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Water & Wastewater Services >> Basement Flooding

Basement Flooding and Responsibilities

If you have questions or concerns call the Operations Division at (905) 871- 1600, Ext. 2466

Any pipes or components of your plumbing system that are under your property are your responsibility and are referred to as private infrastructure or the domestic sewer.

The Town of Fort Erie manages the public infrastructure that encompasses both sanitary sewers and storm water sewers (excluding storm sewers on regional roads).

Sanitary and storm sewer systems are designed and constructed to meet peak development demands. System capacities can be exceeded during extreme wet weather events.

Sanitary sewer systems are designed to handle wastewaters only. All storm/rain water should be directed to the storm sewer system.

Ongoing infrastructure rehabilitation and renewal programs continue to address sanitary and storm water management issues throughout the town.

Flooding may be the result of some maintenance issues such as a sump pump failure or root blockages in the pipe. Below are some tips to reduce flooding in your home or building.

Storm water is typically clean and one can see the basement floor through it. If the water is grayish in colour and you suspect you’re having a problem with sanitary sewer water, call the Town of Fort Erie immediately:


Tips on Preventing Basement Flooding

Most often, basement flooding occurs after a heavy rainfall or snowmelt. Some of the reasons you might get water inside your home and some possible solutions:

Poor lot drainage

Improve your lot grading, making sure the ground slopes away from the exterior walls of your home for a minimum of two metres (six feet).

Overflowing eavestroughs

Ensure eavestroughs and downspouts are clear of leaves and other debris.

Leaking, plugged or missing downspouts

Make sure that your downspouts are draining properly and directed at least two metres (six feet) from your foundation walls.

A leak in your home’s foundation, basement walls, or basement windows or doors

Inspect walls, floors, windows and foundations and repair cracks which may leak.

Failure of a sump pump used to pump weeping tile water

In the event of a power outage, monitor your sump pump.

Make sure that your sump pump discharges to the ditch/storm sewer, and not into the sanitary sewer system.

Install sump pump discharge line extensions if they are short.

Blockages due to tree roots in home service pipe (sanitary service)

Contact a plumbing / sewer contractor.

A backup of wastewater in the sewer system (possibly a combination of wastewater and rainwater from the sanitary system, and weeping tiles)

Ensure that your weeping tile drainage gets to the storm sewer system or to the ditch and not into the sanitary sewer system.

Install backwater prevention devices on basement-plumbing fixtures to drastically reduce the risk of sewage entering the basement through the fixtures.

Have a plumber regularly inspect your building’s flood-proofing devices such as backwater valves, sump pumps, floor drains or caps to ensure they are working properly. Consider installing these devices if you do not have them.


Although the flood-proofing tips listed above will do a great job in helping to prevent basement flooding, unfortunately sometimes a basement will still flood. If you experience basement flooding and suspect it is sanitary water, call the Town of Fort Erie:

  • Operations Division (905) 871- 1600, Ext. 2466

Town associates will then inspect the problem, assess the flooding, attempt to determine the source and advise what actions you may take.


Call your insurance company as soon as possible and report any damage caused by the flooding. They will advise you on how to proceed.

Do not flush the toilet or turn on any taps.
If you are a tenant, notify your landlord.
Turn off the electricity before stepping into water.
Photograph and/or videotape the extent of the flooding.

For further information on floods and flood clean-up, please check out these links:

Government of Canada Flood Information

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

or call 905-871-1600, Ext. 2466 to obtain more information.