The following policy and procedures are followed by the Township of Esquimalt when dealing with blockages in private property sewer and drain laterals:
Owners are responsible for sewer and drain laterals on their (private) property and within private easements.
In the event of a blockage, owners shall first ensure that it is NOT in their system by having a plumbing or drain cleaning company check and clean the piping from their building to the property line.
If the blockage is beyond the property line, the owner or their pipe cleaning firm must contact the Esquimalt Public Works Department (phone 250-414-7108) prior to entering municipal property.
- Municipal staff will attend the site or advise the owner (or his representative), to either continue into municipal property, or to remove equipment so municipal crews can continue the cleaning process.
- If the sewer or drain blockage is found in the municipal system, municipal crews will complete any works required to repair or replace the piping in municipal property.
Owners are responsible for paying contractors for all works completed on private property.
When the blockage is found to be in the municipal system, the owner may submit copies of the paid contractor’s invoice to the municipality.
- The invoice will receive due consideration for reimbursement of investigation costs (up to a maximum $800) on private property.
- Costs for installation of clean-outs, replacement of piping, and any other work done on private property will not be reimbursed.
- Any unauthorized work in municipal property may void reimbursement for investigative works and may require payment by the pipe cleaning firm for repair to any utilities or services damaged.
Pursuant to Section 288 of the Municipal Act, the municipality is not liable for damages arising from the malfunction of sewer or drain systems. Owners should contact their insurance companies for information about coverage.