Draintile and sumps during sewer construction

Sewer inspection

When you build a new home or do a major renovation, you may be required to upgrade your property's drainage system.

Replacing your combined sewer with a separated sewer:

  • Reduces the volume of water that goes to the sewage treatment plant
  • Reduces the risk of the storm water system overflowing, sending unprocessed water into our natural waterways

Sewer connection placardSewer connection placard

To reduce delays in sewer connections and to expedite inspections, we have implemented a connection placard program.

Effective March 1, 2018, all sewer and storm inspections will require a connection placard to be clearly visible and attached to the stakes that identify the capped end of each connection.

The connection placard must be completed by the installing contractor and all details must match those as installed.

The district plumbing inspector will compare the data on the connection placard against the sewer design data for conformity.

Placards that do not match the most current version of the sewer connection permit will be failed. The contractor can call 3-1-1 to speak with Sewer Design for resolution.

Download a connection placard  (128 KB)

Two areas of inspection

The City performs an inspection on private property and City property.


Diagram of areas that are inspected by plumbing inspectors and sewer inspectors

On private property, a plumbing inspector inspects:

  • Storm sewer connections
  • Sanitary sewer connections
  • Sumps
  • Draintiles
  • Sanitary building drain sewers 

Booking an inspection

To book an inspection for permitted work on private property, phone 3-1-1 (or 604-873-7000 outside Vancouver).

  • Provide the following information when you book:
    • Permit number
    • Address of inspection site
    • Type of inspection required


  • If an inspection request is received before 2:00pm on a business day, the inspection will be booked for the following business day.
  • If an inspection request is received any time during the weekend or on a holiday, the inspection will be booked for two business days later.
  • If you are requesting a specific time for an inspection, call the district inspector during office hours to make arrangements.
  • The length of the inspection itself will vary, depending on how much work must be inspected, and what the inspector finds once on site.

How to consult with an inspector

On-duty inspectors are available to answer questions and other inquiries. Visit the Development and Building Services Centre.

If you need to speak with a specific district inspector, book a 10-minute meeting. Call 3-1-1 (outside Vancouver: 604-873-7000) by 2:00pm to arrange your appointment for the next business day.

Meetings are scheduled between 8:30am and 9:30am.

Other ways you can speak with inspectors:

  • Phone specific district inspectors during their office hours
  • Speak with them on-site during your inspection

Cancelling an inspection

To cancel an inspection

  1. Call 3-1-1. If you cancel before the cancellation deadline, you will receive a case number.
  2. Make sure that someone on site knows the case number so that they can give it to the inspector if the inspector shows up at the original time. This will help you avoid being charged a re-inspection fee.

If you do not cancel before the cancellation deadline, you may have to pay a re-inspection fee when you re-book.

Inspection day Cancellation deadline
Monday Before 2:00pm on Friday. If Friday was a holiday, before Thursday 2:00pm.
Tuesday Before 2:00pm on Monday. If Monday was a holiday, before Friday 2:00pm.
Wednesday Before 2:00pm on Tuesday.
Thursday Before 2:00pm on Wednesday.
Friday Before 2:00pm on Thursday.

Permit and inspection fees

Inspection fees are included in the permit.

However, you will have to pay a re-inspection fee if:

  • You miss one or more meetings as a result of access
  • The inspector finds incomplete work that had been identified on a previous inspection
  • The inspector finds too many non-compliances

Contact the Development and Building Services Centre about building and zoning


Location and mailing address
Development and Building Services Centre
Ground floor
515 West 10th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V5Z 4A8

Monday, Wednesday, Friday
8:30am to 4:30pm

Tuesday, Thursday
8:30am to 4:00pm

Free 2-hour parking
West 10th Ave parking lot,
between Cambie and Yukon

Reducing waterway waste

City crews installing a new separated sewer line

The City of Vancouver is replacing combined sewer systems with separated sewer systems that carry storm drain water through different pipes than waste water.

This lowers the volume of water carried to the treatment plan, and reduces the risk of unprocessed water overflowing into our natural water ways.

Find out more