If your sanitary sewer service line from the house to the sanitary sewer main in the street is plugged or showing signs of backup, you have the option to contact Environmental Utilities or a local plumber or drain cleaning service.
Environmental Utilities offers a courtesy service where field operators will clear the blockage during business hours Monday to Sunday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. If the problem is in the evening/night (from 4 p.m. to 8 a.m.), your choices are to call a local private sewer cleaning contractor at your own expense, or wait until business hours for the Environmental Utilities field operators to attend.
The service provided by Environmental Utilities is contingent on there being a proper cleanout and plumbing installed in your home as well as ample access to clean out the line. As this is a courtesy service, and the Utility does not have a power auger, field operators may not be able to guarantee that the service line will be completely cleaned out and that the equipment used will be able to navigate the plumbing in every home. The City is only responsible for the sewer line on City side, which is another reason why the service of clearing blockages from inside the home is a courtesy service only.
Although commonly referred to as a sewer clean out service, the field operator’s equipment is not designed to fully clean the service line but is used to clear blockages within the service line. As every home is built differently, field operators may not know whether they will be able to fully assist until they are on site. If you want your sewer service line cleaned in its entirety, we recommend that you call a local plumber or drain cleaning company at your own expense.
Routine sewer maintenance is provided by Environmental Utilities at no cost to homeowners in Medicine Hat. Environmental Utilities Field Operators will be dispatched on a first come, first served basis with a priority based on emergency sewer backup calls. Routine Maintenances are a preventative cleanout and will be performed at the discretion of the homeowner. It is up to you to call Environmental Utilities if you notice your sewer system beginning to slow.
Please note that Environmental Utilities is not a plumbing service and will only be responsible for removing blockages in the main sewer service line from property line to the City sewer main. As long as proper access and plumbing is installed in the home, Environmental Utilities will attempt to clear any blockages within the line from inside the home to the City sewer main. If the problem is determined to be an internal blockage, it will be suggested to you to call a local plumber or drain cleaning company.
Sewer Main Flushing
The sanitary sewer collection system will be flushed in the event of a sewer main blockage or overflow; however the City has a routine sewer main flushing program that is carried out year-round to minimize the chances of and backup in the mains or overflow from a sanitary manhole. Refer to the Sanitary Sewer Maintenance Programs page for more information.
CCTV (closed circuit television) Inspections are completed on sanitary sewer services and mains to assess the condition of the sanitary sewers. The CCTV inspections help determine whether repairs are required or if there is a problem within a sewer line that requires attention. This courtesy service is offered to Medicine Hat sewer customers on a case-by-case basis providing that sufficient access can be provided. Should you be experiencing frequent sewer backups and are unable to determine the cause, it may be recommended that you have a camera of your sewer service line completed. Results will be provided to the homeowner and follow-up by Environmental Utilities supervisory staff completed as necessary.
Sewer Line Locates
Since January 2018, Environmental Utilities no longer requires a separate phone call for locates requests. All tickets submitted to AB One Call for locates requests within Medicine Hat are being forwarded to Environmental Utilities to review and attend as required. Please ensure you have contacted Alberta One Call by calling 1.800.242.3447 or online at www.albertaonecall.com before you begin to dig. Ensure you allow at minimum, 2 business days for the locate to be completed.
For Commercial or Construction related locates Environmental Utilities locators will meet at the same time as scheduled by the Gas and Electric utilities.
For residential locates, the field operator will locate the curbstop (water service valve) which is generally found at property line; the sewer service (in most cases) runs parallel to the water service line. If the work you are performing will not go near the water or sewer services, Environmental Utilities customer service staff may provide a verbal clearance ticket number for your reference.
Should you require a more detailed locate of the sanitary sewer service for demolition or repair purposes, please indicate this to Environmental Utilities customer service staff at the time of your call.
For additional information, contact Environmental Utilities at 403.529.8176.
An adult over the age of 18 must be in attendance for the entirety of the service being completed for all sewer related services provided by Environmental Utilities field operators whereby house access is required.