Sewer Backups

Have a sewer backup?

24-hour emergency number for sewer backups 780-467-7785. An operator will call you back in one hour anytime of the day or night.

Response time may be longer during major rain storms.

Why do sewers back up?

Most common causes for a sewer backup include:

  • A sag in the line or low lying area causing grease, solids and certain types of detergents to harden or build up
  • Broken or shifted pipes
  • Tree roots entering into the line (a major factor in blockages everywhere)
  • Ground water seeping into the pipe at the joints leaving behind minerals that build up over time

To learn more about backwater valves and how they can help prevent a sewer back up watch this video made by the City of Edmonton.

Preventing sewer backups

Follow these tips to help prevent sewer backups from happening to your home or business.

Go fat free

Before you wash your dishes, pour grease, fat and cooking oils into a container or wipe greasy dishes out with a paper towel. If grease, fats and oils are continually poured down the drain they build up and can lead to a sewer backup. Cooled grease, fat and cooking oil can go into your green organics cart for composting. 

Be nice to your pipes

Large and/or absorbent items, such as feminine hygiene products, paper towels, baby wipes, flushable wipes, and clothing, should not be flushed down the toilet or drain because they can get stuck in the pipe and increase the risk of a sewer backup. They can also increase the frequency of repairs, which can increase sewer fees.

Medical waste, including needles, should be placed into your waste cart in a puncture resistant container or taken to a pharmacy for disposal. If you flush medical waste down the drain, it creates safety hazards for staff who work on the sewer system. 

Avoid garburators

When kitchen scraps are disposed of using a garburator, they end up at the waste treatment plant. At the treatment plant, most of the organic material is removed using screens and is sent to the landfill. At this point, the biodegradable benefits of the organic material are lost and it cannot be composted. Therefore, using a garburator not only increases the amount of materials that have to be sent to the landfill but also increases wastewater treatment costs.

Garburators also increase the risk of sewer backups because organic material will collect in the pipes over time.

Garburators also use extra water, so you are paying for the extra water you use to flush the organic material down the sink and the extra wastewater that is leaving your house.

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Last updated: Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Page ID: 39479