Sewers and wastewater

Report a sewer blockage. Learn how to repair or replace the pipes that lead to your home. Apply for rebates for wastewater diversion.


On this page

  1. Report a sewer blockage
  2. Find out who is responsible
  3. Repair or replace a sewer lateral
  4. Sewer blockage fees
  5. Apply for the sewer rebate program
  6. Review the wastewater collection system report
  7. Apply to alter wastewater infrastructure
  8. Contact us

Report a sewer blockage

Follow these steps if you think there's a blockage in your sewer lateral (the underground pipe that connects your home to the main sewer line):

  1. Contact Ontario One Call at 1-800-400-2255 to request a sewer safety inspection. This service is free of charge.
  2. Once Ontario One Call locates the pipe, call the city at 519-886-2310 or TTY (for people who are deaf or hard of hearing) 1-866-786-3941. Staff will answer your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  3. We will investigate the location and cause of the blockage. We use a CCTV camera to inspect the pipe. Fees may apply – find them below.

You will be responsible for all resulting costs if you hire a plumber or attempt to clear the blockage yourself.


Find out who is responsible

We'll determine responsibility after inspecting the blockage. The diagram below shows if the city or the property owner is responsible.

"Diagram

City responsibility

The city will clear normal blockages on city property at no charge. City responsibility for the sewer pipe begins at the property line. 

Homeowner responsibility

The property owner is responsible for clearing a sewer blockage if: 

  • the blockage is on private property
  • property owner neglect caused the blockage
  • we cannot access the main sewer clean-out

Find how to repair or replace a sewer lateral on private property below.


Repair or replace a sewer lateral on private property

If you need to repair or replace the sewer lateral on private property, follow these steps:

  1. Gather quotes for the repair from qualified plumbers or contractors.
  2. Review the location of the property line.
  3. Check if you need a building permit.
  4. Contact the building department at 519-747-8712 or building@waterloo.ca to review the repair. There may need to be repairs or work on city property.

Sewer blockage fees

Fees will apply if:

  • the blockage is on private property
  • there is no answer at the property when crew arrives
  • we don't find a blockage
  • property owner misuse or neglect is responsible for the blockage
  • we cannot access the main sewer clean-out on the property (we will not remove or work through toilets for inspections or blockage removal)

Sewer blockage fees for private property

  • regular hours include weekdays from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • after-hours include weekends, holidays and weekdays from 3 p.m. to 7 a.m.
Service Fee After-hours fee
Sewer line blockage removal – minimum charge*  $267.00 $392.00
Call out fee
  • applies when no blockage is found, no clean-out access or if there is no answer at the property when crew arrives
 $128.00 $128.00

Camera inspection

  • not related to a blockage
  • waived if city staff initiates the request
 $179.00 $179.00

 Flushing private main – minimum charge*

  • applies to larger sewer lines, like the ones in townhouse complexes or plazas
 $400.00 $605.00

All fees are subject to HST.

*This is the minimum charge for a standard job. We will bill more complex jobs based on time, material, equipment and administrative costs. 


Apply for the sewer rebate program

This program provides rebates on sanitary sewer charges for customers who do not discharge wastewater into the municipal system, such as a business that uses water to produce a product. Industrial, commercial, institutional and high-density residential properties are eligible. Water used for lawn irrigation and swimming pools is not eligible. Follow these steps to apply:

  1. Download the sewer rebate application form (PDF).
  2. Fill out the form and have it certified by a licensed engineer.
  3. Submit by April 1 to receive a rebate for the previous year's sewer charges. Send forms to:

Waterloo Service Centre
265 Lexington Court
P.O. Box 337, Station Waterloo
Waterloo, ON, N2J 4A8

Contact us if you have questions about the program or application process.


Review the wastewater collection system report

Review the Wastewater Collection System Annual Report (PDF) to learn more about how the city maintains and operates the system.


Apply to alter wastewater infrastructure

View the municipal utilities alterations page to learn how to apply for changes.


Contact us

If you have questions about your sewer lateral or wastewater services, email utilities@waterloo.ca or call the city at 519-886-2310 or TTY 1-866-786-3941 (for people who are deaf or hard of hearing).

If you call on a weekend or after 4:30 p.m. on weekdays, your call will go to our after-hours service. They will contact our on-call team.