Homeowner Sewer Service Maintenance

Wastewater can be described as the “used” water that enters the municipal system through sewer services from homes and businesses. When these services are not maintained properly, they can cause severe damage to the municipal system, as well as your own sewer service and home or business. Our goal is to maintain municipal infrastructure and we need you to help keep it clear and working properly by following the tips below. 

Maintaining your sanitary service connection

Do not pour fats, oils or grease down the drain

Fats, oils, and grease will harden and restrict the flow of sewer pipes. Running hot water through your sewer line will not stop fats, oils, and grease from accumulating to your sewer pipes.

Let fats, oils, and grease begin to harden in your cookware (pots and pans), then use a paper towel to wipe it off and put the paper towel in your compost bin. If you prefer to clean your cookware right away, pour fats, oils, and grease in a compostable container and put the container in the compost bin.

Please see Metro Vancouver’s website for ways to effectively dispose of fat, oils and grease.

Do not use a garburator

Use your compost bin for food waste rather than using a garburator.

The City does not encourage the use of garburators. Garburators add excess water and food waste to the sanitary sewer system. Food waste should go into your compost bin instead. Adding food waste to the sanitary sewer system can also cause a blockage if it attaches to hardened fats, oils, and grease, or tree roots or sediment in the sewer pipe.

Do not flush personal hygiene items or prohibited waste

This includes baby and personal wipes (even if they claim to be flushable or biodegradable), paper towels, make up removal pads, tampons and tampon applicators, sanitary napkins, condoms, disposable diapers, bandages, syringes, razor blades, medications, or other non-biodegradable products. These items clog sewer pipes, as well as the pumps at the City’s pump stations. Put them in the garbage instead.

Do not pour restrictive or prohibited waste down the drain. This includes paint, engine oil, pesticides, cleaners, or other chemicals.

Please see Metro Vancouver’s website to find out what you can and can’t flush and why.

Use a strainer for your sink, tub and shower drains

Strainers are inexpensive and prevent food, hair and other items from going down the drain and possibly clogging your service connection. Put collected items in your garbage or compost bin instead.

Increase flow and limit infiltration

Do not plant trees, shrubs, or other large plants over your service connection

Trees and plants like water, and their root systems, can grow into your service connection pipe through joints or cracks in the pipe.

Maintain your service

Hire a plumber to video your service connection. The plumber will place a small camera in the service connection (usually by temporarily removing a toilet or other plumbing fixture) and the camera will take a video of the pipe as it travels from your home or building to the city sanitary sewer system. The video can tell you if there are any issues with your service connection (for example, if the pipe is broken or something is blocking it).