Montréal is at the watch level (green zone). Stay informed

Online services

Select a service from the menu at right for more details.

Select a service

All online services

Sewers & pipes

The Règlement relatif à l’entretien des branchements d’égout (in French only) applies to the 19 boroughs in Montréal.

It is intended to harmonize practices across the city and put an end to disparities in municipal services.

The by-law sets out the obligations of the city and the owner in regards to maintenance and repair work on sewer connections located on public property.

The City will defray the cost of corrective work on a sewer connection that presents a structural failure.


Owner’s responsibility

The building owner must continue to defray the maintenance costs for the portion of the sewer connection on his or her private property and for work on public property aimed at correcting a defect that is not structural in nature.


Blocked sewer and sewer backup

The owner of a building with blocked sewers or sewer backup inside the building must call 311 to request that the borough check the sewer main on the street. If the sewer main on the street shows no signs of backup, the owner will be contacted to have a sewer power cleaning specialist intervene.

The owner who is the victim of a sewer backup is strongly advised to hire a contractor specialized in high-pressure cleaning who is equipped to carry out this type of work.



Explain your problem to the contractor and ask him if he is able to remove roots, grease blockages or debris from the portion of the sewer line located between the inside of the building and the municipal sewer line, and if he conducts the inspection using a camera to produce a video of the entire length of your sewer line.

To help you choose a qualified contractor, go to the Yellow Pages Web site and use the following keywords:

  • Unblocking drains,
  • Unblocking sewers

You’ll be sure to find a contractor suited to your needs.


Responsibility of the City

The new municipal by-law in Montréal standardizes repair services across all boroughs, but there is a procedure to follow in order to benefit from this new by-law.


When does the City intervene?

The new by-law requires that the owner be able to demonstrate beyond a doubt that there is a structural break in the sewer line. A structure break will include the collapse of the sewer line or a major break thereof, proven beyond doubt using a video camera.

Bris de conduite

To find out more about the new municipal by-law (in French only)


Blockage caused by roots

Presence of roots with a major line break: as soon as the verification is carried out, this break will be deemed urgent and the city will take action as soon as possible.


A request for action related to the presence of roots in a sewer line will be processed according to the extent of the damage (or not) to the sewer line.

  • Step 1
    Presence of roots in a joint with no line break: this first step requires no action on the part of the city, as it comes under the normal maintenance the owner must carry out.
  • Step 2
    Presence of roots in a joint with a minor line break: this second step must be subject to verification to determine whether urgent action by the city is required or whether the work can done at a later time.
  • Step 3
    Presence of roots with a major line break: as soon as the verification is carried out, this break will be deemed urgent and the city will take action as soon as possible.


Grease blockage

Sewer backups caused by a grease blockage over the full length of a private sewer line are not deemed to be structural breaks, and the blockage must be removed by the owner. A water pressure truck is required for this type of work.

Bouchon de graisse - mium


Staggered joint and shallows

A staggered joint on a section of a private sewer line and a shallows are not deemed to be major structural breaks; they come under the category of minor defects to monitor and do not require urgent action. These defects will be subject to work that must be done eventually.

Bas fond


Property limit

Owners must defray the cost of sewer line maintenance, including cleaning and the removal of roots, debris and grease blockages, over the entire length of the sewer line. The property line marks off the private and public portions and determines whether the owner or the city is responsible for repairing a break.


Sewer backup and flooding during heavy rains

An inspection service is available to citizens whose homes suffer damages after heavy rains. To schedule a preventive inspection, citizens must call a private plumber to inspect their facilities.

A check valve should be installed to prevent sewer backup inside a building.


For further information on the subject, see the section marked “Sewer backup due to heavy rains” at


Contiguous buildings: sewer system

When the sewer system between two contiguous buildings is connected by a single Y pipe, it is the owner (or owners) responsibility to make the necessary repairs.


Complementary information


A short video demonstrating how to correct a sewer backup problem is available through the Accès Verdun offices or the libraries in the borough.

Documents concerning plumbing work and claims may also prove useful.


For information:

Division des permis et inspections
4555, rue de Verdun, bureau 109
Verdun (Québec) H4G 1M4

Direction adjointe des projets d’infrastructure et du génie municipal
4555, rue de Verdun, bureau 208
Verdun (Québec) H4G 1M4

Telephone : 311