Coquitlam’s sanitary sewer system plays an important role in good health and hygiene by collecting wastewater from homes and businesses. Wastewater is any flow from sinks, toilets, or appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers.
Wastewater collected from your home is transported through a network of pipes and pump stations to the regional treatment plant located on Annacis Island. The treatment plant cleans the wastewater before it is released to the Fraser River.
You can help keep our sewer system running properly by not pouring liquid fats, oil and grease down kitchen sinks. Information on its safe disposal can be found at Fats, Oil & Grease.
Unwanted rainwater inflowing or infiltrating into the sanitary sewer system is another problem that can cause sewage to back up into your home. Tips on keeping rainwater out of sanitary sewers can be found below.
Fats, Oils & Grease
Fats, oils and grease (FOG) are by-products of cooking which can solidify in sewer pipes and cause sewage to back up into your house. FOG includes foods such as:
- meat fats
- cooking oil
- butter and margarine
You can help prevent the clogging of sewer lines by properly disposing of FOG. Scrape your plates clean before washing or placing in the dishwasher. Wipe grease from frying pans with a paper towel and place it in your green bin. Don't pour grease down your kitchen sink (adding soap or hot water doesn’t make a difference). Small amounts of fats, cooking oil and grease can be stored in disposable containers and thrown out with garbage, as long as any liquids have been solidified. In Coquitlam, larger quantities of liquid cooking oil may be taken to the Coquitlam Transfer Station at 1200 United Boulevard.
- Click Here to watch Metro Vancouver’s video to learn more about pouring grease down the drain.
Businesses, such as restaurants, are required to install and properly maintain grease traps on their premises. Grease traps should be adequately sized, regularly maintained and the captured grease should be disposed in accordance to the regional Sewer Use Bylaw..
Inflow & Infiltration
Sanitary sewer inflow & infiltration (I&I) is rainwater and groundwater that enters the sanitary system through improper connections and defects. This unwanted water uses up the capacity of the sewer pipe and can cause sewage to back up into your home. It can also cause sanitary sewer overflows to the environment and damage sensitive ecosystems.
There are many sources of I&I including:
- Roof and foundation drains that are improperly connected to sewer pipes.
- Uncapped or damaged sewer cleanouts.
- Sewer pipe defects.
- Roots growing into sewer pipes.
- Leaky manhole covers.
- Lawn and catch basins that are improperly connected to sewer pipes.
The City has a program of finding and repairing sources of I&I in the City’s sewer system.
You can help reduce I&I from coming from your house by:
- Checking that your gutters and outside drains are not connected to your sanitary sewer pipes.
- Avoid planting trees or shrubs near sewer pipes.
- Checking that your basement and foundation drains are not connected to your sanitary sewer pipes.
- Repair defective or broken sewer pipe on your property.
Engineering & Public Works Customer Service
Engineering Emergency Services for Water, Sewer and Roads
24 Hours a Day, 7 Days a Week
If this matter is urgent, please call our Engineering and Public Works Customer Service line at 604-927-3500 (24 Hours / 7 Days a Week).
Engineering Customer Service Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please Note - The Engineering and Public Works email address is only monitored during regular business hours (Monday to Friday: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.).