The Township of Zorra is taking steps to support our community's response to COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) and measures taken by Southwestern Public Health. We are monitoring our operations daily to ensure we are taking the right actions to protect our residents, employees and visitors. Visit our COVID-19 page for regular updates.


The following are not legal outlets:

Roadside ditches: You can only use roadside ditches as on outlet if permission is granted by the road authority. If permission is granted, we recommend that you get it in writing.

Private ditches: Private ditches are private infrastructure and unless permission is given, another property owner has no right to connect a newly installed tile drainage system to a private ditch that flows across a neighbouring property. Similar to using a roadside ditch as an outlet, if permission is given, make sure it is in writing.  If work needs to be done on the neighbouring property, make sure all parties are clear on cost-sharing and also that all parties are clear on the extent of work and the potential disruption of land.


Municipal drains where any part of the land being tiled is not assessed into the drain.  Only the portion of the property that is assessed into the municipal drain can be connected to the drain.  If you're not sure, check with the Township Drainage Superintendent before undertaking the work.


Wetland or low area:  Sometimes it's tempting to outlet a tile drainage system into a wetland area, particularly if the wetland is located on your client's property.  However, before doing so, you should examine the area to determine if the outletting of the tile drainage system could be any impact on other property owners.  If there could be, don't do it without first acquiring permission.

If you are unable to get permission, the owner of the land has the right to petition their municipality under the Drainage Act for an outlet.  Although it takes longer to get the outlet using the Drainage Act, when it is done, you can have confidence that the tile drainage work you perform will not result in legal action.  If you still decide to take shortcuts on legal outlets, remember that the courts consider the tile drainage contractor to be an expert.  You may want to check out the liability risk of you and your business.

For any inquiries or comments about any services provided by the Building & Drainage department, please contact Mike Hughes, Chief Building Official/Drainage Superintendent at 519-485-2490 ext 7224 or contact Mike 

Tile Drainage Loans

The Tile Drainage Loan Program provides loans to property owners in the farm land tax class and is authorized by the Tile Drainage Act.

How Can I Apply for a Loan?

To start the loan process, simply fill out the application form and return to the Municipal Office with the signed application guidelines.

What are the Terms of the Loan?

  • All loans have a 10 year term and are repaid in your final two property tax instalments each year
  • The current interest rate is 6%
  • Landowners are eligible for a loan of 75% of the cost of the drainage work, up to $50,000
  • The loan can be repaid in full at any time

For detailed information on the tile loan program visit the OMAFRA website.

Ontario Ministry of Agricultural, Food, and Rural Affairs

The OMAFRA website is a great valuable resources for people looking for information on drains.  Along with contact information and forms, you can find information about:

  • General Information
  • Common Law Problems
  • Working with the Drainage Act
  • Municipal Drains Drains and the Environment
  • Tile Drain Installation Licensing Program
  • Tile Loan Program

Visit the OMAFRA website today.