Sewer Lateral Management

If a property is connected to the City of Hamilton’s sewer system, sewer laterals are the length of pipe that runs between the building and the City’s sewer mains. The sanitary sewer lateral takes water from buildings, toilets, bathtubs, sinks, floor drains and laundry machines. The storm sewer lateral takes water from connected roof leaders, downspouts, weeping tiles and any private catch basins on a property. 

Private portion - The part of the sewer lateral located between the building and the property line is private.

Public portion - The part of the sewer lateral located on the public right-of-way between the property line and the City’s sewer main is public.

If the homeowner qualifies as part of the Sewer Lateral Management program,  this section of sewer lateral may be repaired, replaced and or/rehabilitated by the City of Hamilton. 

 Public versus Private Water Service Line Illustration

Using the City’s contractor for Sewer Lateral cleaning

When you choose to use the City’s contractor for a Sewer Lateral cleaning and inspection, the City’s contractor will provide you with a list of fees you may have to pay. If the defect or blockage is on the public portion, the City will pay for the service. If the defect or blockage is on your property or is the result of negligence, the City will invoice you for the service.

Should you choose to contact a qualified, licensed sewer contractor for a Sewer Lateral cleaning and inspection, you may be eligible for reimbursement by the City for some or all of the costs where there are defects in the Public Portion.

To be considered for reimbursement, you must provide the City with a closed circuit television record showing the condition of the Sewer Lateral and the location of defects on the Public Portion, together with the sewer contractor’s original invoice.

Hamilton, as part of its ongoing commitment to upgrading infrastructure, administers a Sewer Lateral Management Program. In the event that a Sewer Lateral cleaning or inspection of the Public Portion leads to repair, or replacement, the City will contact the affected property owner to provide complete details of the work involved.

Responsibilities for sewer laterals

The property owner or occupant is responsible for all costs associated with reinstating sewer service in a sewer lateral where it is determined that the loss of sewer service is the result of sewer lateral negligence. The City is not responsible for any maintenance, repairs or replacement of the private portion if sewer lateral negligence is determined to be the cause. The City maintains sewer laterals located on City owned property.

You can get a warranty for protection in case of issues with your sewer lateral.

Sewer lateral negligence

Sewer lateral negligence is when any part of the sewer lateral is improperly used to dispose of materials not intended to be in the sewer system. These may include, but are not limited to, grease, toys, diapers, and feminine products.

Report a problem with your sewer lateral

If you think you have a problem with your sewer lateral, call 905-546-2489.