Coquitlam’s sanitary sewer system plays an important role in good health and hygiene by collecting wastewater from homes and businesses.
Wastewater is any flow from sinks, toilets, or appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers.
Wastewater collected from your home is transported through a network of pipes and pump stations to the regional treatment plant located on Annacis Island. The treatment plant cleans the wastewater before it is released to the Fraser River.
Fats, Oils & Grease
Fats, oils and grease (FOG) are by-products of cooking which can solidify in sewer pipes and cause sewage to back up into your house. FOG includes foods such as:
Butter and Margarine
What You Can Do
You can help prevent the clogging of sewer lines by properly disposing of FOG. Scrape your plates clean before washing or placing in the dishwasher. Wipe grease from frying pans with a paper towel and place it in your green bin. Don’t pour grease down your kitchen sink (adding soap or hot water doesn’t make a difference). Small amounts of fats, cooking oil and grease can be stored in disposable containers and thrown out with garbage, as long as any liquids have been solidified.
Businesses, such as restaurants, are required to install and properly maintain grease traps on their premises. Grease traps should be adequately sized, regularly maintained and the captured grease should be disposed in accordance to the regional Sewer Use Bylaw.
Inflow & Infiltration
Sanitary sewer inflow and infiltration (I&I) is rainwater and groundwater that enters the sanitary system through improper connections and defects. This unwanted water uses up the capacity of the sewer pipe and can cause sewage to back up into your home. It can also cause sanitary sewer overflows to the environment and damage sensitive ecosystems.
There are many sources of I&I including:
Lawn and catch basins that are improperly connected to sewer pipes.
Leaky manhole covers.
Roof and foundation drains that are improperly connected to sewer pipes.
Roots growing into sewer pipes.
Sewer pipe defects.
Uncapped or damaged sewer cleanouts.
The City has a program of finding and repairing sources of I&I in the City’s sewer system.
What You Can Do
You can help reduce I&I from coming from your house by:
Avoid planting trees or shrubs near sewer pipes
Checking that your basement and foundation drains are not connected to your sanitary sewer pipes
Checking that your gutters and outside drains are not connected to your sanitary sewer pipes
Repair defective or broken sewer pipe on your property