How sewer systems work

Strathcona County Utilities operates and maintains all underground sewer systems for Sherwood Park and the hamlets of Ardrossan, Josephburg and Collingwood Cove. This includes the infrastructure serviced by low-pressure sewer systems from the property up to and including the lift station and lagoons.

How does the sewer system work?

The sewer system collects wastewater from residential, commercial and industrial buildings and transports it to ARROW Utilities (formerly the Capital Region Wastewater Treatment Plant). Your sewer service line connects the building sewer to the mains in the street.

Wastewater terms

Service line (service lateral): The piping that connects your house or building sewer to the wastewater main.

Mainline: The portion of the wastewater system that collects and transports wastewater to the treatment plant. Typically located in or near the street.

Access point: The cleanout or other point of access to the wastewater service line for the purposes of inspection and cleaning.

Front floor cleanout: A cleanout or access point that is located in the floor, typically near the front wall of the house.

Wastewater services FAQs

Discharging wastewater

Strathcona County in accordance with ARROW Utilties (formerly the Alberta Capital Region Wastewater Commission) now requires a permit for discharge of non-domestic waste? This means that before you dump or discharge large amounts of wastewater down the sewer you need to contact the Arrow Utilities to gain permission.

For more information or to fill out the application visit Arrow Utilities.

Wastewater lagoons

A wastewater lagoon is a large, man-made shallow pond where wastewater is held and treated. Lagoons are a common type of sewage treatment in Canada for smaller communities. Wastewater is used water that has been used in any type of human use, such as washing, flushing and manufacturing for homes, businesses and industries. This wastewater flows into the lagoon and the materials in the water are broken down by bacteria. The sun and wind provide light, warmth and oxygen to keep the lagoon working.

Lagoon FAQs


Performing routine inspection and cleaning is the best way to keep our wastewater system working properly. Strathcona County regularly inspects and flushes wastewater lines to clear out gravel, grease, roots, mineral buildup and any other debris. High-pressure water jetting scours pipes, cleans out roots, and breaks up material that could lead to blockages to maintain normal wastewater flow.
Crews perform this vital maintenance work year round, with increased frequency in the summer months.
When the wastewater lines are being flushed your toilets may gurgle or splash. Try to keep your toilets flushed and with the lids closed, especially in your basement.
You may also smell a sewer odour if the flushing clears standing water from drain traps in your home. You can eliminate the odour by flushing your toilets and pouring water into all your drains, including floor drains.

Phone: 780-467-7785

Last updated: Wednesday, December 13, 2023
Page ID: 39473