The City of New Westminster’s Sewerage and Drainage Regulation Bylaw outlines the homeowner’s responsibility for the maintenance, cleaning, and unplugging of the household storm and sanitary service connections between the house and public sewer main, as well as all charges incurred.
What if your sanitary service connection is blocked?
Private Property Blockage Advice
- Shut off all sources of water (faucets, dishwasher, laundry, etc.) to control the back up of your sewer system.
- Immediately call a licensed plumber to inspect your service.
- If the plumber deems the blockage to be external of the building, have them root cut or flush the service to the municipal sewer main. Ensure that they attempt to clear the blockage to the municipal sewer main or inspection chamber (if applicable) and not just the property line.
- If the blockage cannot be cleared by the plumber due to a collapse in the pipe on the municipal works portion of the service, call Engineering Operations at 604-526-4691 and inform them that the plumber attempted to clear the service to the city main but could not relieve the blockage. Proof of plumber’s attendance may be requested upon arrival of City staff.
- City staff may attempt to clear the blockage provided there is access to the service from outside the building. If your building is not equipped with an external clean out, please contact a private company to install a clean out external to the building. City staff do not perform any work inside buildings.
Engineering Operations Response
City staff will respond by inspecting the upstream and downstream manholes to ensure that no blockage in the city main exists. Following the inspection of the city main, City staff will assess the inspection chamber on the homeowner’s property line (if applicable). Where there is no inspection chamber installed on the service connection at the property line, the homeowner shall be responsible to clear the blockage to the city main.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if the sewer blockage is my responsibility?
The owner of the property is responsible for the sewer service from the building to the city main, unless an inspection chamber on property line is full or the city main is blocked.
Where can I get more information regarding sewer blockage responsibility?
Information regarding sewer blockages and other sewerage and drainage regulations can be found here.
How can I get information on my sewer service?
Any information required by the plumber regarding the length or location of the connection may be obtained from the City’s Engineering Department during business hours.
What is a good plumbing company?
The City of New Westminster does not recommend any individual contractor or business. However, you should ensure your plumber is licensed and has the ability to work on indoor and outdoor plumbing.
What caused the blockage?
There are multiple reasons why your sewer service could be blocked. Most blockages are caused by tree roots, grease or foreign objects. For more information, please see the City of New Westminster website or call Engineering Operations during business hours for more information.