Separated sewer main installation

Separating sewage from rainwater

Benefits of a separated sewer system

Separating rainwater from sewage is beneficial because it:

  • Eliminates combined sewer overflows
  • Prevents flooding by increasing capacity
  • Allows rainwater to be used as a resource

We are working toward the Province of BC's environmental goal to eliminate sewage overflows by 2050. As we replace combined sewer systems with separated sewer systems, properties will also need to have separated sewer systems.

In a combined sewer system, rainwater runoff is combined in a single pipe with sewage from homes, businesses, and industry.

During drier weather, the rainwater and sewage are carried to the sewage treatment plant together. But in heavy rains, high volumes of rainwater can exceed the capacity of a combined sewer system causing mixtures of rainwater runoff and untreated sewage to release into receiving waterbodies. 

Sewer separating and renewal benefits and process

How the City maintains the water and sewer system

The City of Vancouver performs yearly sewer maintenance and sewer replacement, find out what to expect from construction in your area.

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.

Healthy Waters Plan

Learn about Vancouver's long-range sewer and rainwater management plan.