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Drainage Engineers Course

The OSPE Land Drainage Committee organizes technical courses to meet specific learning needs of drainage engineers. Typically a half-day, the annual course is scheduled the afternoon before the Drainage Engineers Conference. 

Jump to Past Courses.

2018 Drainage Engineers Course – Guidance for Environmental Permissions

Thursday, October 25, 2018, 12:30 to 4 p.m. Guelph Holiday Inn

Lunch is NOT included – BYO lunch or purchase a lunch at the Holiday Inn. 

Register for the drainage course and/or conference using the online registration form


Projects under the Drainage Act are almost always complex. The engineer needs to ensure that the project complies with the Drainage Act, which can be tough. Combine that point with the fact that a community of property owners who rarely share the same vision for the project pays for the drain, and it’s obvious that the project becomes even more complex. Add in other factors such as procurement policies, roads and utilities, appeal bodies, municipal politics and grant policies under the Agricultural Drainage Infrastructure Program and it is easy to see how drainage projects can be downright difficult!

But that’s not all. The engineer also has to ensure that projects comply with various environmental statutes and regulations. There are a variety of laws that could possibly apply to projects under the Drainage Act, but the three most common are the Fisheries Act (including the Species at Risk Act), the Conservation Authorities Act and the Endangered Species Act.  Each have different requirements and are managed in different ways. The purpose of the “Guidance to Environmental Permissions” course is to educate participants on the legislation and to provide guidance on achieving compliance in a practical and effective manner.


  • Fisheries Act and Species at Risk Act
  • Municipal Drainage Reports and the Conservation Authorities Act –  Davin Heinbuck – Water Resources Coordinator, Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority
    • The session will provide a brief background of Conservation Authorities with a focus on their role in Municipal Drainage through the Conservation Authorities Act. The review process will be stepped through for both S. 4 (D.A.) Petition Drains and S. 78 (D.A.) Drainage Improvements, with a focus on clear and concise communication.
  • The Endangered Species Act (ESA) 
  • The Royal Oak Municipal Drain – Obtaining a Fisheries Act Authorization, Greg Nancekivell, Dietrich Engineering Ltd.

    • Together, the Engineer and Fisheries and Oceans Canada will present their perspectives in complying with the Fisheries Act for the construction of the Royal Oak Municipal Drain. From the Request for Review, to preparing an Offsetting Plan, to obtaining a Letter of Credit, and finally being granted Fisheries Act Authorization; this joint session will discuss the applicant’s and the reviewer’s respective duties and obligations along every step of the way towards achieving compliance with the Fisheries Act.
  • Allen-Young Drain – Ashfield Colborne Wawanosh – Fisheries Act Letter of Advice, Endangered Species, Conservation Authority Permit – Discussion

Drainage Engineers Training Sessions

The training sessions will be offered on a regular basis.

Session 1 – The Drainage Act and the Role of the Engineer

Session 2 – Assessments, Allowances and Design
Tentative offering date: 2019

Session 3 – Acts, Miscellaneous Sections of the Act, Appraisals, Benefit Cost, etc.
Tentative offering date: 2020