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Basement Flooding

If You Have a Backup of Water or Sewer in Your Basement

Immediately dial the Water & Sewer Trouble Line at 306-975-2476.
It operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

 What you  can expect from us

  1. City staff will come to your home as soon as possible.
  2. After they have assessed the situation, City staff will advise you on what actions you could take.

 How you can help us

  1. Make sure someone over the age of 18 will be home to let City staff into your house to assess the situation.
  2. If water or sewage is accumulating on the floor, stay out of the basement!
  3. If the water reaches an electrical outlet, extension cord or any electrical appliance, you are at risk of an electrical shock. It is NOT safe to enter your basement! Immediately contact your electricity provider.
  4. Do not use toilets and sinks unless absolutely necessary. Water sent down the drain will likely end up in your basement.

​Other things to consider

  • If floodwater is threatening gas-fired equipment (such as a furnace, hot water heater, clothes dryer, etc), contact your natural gas provider.
  • You may want to call your insurance company. If possible, record details of property damage with photos or video. Your insurer will advise you on further actions.
  • You may need to retain the services of a plumber, hire an electrician, and/or have inspections done by the natural gas or electricity companies. Get professional advice and let the professionals do their work. Only after authorities declare your basement safe should you enter it.

When cleaning up after a flood, put safety first!

Floodwaters can carry disease organisms, corrosive cleaning agents, irritants and sharp objects.

  • Be sure to open windows and dress appropriately – wear overalls, gloves, protective eyewear and a mask.
  • Water-damaged electrical and natural gas appliances can be hazardous. DO NOT use them until they are inspected by a qualified professional.

The Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation offers a step-by-step guide for cleaning up after a basement flood.

Why is my basement wet or flooded?

If your basement is damp or wet, possible causes are:

  • Poor lot drainage
  • Overflowing eavestroughs
  • Leaking/plugged/missing downspouts, or downspouts that are too short
  • A leak in your home's foundation, basement walls, or basement windows or doors
  • Failure of the weeping tile system

Take steps to reduce the risk of a wet basement.

If your basement is flooded, possible causes are:

  • Failure of a sump pump.
  • A backup (surcharge) of wastewater in the Sanitary Sewer System caused by a blocked connection between your home and the sanitary sewer main in the street, which could be from tree roots, a build-up of grease or inappropriate objects. Learn how the City’s sewer systems work, and how to protect your home from floods.
  • A floor drain that prevents weeping tile water from draining.
  • Any combination of the above.

In all of these scenarios, it is recommended that a licensed plumbing contractor inspect your home’s protective plumbing devices and install missing ones.

How can you help prevent a sewer line backup?

  • Do not pour grease or cooking oil down the drain. Instead scrape out or pour cooking oil and grease into a container or plastic bag and dispose of it in your kitchen garbage. Make sure to wipe any residue with a paper towel.
  • Do not dispose of large absorbent items, like paper towels, diapers, baby wipes or feminine products, down the toilet. These products should be disposed of in your garbage.
  • Kitchen garburators increase the amount of organic material in the service lines. Depending on the condition of the service line, organic material can stick to the lines and over time cause blockages. Compost your organic material instead!

Resources

Areas of the city with back lanes do not have surface drainage plans, as all lots drain to the street or back lane. Areas of the city without back lanes do have drainage designs.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation has plenty of excellent information on storm water control and prevention of basement flooding. 

Stormwater Control to Prevent Basement Flooding

 Practical Measures for the Prevention of Basement Flooding Due to Municipal Sewer Surcharge