Be smart and selective when flushing things down the drain.

Large, oily or absorbent items can get stuck in the pipe and increase the risk of sewer backups. They can also increase the frequency of repairs and related sewer fees.

Do not flush the following items:

  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Paper towels
  • 'Flushable' wipes (i.e. baby wipes)

Medical waste, including needles (wrapped), should be placed in your black waste cart or taken to a pharmacy for disposal. When flushed down the drain, these items pose a safety hazard to staff who work on the sewer system.

Protect the environment with these tips:

  • Don't pour fats, oils and grease down the drain. Instead, cool and place them in your green organics cart. These substances clog pipes leading to costly repairs.
  • Take unused medications to the pharmacy. Do this instead of flushing them down the toilet. Pharmaceuticals are not treated and end up in the environment.
  • Use phosphate-free cleaning materials. This reduces phosphorous levels in the river and subsequent algae growth that negatively affects the aquatic environment.
  • Take household hazardous waste to the Broadview Enviroservice Station. This includes motor oil, pesticides, herbicides, solvents, paint and chemicals.Toxic substances that are not treated end up in the environment.
  • Use your organics cart for vegetables peelings and food instead of a garburator. Ground organic materials cost more to treat and must be disposed of at the wastewater treatment plant.

Did you know?

  • ARROW Utilities (formerly the Alberta Capital Region Wastewater Commission) operates the fourth largest treatment facility in Alberta serving over 200,000 residents in 13 municipalities of the Capital Region.
  • Each household in the region generates about 350 litres of wastewater per person per day to be treated at our plant. In 2009, we treated over 27 billion litres of wastewater.
  • We treat and disinfect the discharge from our facility to protect the downstream communities who use the river for their drinking water.

Talk with members of your household to make sure they know what can be safely flushed. Learn more at

Sewer pipe cleaning

Every year, selected neighbourhoods have their main sewer lines cleaned. This maintenance is done to make sure the pipe is functioning normally.

The pipes are cleaned using high-pressure water and then are scoured as the equipment is pulled back through the pipe. Any debris is pulled back with the water and is removed using a vacuum truck.

During the cleaning process, air occasionally vents through the sewer pipe and may enter into homes in the area. When this happens, water in the toilet bowl or floor drains can temporary bubble or surge. In rare cases water may splash out of the toilet bowl or drain.

Neighbourhoods are selected based on the condition and age of the underground pipes. Some areas have their pipes flushed quarterly. 

Water and wastewater services and 24-hour emergency
Phone: 780-467-7785
Fax: 780-464-0557

Last updated: Wednesday, December 13, 2023
Page ID: 39471