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The City of Coquitlam Making Efforts to Upgrade Their Sewer Systems

The City of Coquitlam is making strides to upgrade its aging sewer system. Sewer overflows have been an issue for the city in the past, and they are taking steps to prevent this from happening in the future.

Upgrades to the sewer systems will help to improve water quality and ensure that the city is meeting provincial regulations. This is great news for Coquitlam residents and visitors, as it will help to keep our community healthy and beautiful. 

In this article, we will take a look at the city’s recent efforts to upgrade its sewer system and what this means for the future of Coquitlam. So let’s start!

Sewage Overflow on North Road

sewer overflow in the middle of the street

Residents of Coquitlam were recently alarmed when sewage backup occurred on North Road. The city was quick to respond and take action to mitigate the situation.

The City of Coquitlam is quick in making its move to upgrade its sewer systems. They proposed a project aimed at reducing the overflows and clogs in Burguitlam’s sewer system during extreme rainfall.

The City council grants the funding for Coquitlam’s infrastructure improvements. The Coquitlam City Council recently approves funding to begin work along North Road, Como Lake Avenue, and in the Southwest Austin Heights area.

City of Coquitlam’s Response

Jonathan Helmus, the City Utility Director of Coquitlam, explains that the sanitary sewer system was built to move waste and sewage from houses into regional treatment facilities. There’s also a separate drainage system set up for rainwater. The rainwater will be collected through the gutters before being safely dispersed outside the city.

However, the two systems are interconnected and, in some cases, during extreme rainfall, the sanitary sewer system can become overloaded, causing both wastewater and sewage to be discharged into the drainage system.

Helmus explained that, “To protect the system,” Coquitlam is expanding their ongoing I&I work to monitor flow levels and conduct maintenance hole inspections. They will also use non-toxic fog or dye in order to check for leaks along with replacement of aging infrastructure that may be causing problems within our sewers.

The city has committed themselves fully towards protecting this crucial part by taking steps such as increasing monitoring techniques, which includes doing video surveillance on pipes where there are high traffic areas, so we can see if anything unusual happens before it becomes an issue.

sewer overflow traffic

With the statement of Helmus, we can see that the city is taking the proper precautions to ensure that the citizens of Coquitlam will not experience any sewage overflows again. The upgrades also started quickly, weeks after the initial overflow.

The City’s Door-to-Door Consultation

In addition to making physical upgrades to the sewer system, the City of Coquitlam is also working to educate residents in Southwest Austin Heights and the Stoney Creek neighborhood about the importance of keeping the sewer system clear.

The city is going door-to-door in these areas to educate the residents about upgrading the city’s sewer system. This activity is to ensure that everyone is aware of how they can keep the sewer system running smoothly.

During these consultations, residents are given information about what can impact the sewer system to overflow.

Responsibilities for Homeowners

Almost half of Coquitlam’s sewer system is located on private property, and it is the responsibility of the homeowners to maintain and clear these pipes that connect their home’s plumbing to the city’s sewer main.

The City of Coquitlam has the following suggestions for home owners:

  • A plumber or drainage expert should be inspecting the pipe using a camera at least once every 10 years. If there are pipe clogs, make sure t0 clean them out.
  • Check to see whether the roof and foundation drain connects to the sanitary sewer, and if they are, disconnect them. The city will assist with upgrading, demolition, and relocation for properties that do not have modern storm sewer connections.
  • The city doesn’t allow planting trees and shrubs too close to the lateral as their roots can damage the pipe.
  • Keeping catch basins away from leaves and debris helps to ensure that the sewer system can handle the amount of water going through it during a rainstorm. You can also join the City’s Adopt a Catch Basin volunteer program to make sure that only rain water goes down the drain.

The Future of Coquitlam’s Sewer System

sewer line improvements

The City of Coquitlam is working alongside Metro Vancouver to upgrade the regional Stoney Creek trunk sewer that extends from Port Moody, through Coquitlam, and into Burnaby. This project completion period is within the next five years.

With these recent efforts, the future of Coquitlam’s sewer system is looking bright. The city is taking the necessary steps to upgrade its aging infrastructure. They also want to ensure that its citizens know how they can help keep the sewer system running smoothly.


The City of Coquitlam is making great efforts to upgrade its sewer system. By investing in new infrastructure, the city wants to ensure that sewage overflows will not happen again.

If you live in Coquitlam, be sure to maintain your lateral and be mindful of what goes down the drain. Together, we can keep our city’s sewer system flowing freely and prevent any future overflows.

If you ever experience any sewer backups and are in need of emergency plumbing services make sure to call your local Coquitlam plumbers at Your Guy Plumbing & Drainage. We are always ready and willing to help the Coquitlam residents. 

John Relampago

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