Leaks, floods, sewer line blockages and backups can create hazardous conditions that risk public safety or obstruct traffic.
Emergencies can include high-volume leaks, property damage caused by leaks or sewer line blockages or backups, water main or sewer main breaks, and floods on the street.
Who to contact
Follow this guide to determine the next steps in resolving problems with water leaks, flooding, and sewage.
In certain instances where you are advised to call a plumber, you may be able to repair the problem yourself.
Important note Sometimes, the City or a plumber can help solve the same issue. Please refer to the guide below to help determine who can help with the plumbing situation.
Water quality and pressure
Find out who can help you to fix water quality and water pressure problems.
Request a City water or sewer service crew for a problem on private property
- 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
- In cases where a toilet must be removed for access to service lines, City crews will not remove and re-install the toilet
- 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.
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
Common blockage causes
Blockage of the main could also occur from something improperly discharged by the homeowner which has flowed through the service lateral or sewer service line.
The most common causes of sewer backups are:
- Personal products
- Paper towels
- Cat litter
- Baby wipes
- Tree roots
- Misaligned joints
- Broken sewer lateral or plugged sewer main