What causes a sewer back-up?
Most sewer back-ups happen for reasons such as old lateral pipes, roots in the lateral pipe, sags on the lateral line, or an overload on the system.
What is the sewer lateral?
The sewer lateral is the underground pipe that runs from your building to the Town sewer main. The lateral crosses both your yard and the Town boulevard to connect to the Town sewer main. The property owner is responsible for cleaning of the sewer lateral.
What is the Town sewer main?
The Town sewer main runs underneath the roadway, collecting waste from sewer laterals and transporting it to a sewage treatment facility.
What can I do to help prevent the sewer lateral from plugging?
Be careful of what is placed in the sewer. Do not put grease, facial tissue, feminine hygiene products or other non-degradable products down the sewer. Rags and toys are common causes for back-ups.
What should I do to protect my property and belongings from a sewer back-up?
Consult a plumbing contractor to discuss installing a backwater valve in the sewer line at your property.
What should I do in the event of a sewer back-up?
Call Operations at 403-652-4657 (Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.) or after hours at 403-652-6353. Operations staff will attend the site and ensure that Town sewer mains are running and not causing the back up. If a problem is found on the Town’s sewer main, Operations will immediately clear the blockage. If the Town’s mains are running, the property owner is responsible to hire a plumber to clear the line. Once the line is clear of standing water the Town offers a sewer camera service in which the lateral line can be inspected and the problem identified, if there is one.
How do I contact a plumber?
Local contractors, equipped to use an auger to clear the lateral line, can be found in the phone book. Most plumbers also offer camera services. If you use the video service, ensure to get a copy of the DVD.
What should I do to protect my property and belongings in the event of a sewer back-up?
Do not flush or run any water until the sewer line is cleaned and draining effectively. Take whatever action you can to protect your property from further damage. Keep any damaged property or belongings available for inspection or take photographs, if possible. If there is any chance of electrical circuits causing a hazard, call Operations at 403-652-4657 (Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.) or after hours at 403-652-6353.
Should I call my insurance company?
Yes. Your insurance policy may provide coverage for this type of loss. Your insurance company or broker can provide you with this information. If the Town is liable, your insurance company may try to recover the amount of your deductible, as well as the claim they paid on your behalf. Based on the findings of an investigation, compensation will only be provided if the Town is legally liable for the damage. Town employees are not permitted to discuss the circumstances nor liability with third parties.
Should I notify the Town about my property damage?
Yes, please notify the Town within 30 days as the Town will conduct an investigation to determine the cause of the back-up and provide direction based on the findings. Compensation will only be provided if the Town is legally liable for the damage. You need to complete and submit the General Public Reporting Form to Risk Management at:
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Fax: 403-652-2396, Attn: Risk Management
- Attn: Risk Management:
- 309B Macleod Trail SW,
- High River, Alberta T1V 1Z5