Blocked sewers – call before clearing

Technical drawing of a house’s sewer line intersecting with a natural gas line.

It’s possible that natural gas lines can intersect with sewer service lines outside your home or business. These intersections are called cross bores, and they can remain undetected for years. This does not pose a safety risk unless the natural gas line is damaged. Damage to a natural gas line can result in a gas leak, fire, or explosion.

Do not begin clearing the sewer with rotating equipment or water jets until inspection has ruled out the presence of a cross bore. Even if you do not use natural gas, natural gas lines could be nearby.

Call us at 204-480-1212 or 1-888-624-9376 to arrange for a free natural gas sewer safety inspection before trying to clear a blocked sewer line. Emergency response is available 24/7. If we confirm there is no interference between natural gas lines and sewer lines, you will be given verbal authorization to proceed. If natural gas lines potentially interfere with the blocked sewer service:

  • a free on-site inspection will be carried out promptly;
  • if required, we will correct the situation so the work on the sewer can be completed safely.

You don’t need to call if you or your plumber is:

  • fixing the problem within the walls of the building;
  • performing a video inspection to confirm there is no natural gas line in the sewer;
  • attempting to clear a blockage with plungers or push rods.

Damage to natural gas lines

Signs that a natural gas line has been damaged during the clearing of a sewer line include:

  • a natural gas smell (like that of rotten eggs);
  • a hissing sound;
  • bubbling water;
  • blowing dirt.

If you smell gas or think you have a gas leak, leave the area immediately and call us to have the odour investigated. Do not use any electrical switches, appliances, telephones, motor vehicles, or any other source of ignition such as lighters or matches.