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Annual Sanitary Sewer Cleaning & Inspection Contract

Annual Sanitary Sewer Cleaning & Inspection Contract

Project background

In alignment with the principles of asset management, Utilities Kingston conducts annual sanitary sewer cleaning and inspection.  This is done to help ensure the long-term operational and structural integrity of the sewage collection system and to proactively schedule any required maintenance and/or rehabilitation. 

The objective is to inspect all of the City of Kingston's sanitary sewers over an approximate twelve-year cycle. Local and collector sanitary sewers (small and medium-sized, generally speaking) are covered over two five-year projects.  Due to the heavy flows in the trunk sewers (generally speaking, the larger ones), a different program is used and is covered over two one-year projects.

The project includes two primary processes:

  1. Sewer cleaning:  The sewers are cleaned by flushing with a high-pressure jet.  The jet is passed along the entire length of a sewer run (from maintenance hole to maintenance hole) several times by default, and more if additional cleaning is required.  Sewers are built typically with a design velocity that allows for self-scouring so normally, they do not require more than three or four passes.  However, if the sewers are found to have grease accumulations, calcite deposits, and/or gravel deposits from upstream construction or a main break, they may require considerably more passes to get them clean.
  2. Sewer inspection:  The sewers are televised using a process called closed-circuit television inspection (CCTV).  A robotic camera is inserted into the pipe at one end, and it drives the length of the sewer run.  During this run, it records video.  When connections or defects are observed, the camera can pan and tilt to inspect the defect.  This results in a database of features and defects found along the sewer which can later be further analyzed to determine whether or not remedial measures are required, and with what level of urgency.

The work will not affect the majority of homeowners or cause any disruption to service, but, there is a small chance that small spills, noise and odours may result. Here’s why:  The sewer cleaning process uses a high-pressure jet to scour the pipe. When the jet passes by your home’s connection to the sewer, it creates a pressure wave. This pressure wave has the ability to push-out, or pull-in the water and air held inside your plumbing and drain traps, including your toilets, showers, sinks and floor drains. In most cases, nothing happens, but sometimes it does.

As a precaution, we advise you to i) keep your toilet lids closed when they are not in use and ii) flush after every use. Also, to prevent odours, it is advisable to pour 2 litres of water into infrequently used plumbing fixtures to ensure the drain trap is full, ideally before AND after the work takes place. If water appears to be spilled around your toilet or floor drain, please accept our apologies as we perform this important sewer maintenance work. Any spilled water was water stored in the drain trap, and can simply be wiped up.

Services affected

  • Wastewater

Design and Construction

No design and construction is completed as part of this annual contract.

Schedule and Project Downloads

The schedule varies from year to year. The current portion of our inspection and cleaning cycle will focus on the final year of our five year program.

If your property is located in the study area, you will receive a mailed-out notice prior to work commencing.  It provides some basic instructions on what to do to best protect your home against some of the things that can happen as a result of the cleaning process (they are rare).  There will be no interruption to your wastewater service due to either activity.


  • Cleaning & Inspections for Year 5 will  run between April - December 2023.


If you experience any emergencies related to sewage during the weeks following your receipt of the notice, and believe it may be related to the project call the contractor directly, M. Cudd Infrastructure at 613-929-9125. Alternatively, contact Utilities Kingston's Inspector, Jake Brown, or call Customer Service, Monday to Friday from 8 AM to 5 PM at 613-546-0000.

Utilities Kingston
Mike Fischer, P.Eng.
Utilities Engineer
85 Lappan's Lane
Kingston, ON K7L 4X7
Office: 613-546-1181, extension 2356
Utilities Kingston
Jake Brown, C.E.T.
Engineering Inspector
85 Lappan's Lane
Kingston, ON K7L 4X7
Cell: 613-888-4566
Office: 613-546-1181, extension 2338