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Camera Inspection of Blocked Sewer Lines

Apr 1, 2015 | Sewer Pipes

Blocked Sewer Lines

Under new Provincial guidelines, sewer lines now must first have a camera inspection done for blocked sewer lines that are leaving your property (not within your dwelling).

Your home’s sewer line can back up when there is an obstruction between your business or residence and the city’s sanitary sewer line. The sewage pipe between your property and the city’s sewer main is called the Private Drain Connection (PDC). The PDC runs up until the city water shutoff valve.

The PDC is located underground normally below your lawn and landscaping and oftentimes will run under walkways or sidewalks. It was initially installed during your property’s building process and is the responsibility of the property owner.

When the PDC becomes blocked, your home or business may experience sewage back up into the building. This can cause a health hazard and can cause considerable damage if not correctly immediately.

Typically building owners would call in a certified plumber to remove the obstruction with a motorized ‘snaking’ device. These tools are capable of rotating at high speeds while they traverse the length of the PDC. Depending on the head used with these devices, they can clear away most obstructions.

Who pays?

If the obstruction is found to be on the property owner’s side of the city’s water shutoff, it is 100% the responsibility of the property owner for the cost of repair. If the obstruction is on the city’s side of the water box/shutoff, they are responsible for the cost to repair the obstruction.

Camera inspection equipment provides information on the type of obstruction as well as the exact measurement for how far the obstruction is the pipe.


How do I start the process?

You start by calling a certified plumber who follows the guidelines set out by the Province of Ontario. The new legislation explicitly states that cameras must first be used PRIOR to removing the sewage line obstruction.

If your plumber does not own/operate camera equipment, ensure they provide one prior to snaking your line. Damage caused by snaking equipment will be the property owner’s expense. If a motorized snaking device comes into contact with an unexpected utility such as a gas line, this can create a dangerous and costly situation. In this case, the repair and damage caused by this negligence will be the responsibility of the property owner and the plumber. Property owners and certified plumbers have been made aware of this – the city will assume no liability.

At Chasles Plumbing Professionals, we own and operate camera inspection equipment for safety and compliance. We’ll scope your sewer lines and show you onscreen what the path is to the obstruction and how best to clear it. As well, we’ll make recommendations to avoid a reoccurrence of the blockage.

Never snake your sewer line without first inspecting it with a camera. It avoids further damage and addition costs – and it’s also the law.