The city's responsibility for sanitary sewer servicing begins where your property ends. Your household plumbing is only the start of a massive sewer network.
Fredericton’s sanitary sewer network consists of a system of sewers designed to collect and convey household and industrial wastewater from urban areas to a wastewater treatment plant. The majority of sewage collected is treated at the Barker Street treatment plant, which is operated by the City’s Pollution Control Division. The Pollution Control Division also operates two smaller treatment facilities to treat wastewater in the Lincoln and Garden Creek areas of the city.
Responsible Sewer Use
As a homeowner and resident, you share a responsibility to use our sewage system responsibly. It all comes down to what you flush. What’s safe to flush? It’s simple—only human waste and toilet paper. Nothing else. For the record, and to be completely clear, the following items are NOT flushable:
- houseplant leaves and clippings
- silt or mud
- human or animal hair; tea bags, coffee grounds, filters
- cooking grease or animal grease (don't pour these down the sink either!)
- cigarettes, cigars, butts
- kitty litter
- solvents, paint
- sanitary napkins
- tampon applicators, plastic
- tampon applicators, cardboard
- disposable diapers
- flushable personal wipes
- boxes, packaging, wrappers
It doesn’t matter what it says on the package, these items are not flushable. They do not biodegrade during the time spent in the wastewater collection and treatment systems; they cause blockages in sanitary sewer service connections, mains and pumping stations, causing backups and unnecessary discharges to the environment; they foul valves and pumps, resulting in many thousands of dollars in maintenance and repair costs each year in our city.
The same rules for flushables apply to homes with on-site systems (septic tanks and fields). The above items do not quickly biodegrade and therefore take up space—and they may interfere with the normal operation in the tank and tank maintenance.
Your sewer clean-out
Your sewer clean-out should remain accessible in case a problem develops that requires our assistance. Be sure that renovations never make these inaccessible.
The City of Fredericton Water & Sewer Division will make a free house call for a maintenance check on your sanitary sewer service connection. We have crews available Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Emergency response for plugged service connections is provided around the clock, but you can save the city money by preventing a sewer backup in the first place with proper maintenance.
For more information, or to schedule maintenance on your sanitary sewer service, contact Service Fredericton.