Plumbing and drainage repair tips

Water sewer plumbing contractor

Property owners can hire a private contractor to perform sewer or drainage pipe maintenance on private property.

  • The City authorizes licensed plumbers to clean and clear the full portion of the sewer connection from a home to the sewer main
  • Private plumbing companies are allowed to fully clean and inspect a sewer connection from a home to the sewer main
  • Only the City or its agents are permitted to excavate or repair the City's portion of the sewer connection within the City right-of-way

Techniques for identifying drainage problems

A plumbing contractor can provide the following services to locate breaks, flat spots, grease, root intrusions, or other common obstacles. Ensure that the contractor provides photos or a DVD as a record.

  • Radio wave scoping or tracing of sewer lines
  • Video inspection of water pipes

Hiring private drainage contractors

The City cannot recommend specific private contractors for you to hire. You may be able to get referrals for reputable plumbing or drainage companies hired by your friends and co-workers.

 IMPORTANT: For large scale projects, request quotes from at least three different companies. The responses should restate the work you expect to be done, as well as how and when the contractor can complete it.

Common sense suggests that you ensure:

  • The contractor is registered for insurance coverage with WorkSafe BC. As a homeowner or resident, if you employ a worker or contractor, a gardener or landscaper on a regular basis, you may be required to register for insurance coverage with WorkSafeBC.
  • The contractor obtains the required permits for the work involved. Permits ensure that the work will be inspected per the appropriate building guidelines. This will guarantee workmanship and often fulfills a homeowner’s home insurance coverage if further problems arise.
  • The contractor provides you with a contract that describes the exact scope of work and the completion date. The scope should include your expectations for the work, including the condition of your property after the work is completed. After excavation, do you want the contractor to cart away the extra dirt, lay down new grass seed, and clean of f the driveway.
  • The contractor has a good reputation with the Better Business Bureau. Use the contact information at right to find out more about the contractor.
  • The contractor provides references of their past clients that you can visit to gauge the quality of the contractor's work.
  • The contractor provides a guarantee for their work.

Additional plumbing and drainage repair tips

Find your water or sewer connection

How to find your water and sewer service connection before you dig to find a plugged pipe, plant a tree, or build a fence.

Scheduled sewer connection cleaning

Find out why the City recommends preventative sewer maintenance and the use of an outside clean-out to reduce the chance of sewer backups on your property.

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.

Turn your water service on and off

We can turn your water supply on or off for a fee. You can also borrow a water-line shut-off key for up to 48 hours to do it yourself.

Water and sewer permits and inspections


Book or cancel an electrical, plumbing, building, fire sprinkler, gas, or sidewalk inspection for your construction or renovation project.

Sewer and water commercial connection permits

Separate sewer and water connection permits are needed when you are building a new commercial building and renovating an existing building.

Contact Better Business Bureau BC

Better Business Bureau,
BC and Lower Mainland

Phone: 604-682-2711
Fax: 604-681-1544


Agent availability: Mon to Thu, 9:00 am to 3:00 pm
Automated service: 24hrs

Get help with your water and sewer concerns

Report a fire hydrant issue

We maintain over 6,200 fire hydrants, and inspect hydrants regularly. Every building has a hydrant readily available in case of fire.

Fix leaks, floods, and sewage problems

Find out how to track down the source of water leaks, flooding, or drainage problems and when to call the City or an independent plumber.