Sewers and drains
The City is responsible for installing and maintaining its sanitary and combined sewer system from the connection to your property to the sewage treatment plant (STP) / Water Pollution Control Plant (WPCP) and its outfall to the lake or the Don River. It is also responsible for the stormwater drainage system, again from the connection to your property to outfalls to receiving water bodies i.e. stream and the lake.
What we need from you
Please be aware of the close connection between the sewer system and the environment. Putting household hazardous waste (like oil, or chemicals of any kind), grease, toys or other objects down toilets or drains can not only cause expensive damage to your house connection but can also damage other parts of the system. The substances or items put down a catchbasin end up in watercourses and, ultimately, in Lake Ontario doing a great deal of damage to the environment along the way.
We would appreciate your help! Please let us know by calling 311 if you see:
- oil, paint, soapy or sudsy substance or anything but rainwater flowing into a catchbasin or floating in a watercourse
- a manhole or catchbasin lid that is missing, damaged or in an unusual position
- any unusual situation around an unstaffed city facility, storm retention or detention area
- obnoxious odors coming from any sewer through a manhole or catchbasin or from any city facility such as a pumping station
- anyone entering a manhole or catchbasin or loitering around storm culverts These are very dangerous things to do, and your call could save a life. Watercourses and large culverts are very tempting to children and teenagers to play or party in. A certain amount of damage is done annually by people breaking through gratings placed over the entrances of culverts to keep them out.
As soon as we are aware of these emergencies, we will act to minimize the damage to people, to the environment and to our facilities.
To deter abuse of all of our sewer systems, the Industrial Waste Control Unit with the support of the Dee Avenue Laboratory enforces the city's Sewers Bylaw. Staff of the Dee Avenue Laboratory monitor the inflow (influent) and the outflow (effluent) from the STP's.
Be careful! A flooded basement poses a risk of electrical shock and flood water may contain bacteria harmful to health. Learn about basement flooding, tips on how to prevent them and City programs to help you lower your risk of basement flooding.
Sewer connection information
Each building, residential, commercial or industrial, has connections to the sewer along the street. A connection consists of two sections. The section from the street sewer to the street/property line is the responsibility of the city. The other section, leading from the street line to the building, is the responsibility of the property owner.
If you require information about your sewer connection, have an emergency to report, or need to know how to handle a sewer backup, please call 311.
Maintenance of your local sewers and individual connections:
- Environmental monitoring and problem mitigation
- Sewer inspection, rehabilitation and maintenance
- Downspout disconnection program
Comments or questions?
You can send us an e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.