Scheduled sewer connection cleaning

South Cambie house and garden

The City's sewer preventative maintenance program is offered to select properties that experience sewer line blockages and backups more often.

Routinely cleaning the sewer connection minimizes the potential for future sewer backups.

Sewer line blockages and backups

Sewer line blockages and backups can occur when the sewer connection pipe gets blocked and stops wastewater from emptying into the sewer main. Blockages and backups can be caused when:

  • Tree roots penetrate the pipe
  • Grease builds up
  • Pipes fail

When you have a blockage or backup, contact the City and we will investigate the cause.

Eligibility for the sewer preventative maintenance program

Depending on the cause of the sewer line blockage or backup, we may invite you to join the preventative maintenance program.

Costs may be involved and we will discuss this with you before you enroll.

What the program includes

The program includes routine appointments to clean your sewer connection of blockages.

During the appointment, we access your sewer connection through:

  • An indoor or outdoor sump
  • A stack
  • A clean-out (vertical pipe) – the most convenient, see below for tips to install a clean-out

How appointments are scheduled

  1. If your home is enrolled in the program, you'll get a letter with the next date that our crews will be in your area.
  2. One month before that date, we'll contact you to confirm your appointment and request a convenient time to do the work.
  3. On the day of the appointment, you may need to be home so our crew can access your sewer connection.

Install an outside clean-out on your property

An outside clean-out is the most convenient point of entry into the sewer connection.

As a home owner, you can help City crews by installing an outside clean-out on your property. Our crews can then do preventive maintenance on your sewer connection at any time without disrupting your schedule.

Install the clean-out with a minimum 150-mm diameter pipe so our crew can get their equipment in. It's ideal to have the cleanout as close to the property line as possible.

Example of an outside clean-out

Diagram for installing an outside clean-out

Sewer maintenance schedule

Contact 3-1-1 fo find out if your home is enrolled in the sewer connection cleaning program, or for more information about the preventative maintenance schedule for your area.

Clean-out installation note

Be sure to install a 45º long radius bend "Wye" that follows the direction of the water flow to the City sewer main.

90º "Tee" fittings can clog easily and cause flooding.