Once a year the Town maintains the sewer main lines. The maintenance makes sure that:

  • The sewer lines are clean and free of any material that could cause sewer backups or blockages
  • Our wastewater continues to flow to the Red Deer Regional Wastewater System

When do we do sewer line maintenance?

  • Sewer line maintenance/cleaning usually occurs from October - December
  • We do our best to stick to a schedule, but maintenance is weather dependent, and scheduling may change

Why do I notice bubbling and gurgling in my toilet?

  • Town sewer main lines are cleaned by using a combination vacuum truck
  • The truck uses a strong jet to clean rocks, dirt, roots and debris from the sewer mains while vacuuming at the same time
  • Most residents won’t notice anything, but some (about 2%)may hear gurgling noises or have bubbling toilets
  • The gurgling/bubbling is usually caused by the combination of:
    • The cleaning process pushes air out of the sewer main line and into the sewer service line. This can displace the water from your toilet
    • Possible inadequate venting of a home’s plumbing system, possibly caused by the vent stack being plugged because of:
      • Frosting over in winter, bird nest, vent shingled over top of, too many bends in the plumbing, or a sag in the service line and/or sewer main line

How should I prepare?

  • For the duration of the program keep the lid closed on your toilets
  • If your floor drain is accessible, remove any items near by
  • Remember, the sewer lines in your home are not maintained by the Town. Maintain your home's sewer lines by checking your backflow preventer valve and by preventing clogs before they happen

Shouldn’t my backflow preventer stop toilet gurgles from happening?

  • No, since back flow prevention devices are only activated by liquids, not air

I smell sewer now in my house, what do I do?

  • Make sure all your p-traps have water in them
  • The water blocks sewer odours from entering your home
  • Fill your p-traps by pouring water down your floor drains and sinks

**From The Town of Sylvan Lake