Physically, a municipal drain is simply a drainage system. Most municipal drains are either ditches or closed systems such as pipes or tiles buried in the ground. They can also include structures such as dykes or berms, pumping stations, buffer strips, grassed waterways, storm water detention ponds, culverts and bridges. Even some creeks and small rivers are now considered to be municipal drains. Municipal drains are primarily located in rural agricultural areas of the province.
Municipal drains have been a fixture of rural Ontario's infrastructure since the 1800's. Most municipal drains were constructed to improve the drainage of agricultural land by serving as the discharge point for private agricultural tile drainage systems. However, they also remove excess water collected by roadside ditches, residential lots, churches, schools, industrial lands, commercial lands and any other properties in rural areas. They are a vital component of the local infrastructure. (Courtesy of Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs) See our Municipal Drainage Policy for more information.