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Sewer Backup?

What You Should Do…
The Town of Richmond Hill’s Maintenance and Operations staff are on call (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) to deal with emergencies like watermain breaks and sewer backups. 

If you experience a sewage backup in your home, you should call (905) 884-8013 immediately. Upon receiving your call, the Town will dispatch an authorized drain contractor/staff to your residence.  Once the contractor/staff arrive, the property owner will be required to sign a “Sewer Servicing Agreement” prior to the commencement of any work. By signing the agreement, the property owner agrees to pay the Town for the cost of the service call if the cause of the blockage originated on the private side of the lateral. (The current rate for the service call is $500 + GST).

If the problem with the lateral exists on the private property side, then it is the property owners’ responsibility to call a licensed plumbing / drain contractor to perform any additional maintenance or rehabilitation work to address the cause of the blockage.  The property owner will also be responsible to pay the cost of the original service call.

If there is no deficiency with the sewer lateral and it was determined that the backup was caused by grease or materials such as diapers, paper towels or feminine hygiene products, the property owner will be responsible for the cost of the original service call.

If the problem with the lateral exists on the public property side, the Town of Richmond Hill will make an assessment to determine if any additional remedial work is required. Any work required on the public side will be scheduled and completed by the Town of Richmond Hill at no cost to the owner. In this case, the Town will also waive the cost of the original service call.
What You Should Know…to Help Mitigate a Sewer Backup: 
  • Do not dispose of paper towels, diapers and feminine hygiene products in your residential sewer line. These products do not deteriorate quickly like bathroom tissue and should be disposed of in your Green Bin.
  • Avoid pouring cooking oil and grease down the sewer drain. There is a common misconception that it is okay to wash grease down the drain with hot water. In fact, the hot water will help to carry the grease down the drain, but quickly cools off as it flows into the sewer drain. When it does, it can solidify and clog the drain resulting in a sewer backup.
  • Review your residential insurance policy or contact your agent to determine if your policy covers damages due to sewer backups and/or water damage. In many cases this additional coverage can be purchased at a minimal cost to cover your home in the event of a sewer back up incident.

Additional Sewer System Do's and Don'ts

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