples and considerations; instead, the DMM is referenced, where appropriate.

Review These Points before Proceeding

  • Those who investigate, develop and/or submit land development proposals to use the highway drainage system or right-of-way, do so at their own risk. The MTO cannot be held responsible for any expenditure incurred, both monetary and non-monetary losses whatsoever, in the event that the review of the proposed land development is delayed or not approved.
  • It is the responsibility of the proponent to familiarise themselves with MTO requirements, provide all information required by the MTO for the evaluation of the proposed land development, and to satisfy all MTO requirements.
  • Any MTO approval is for conveyance of stormwater runoff from the proposed land development only. MTO is primarily concerned with impacts to the highway drainage system. Wherever stormwater runoff discharging from the proposed land development may impact the highway drainage system, impacts to the highway right-of-way should be assessed, and the capacity of the highway drainage system must be checked.
  • Responsibility for regulating stormwater runoff to ensure that the proposed land development will not impact the riparian rights of upstream or downstream property owners resides with the municipality and other regulatory agencies. However, MTO recognises that the property of riparian landowners located upstream or downstream of the highway right-of-way cannot be damaged by stormwater runoff discharging from the proposed land development. Even though this responsibility is within the mandate of the regulatory agencies, MTO may become liable if the stormwater runoff from the proposed land development is conveyed through a highway drainage system and damages any riparian property located upstream or downstream of the highway right-of-way. Consequently, MTO reserves the right to request that the proponent complete drainage impact analysis of the proposed land development to determine if any drainage impacts will occur to the receiving drainage system, including the highway drainage system, as a result of the proposed land development.
  • The MTO Regional Highway Planning and Design Office or the local MTO District Office may alter requirements presented in this document, since an extensive SWM report is not always required. MTO may make provisions to accept a drainage impact analysis that has a lower level of detail associated with it, provided that the proponent submits a plan showing how stormwater runoff from the proposed land development will be conveyed to the receiving drainage system. The proponent must be able to demonstrate that drainage impacts to the highway right-of-way or upstream/downstream riparian landowners will not occur, and that the capacity of the highway drainage system will not be exceeded as a result of stormwater runoff discharging from the proposed land development.

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