Even though low-flow toilets use less water to flush, they will not will not cause your home’s sewer pipe to back up.
Toilet flushing accounts for 24% of all indoor water use, which means that there are also other forms of wastewater from your home that flow into the sewer service line and keeps waste moving along.
Also, current low-flush toilet models have a more efficient flushing system than the early generation of low-flow toilets.
To prevent blockages, however, it is very important to know what items should never be flushed down the toilet, as they will inevitably clog the sewer system. Find out what all those ‘un-flushables’ are by visiting Metro Vancouver’s Unflushables webpage or the Recycling Council of BC.
There are also other reasons why a sewer pipe could back up, e.g. tree roots have grown into the service pipe, the slope or grade of the service is below standard, or the pipes have deteriorated over time. Underground sewer and stormwater pipes require periodic inspection and maintenance to maximize their service life.
In general, homeowners are responsible for maintaining the pipes between the house and the property line. It is recommended that home owners periodically have their pipes camera inspected and maintained as required.
If you have any concerns or questions, contact the City’s Engineering and Public Works Department anytime at 604-927-3500. If there are any issues with the portion of the sewer service that you own and maintain, you would need to call a private plumbing company.