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Fix leaks, floods, and sewage problems

Sewer crew hard at work

The City prioritizes emergencies

Leaks, floods, sewer line blockages and backups can create hazardous conditions that risk public safety or obstruct traffic.

An emergency can include:

  • high-volume leaks
  • property damage caused by leaks or sewer line blockages or backups
  • water main or sewer main breaks
  • floods on the street

Report non-emergency flooding on City streets and sidewalks

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Who to contact

Follow this guide to determine the next steps in resolving problems with water leaks, flooding, and sewage.

 NOTE: Sometimes, the City or a plumber can help solve the same issue. When the guide says to call both 3-1-1 and a plumber, call 3-1-1 first and describe your situation.

In certain instances where you are advised to call a plumber, you may be able to repair the problem yourself.

Type of problem Call 3-1-1 Call a plumber
A plugged street drain or catch basin

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Water gushing out of a manhole or water system cover

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Wet ground or soil on public property when typically the area is dry and firm

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Water bubbling up on the street, the boulevard, or the sidewalk

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Water bubbling up on the private property portion of your lawn or yard

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Basement plumbing fixtures drain slowly or make bubbling sounds

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Sound of water running in pipes when all taps are shut

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An overflowing toilet, floor or shower drain, tub or sink located in the basement

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An overflowing toilet, floor or shower drain, tub or sink located on a floor above basement level

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An overflowing stormwater sump

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Water seeping in through the basement walls or foundation and pooling on floor

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Sewer odour inside your home

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Request a City water or sewer service crew for a problem on private property

When you call 3-1-1 to request a City crew to investigate a water or sewer problem:

  • Only a property owner can ask the City to send out a crew. A tenant cannot ask for service from the City
  • The City may charge for the service call if they determine that the problem is not caused by the City water and sewer system. For that reason, someone who can approve the charge (typically the property owner) needs to be on site to let the crew in when they arrive
  • For sewer line blockages and backups, tell the 3-1-1 agent if you have a sump or clean-out (a capped pipe that allows access to the sewer line)
    • If you do not have a sump or clean-out, you may have to remove your basement toilet before the City crew arrives, to allow the crew to clear the blocked sewer line
  • The City sewer crew is responsible for clearing the blockage only, and is not responsible for determining whether charges will occur

After calling 3-1-1 to request a crew, a City dispatcher will contact the property owner to schedule the service call.

Ask. Tell. Connect.

Phone 3-1-1 to ask, tell, and connect with the City

Outside Vancouver:

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When should you call 9-1-1? Click to find out       Deaf? Have difficulty speaking? Click to learn how to make a TTY call

More ways to contact us

Problems with water quality or pressure?

Problems with water quality or pressure

Find out who can help you to fix water quality and water pressure problems.

Use our guide

How payment is decided

In the case of water leaks or floods, the responsibility for the repair costs depends on where the problem occurred.

However, in the case of sewer blockages or backups, the responsibility for the repair costs depends on what caused the problem.

Water and sewer repair costs
Water and sewer repair costs