A backwater valve protects your home from sewer water flowing back into your house. Strathcona County offers a rebate for eligible residents that install a backwater valve for up to 50% of the supply and installation costs to a maximum of $1200.
What is a backwater valve?
A backwater valve protects your home from sewer water flowing back into your house when the sewer main is completely full. If the main sewer line that runs down your street is full, a backwater valve will prevent the sewage from entering your home.
Normally, wastewater will flow from the pipes in your home and to the main sewer pipe in the street. The flapper opens to allow the wastewater to flow.
If the main sewer pipe is full—which can happen during major rainstorms—the flapper closes to stop wastewater from backing up.
If you’re not sure if you have a backwater valve, a plumber can complete an inspection for you. A backwater valve on your weeping tile is not the same as backwater valve on your sewer line.
Installing a backwater valve
Backwater valves can be installed by a plumber. There are different types and costs can vary. Ask your plumber for a cost estimate. A plumbing permit is required.
Many insurance companies are now requiring policyholders to have a backwater valve in order to receive sewer backup insurance. As with any insurance product, you should review insurance offers thoroughly to determine if it is right for you.
Maintaining your backwater valve
Checking and cleaning your backwater valve is a good way to reduce the risk of basement flooding. At least once a year, flush, clean and exercise the valve to ensure it moves easily. Do not cover the backwater valve with carpet, flooring or any other permanent structure.
Apply for a rebate
Strathcona County offers a rebate for eligible residents that install a backwater valve for up to 50% of the supply and installation costs to a maximum of $1200.
This rebate is for residential homeowners who:
- have experienced basement flooding due to sewer back-ups during a storm, or
- are interested in reducing the risk of basement flooding due to sewer back-ups during storm-related events.
To qualify for a rebate, all of the following criteria must be met:
- The residence is a single-family dwelling or a separately serviced side-by-side duplex dwelling
- The dwelling was built prior to 1989 (starting in 1989 City of Edmonton bylaws required new homes to include a backwater valve)
- The property is serviced directly from Strathcona County’s sewer system
- A rebate has not been previously provided for the same location
Home owners qualifying for this rebate will require proper permits and inspection approvals to be completed prior to any rebate being issued.
- Obtain proper permits from Planning and Development
- Once approved, have contractor install the backwater valve
- Arrange for a plumbing inspection completed by a Plumbing Inspector from Planning and Development Services
- Fill out the Backwater valve rebate application form (205.5 KB)
- Mail or fax it along with a copy of the purchase receipt and plumbing permit to:
Mail to: Backwater Valve Rebate c/o Utilities
2001 Sherwood Drive
Sherwood Park, AB T8A 3W7
- Utilities staff will contact you to complete a home inspection to verify backwater valve installation