Down the drain

This is how we can avoid overloading the sewer system.

Not down the toilet or down the drain!

Sewer systems and wastewater treatment plants are designed to receive and treat mainly fecal matter and wastewater from kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms...but not the following.

Do not flush any of the following down the toilet or the drain

Food waste

  • Table scraps: grease and bones


  • Wipes
  • Sanitary napkins
  • Cotton swabs
  • Hair
  • Small animal carcasses

Household hazardous waste

  • Motor oil
  • Paint
  • Medication
  • Cleaning products

Consult the Info D-TRI-TUS search engine to find out how to dispose of the above materials.

Runoff from eavestroughs

Manholes and catchbasins are designed to receive only rainwater. This water is then redirected into a waterway, generally without treatment. Thus, it is prohibited to pour into them any substance that could alter the quality of the environment.

When it rains, eavestroughs that are directly connected to foundation drains may saturate the sewer system and lead to:

  • overflows into waterways: this untreated water contains a multitude of pollutants such as fertilizer, oil, fat and pesticides that can significantly disrupt wildlife and vegetation;
  • flooding that can damage properties; and
  • additional costs for the water treatment plants that have to treat large amounts of water unnecessarily.

What should you do?

  • First, disconnect eavestroughs from foundation drains.
  • Then redirect any that spill onto an impermeable surface, such as asphalt, and divert them to lawns, bushes or flower beds, which will give the soil a chance to soak up the water.
  • Collect rainwater in rain barrels. At an average capacity of 200 litres, a rain barrel can save close to 6,000 litres of drinking water annually! The water can be used for gardens and lawns, to wash cars or to top up pools and ponds.

Rain guard

Rain barrel

Perforated or fully enclosed pipe

By-law 406-2007 concerns discharge into sewers. For additional information, check out the pamphlet on sewer use.

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