Sewer blockages on private property are the sole responsibility of the homeowner/resident of that property. If you suspect that your sewer is blocked, it is recommend that you follow these steps below:
If you suspect that your sewer is blocked and your toilet is not flushing properly, use a plunger to see if you can free the blockage from the toilet.
If that does not work, do a quick assessment of your home by inspecting any sinks or toilets that are not draining properly.
If you suspect a sewer blockage after the quick assessment, stop using any water (flushing toilets, running taps, doing laundry etc.). Doing so may cause sewer back-up to flow into your home.
Contact the Town's pre-selected contractor, or your own contractor to notify them of your sewer blockage. The Town's pre-selected contractor is J and S Services.
Please note that before the contractor can perform any work, a Sewer Safety Inspection must be done. A Sewer Safety Inspection will prevent the risk of a gas leak and/or explosion by making sure underground gas lines are not intersecting the sewer pipes outside your home.
Call Ontario One Call at 1-800-400-2255 for a Sewer Safety Inspection. The Sewer Safety Inspection is provided at no cost to the homeowner. Once you have received clearance from Ontario One Call, you can contact your contractor to clear any sewer blockages.
If you or your contractor suspect that the sewer blockage originated from Town property, you or the contractor is required to obtain the following evidence such as CCTV footage, location of the sewer blockage and type of blockage and provide it to the Town of Newmarket to launch an investigation. After the investigation, the Town will notify you of its outcome and decision. If the origin of the sewer blockage is proven to have been caused by the Town, you will be compensated for all costs incurred for clearing the sewer blockage. For more information on this process, please call 905-895-5193.
Frequently Ask Questions
What are sewer laterals?
Sewer laterals are buried pipes that move sewage and waste from your home to the Town of Newmarket’s sewage collection pipe network.
Who is responsible for the maintenance of sewer laterals?
Sewer laterals that are leaving your home are the responsibility of the homeowner. Sewer laterals that are on Town property are the responsibility of the Town of Newmarket. If you find that your sewer lateral is blocked, it is your responsibility as the homeowner to undertake corrective measures to unblock the sewer lateral.
Does the Town of Newmarket provide sewer blockage services?
No, the Town of Newmarket does not provide sewer blockage services on private property. You can call the Town’s pre-selected contractor, ., or call your own private contractor, at your own risk. All cost incurred for this service is the responsibility of the homeowner, unless proven that the blockage was caused on Town property. Please note that the Town will only reimburse you if the pre-selected contractor was used in the sewer clearing services.
What is the Town's responsibility for sewer laterals?
The Town is responsible for the following on sewer laterals on Town property:
- Removal of tree roots
- Chemical treatments to prevent root infiltration
- Repair, rehabilitation or replacement of sewer laterals
- Replacement of sewer laterals as party of any Town of Newmarket road re-construction and sewer main line replacement program
How do sewer laterals get blocked?
Sewers can get blocked by:
- Pouring fats, oils and grease down the drains (sink) after cooking
- Flushing items down the toilet such as baby wipes, diapers, sanitary products and more
- Tree roots growing into the pipes
- Structural issues such as breaks, cracks and collapse of the sewer laterals
Why is pouring/flushing fats, oils and grease and household items bad?
When fats, oils and grease and certain household items are poured and flushed down your sinks, drains or toilets, they can clog the pipes that take wastewater from your house to the treatment plant. If the pipes are clogged, it can cause untreated sewage to back-up and flood your basement, your neighbours basement and your community.
How should I dispose fats, oils and grease?
Grease, fats and oils go in green bin. Before washing pots, pans and dirty dishes, wait for fats oils and grease to harden. Wipe with a paper tower or scrape into the green bin. Grease, fats and oils include:
Liquid cooking oils such as vegetable, canola, sunflower and olive oils that won’t solidify can be dropped off at one of York Region’s Waste Depots for recycling into biodiesel.
- Butter or margarine
- Salad dressing
- Cooking oils (includes deep frying oils)
- Sauces and gravies
- Meat fats
- Sour milk and cream
- Sandwich spreads