Information | Scheduled system upgrade - May long weekend

Due to a scheduled system upgrade, some applications and documents on may not be available from 5 p.m. Friday, May 17 until 8 a.m. Tuesday, May 21. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Sanitary sewage backups and overflows can be caused by a number of factors including fats or oils clogging the drain​, blockages due to tree roots, collapsed sewer pipes, and more.

If there is dirty and/or smelly water coming up from the basement floor drain or other fixture on your lower level you are likely experiencing a sewage back-up.

How to deal with a sewage backup

  1. Do not go into the affected areas, as they are contaminated and pose a risk to you and your family.
  2. Call 311.
    • The 311 Operator/agent will ask questions to determine whether you need a plumber or if the issue might be as a result of city infrastructure.
    • To learn more about water service lines and City vs. homeowner responsibility, visit Water Service Lines in Calgary.
    • Please note: City crews will not move furniture, pull back carpet, remove toilets or make holes in walls to identify source. See tips on how to prepare for City crews.
  3. Contact your insurance company.

How to prevent sewage backups

In the home plumbing system (household drains and toilets), the main cause is usually the accumulation of fats, oil and grease, hair, dental floss, or solid materials such as disposable towels, diapers and sanitary products which include sanitary or wet wipes. See what items not to flush down drains and toilets.

Maintain your drains by performing regular maintenance​ and avoid pouring potentially harmful substances down the drain, like grease.

Prevent fat or oil blockages by using paper towel to wipe extra grease from dishes, pots and pans before washing. Dispose of paper towel in your compost.

Install a backwater valve on below grade fixtures to help eliminate costly sewage water damage.