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.
- After the quick assessment, stop using any water (flushing toilets, running taps, doing laundry etc.). Doing so may cause a sewer back-up to flow into your home.
Residents can call your own independent contractor or the Town of Newmarket's contractor, J & S Services at 905-895-5193. J & S Services are familiar with proper documentation and records that must be provided to the Town for any claims.
Sewer Servicing Agreement
Before the Town's contractor can begin any work on the sewage blockage, a Sewer Servicing Agreement MUST be signed. This agreement states that the property owner agrees to pay the Town of Newmarket for the service call if the blockage was found to have originated from their private property and/or not public property. The Town of Newmarket will pay for the service up-front until an investigation is done.
Sewer Safety Inspection
Property owners are also required to complete a Sewer Safety Inspection before any contractor can perform any work. 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. If the Town's contractor, J & S Services is used, J & S Pluming Services will be responsible for arranging the Sewer Safety Inspection.
If using a different contractor, the resident or contractor must 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, the contractor can proceed with clearing the sewer blockage.
Making a claim to the Town of Newmarket
After the sewer blockage work is done by J & S Services, CCTV footage of the work, location of the blockage and information on the type of blockage, will be provided to the Town of Newmarket for investigation. After the investigation is completed, the Town of Newmarket will notify the homeowner/resident of the outcome.
If the origin of the blockage is found to have originated from the public property side (Town of Newmarket property), the Town of Newmarket will incur the costs associated with the sewer blockage work from J & S Services.
If the origin of the blockage is found to have originated from the private property side (homeowner property), the homeowner will pay for all costs associated with the sewer blockage service call. Homeowners will receive a bill from the Town of Newmarket indicating the cost.
The Town of Newmarket will not pay for blockages due to improperly disposing items such as grease, tampons, baby wipes etc. For more information please visit york.ca/idontflush
The Town of Newmarket will also not pay for issues in private plumbing pertaining to toilets, sinks, private drains etc.
If residents decide to use their own contractor:
Residents can also contact their own contractor to perform sewer blockage works. If you or your contractor suspect that the sewer blockage originated from the public property side (Town of Newmarket property), the homeowner can submit a claim to the Town of Newmarket by providing the following information:
- CCTV Footage
- Location of the sewer blockage
- Type of blockage
After an investigation has been completed by the Town of Newmarket, the Town will notify the homeowner of its decision. If the origin of the sewer blockage is proven to have been caused by Town, you will be compensated for all costs incurred for clearing the sewer blockage.
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.
If you suspect that your sewer is blocked and believe that it originated from public property, please call the Town of Newmarket at 905-895-5193. If you are calling after regular business hours, cakk 905-895-5193 press 3 to be directed to our after-hours call centre.
The Town of Newmarket will dispatch its pre-selected contractor J & S Services. Alternatively, you can call your own contractor as well. Please note that before any work can be done, homeowners must sign a Sewer Service Agreement. This agreement states that the property owner agrees to pay the Town of Newmarket for the service call if the blockage was found to have originated from their private property and/or not public property. The Town of Newmarket will pay for the service up-front until an investigation is done. After the investigation is completed and it is found that the blockage originated from the private property, the homeowner will be responsible for the cost of the sewer blockage service. For more information, call the Town of Newmarket at 905-895-5193.
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
Who is the Town's pre-selected contractor?
J & S Services was selected through a procurement bid and will be the Town’s pre-selected contractor that we provide to homeowners/residents for sewer blockage clearing services.
1111 Davis Drive, Unit 1 Suite 450
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