Fix leaks, floods, and sewage problems

Prioritizing emergencies

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.

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.

Use our guide

Type of problem Tell us Call a plumber
A plugged street drain or catch basin

Report online

Water gushing out of a maintenance hole or water system cover

Call 3-1-1

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

Call 3-1-1

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

Call 3-1-1


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

Call 3-1-1

Basement plumbing fixtures drain slowly or make bubbling sounds

Call 3-1-1

Sound of water running in pipes when all taps are shut

Call 3-1-1

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

Call 3-1-1

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

An overflowing stormwater sump  

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

Sewer odour inside your home  

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
    • 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
  • Grease
  • Misaligned joints
  • Broken sewer lateral or plugged sewer main