Water & Sewer

Backwater Valve Maintenance

Sometimes homeowners put items down their sinks or toilets which are problematic for the sewer system and for your backwater valve. The following items can clog pipes or tangle into massive knots that can damage the sewer, cause sewer backups and cause your backwater valve to not function properly.

  • Baby or Hygiene Wipes
  • Feminine Products
  • Kitty Litter
  • Dental Floss
  • Diapers
  • Condoms
  • Hair
  • Paper Towel
  • Rags
  • Food scraps
  • Fat, Oil or Grease
  • Paint

Please properly dispose of the above items to protect the sewer system and your backwater valve.

Check your backwater valve

You should check your backwater valve every 2-3 months or before a forecasted heavy rainfall. This will ensure that the valve is functioning properly. Debris found in the valve will most likely prevent it from function properly.

Follow these steps to clear and maintain your backwater valve:

*Always wear protective gloves and eye protection

  • Open the cap on the backwater valve and check for any debris. 
  • Flush the valve with a bucket of water or a garden hose to remove the debris.
  • If deposits of grease or other debris remain, scrubbing may be required.
  • When completed, ensure that the cap is placed back on the backwater valve and that it is tightly secured.

How to get a back water valve installed

The City of Hamilton offers property owners of single-family residential homes a grant (subsidy) of up to $2000 for the installation of a backwater valve and other eligible works that help to reduce the risk of basement flooding. Learn more about this program.