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Sewer Maintenance

Sewer Maintenance

Sewer systems are made up of three components: public sewer lines on City property that collect and send waste water or storm water to a treatment facility, building sewer or sewer lateral pipes that connect the home to the sewer main and private sewers not owned by the City but collect sewage or waste water from more than one property.

Although sewers are designed to handle normal to above-average flow, melting snow, groundwater table elevation, intense rainfall or a combination of any of these factors can cause sewers to exceed their capacity.

Basement floods may be caused by sewer backups, drainage entering surface openings or cracks, or because surface water has exceeded sewer capacity. Sewer lateral and main sewer blockages may also be the cause.

All water should drain away from the building and window wells. It is illegal to divert storm run-off into the sanitary sewer system. This is the most significant contributor to sewer capacity limitations and consequent basement flooding.

Homeowners are responsible for all sanitary and storm sewer drainage on their property including roof drains and opened ditches. The City is responsible for sanitary and storm sewer drainage beginning at the property line where the City's right of way begins.

Sanitary sewer lateral roddings are usually requested when a resident experiences a sewage backup. The Public Works Division is responsible for roddings and can be contacted at 705-759-5201, Monday - Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to request a sewer lateral rodding and to confirm charges. Should an emergency occur, Public Works can be contacted 24 hours a day through a night watchman at the same phone number. Requests for sewer lateral roddings outside regular hours are subject to additional fees.

Homeowners requesting a lateral rodding must provide access to the sewer lateral via a proper cleanout. Public Works will not inspect or attempt to rod the sewer lateral if an access point has not been created. Homeowners will be responsible for rodding charges if the blockage or refusal is determined to be on private property.

Video inspections of sewer pipes are carried out by the City's Engineering and Planning Department. Often times, sewer lateral roddings will result in the sewer crew requesting a video inspection of the lateral. In this case, the homeowner will not be charged for the video inspection. If the homeowner requests a video inspection prior to the sewer crew carrying out a rodding, the homeowner is solely responsible for the fees. In addition, the homeowner will be required to pay the camera fee even if the video indicates the blockage is on City property.

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Landfill General Inquiry:
PWT Office:




128 Sackville Road
Sault Ste. Marie, ON
P6B 4T6

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