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How the City maintains the water and sewer system

The City performs yearly sewer replacement and maintenance to avoid costly mega-projects.

Annual sewer maintenance helps the City of Vancouver extend the life of sewer pipes.

Underground pipes deteriorate over time due to soil conditions and age. The life expectancy of an underground sewer main is approximately 100 years.

In addition, Vancouver is working toward the Province of BC's environmental goal to replace all combined sewer systems with separated sewer systems on all buildings by 2050. This will stop untreated sewage overflows entering our waterways.

What to expect during a project

Before upcoming construction starts in your neighbourhood, you will receive a letter from the City outlining the project schedule, and other details. You can expect:

  • Crews will dig a trench for the water or sewer main, to install the new pipe
  • There will be lots of activity and equipment on the road
  • Parking restrictions will be in place to allow for digging and movement of supplies and equipment
  • Periodic road closures, if necessary
  • Crews begin work at 7:00am and work until 3:30pm
  • Weekend work is scheduled if project timelines or traffic volumes require it

After the underground work is complete

Once the pipe work is complete, the street, boulevard, and sidewalks will be restored. This work may take place some time after the trench is filled and temporarily patched.

The City usually waits until there are several temporary patches in one area before crews return to restore the street, boulevard, or sidewalk. This is more efficient, and helps to reduce costs.

City crews avoid planting boulevards with grass sod or seed during the dry, hot summer months.

Understand your part of the sewer separation process

Sewer backup caused by tree roots

Renewing and upgrading your sewer connection

When the City of Vancouver installs separated sewers in your area, renew your home's sewer connection to be a part of it.

Draintile and sumps during sewer construction

Sewer inspection

Find out the process for booking City of Vancouver inspectors to ensure that your sewer connection meets the current standards.