We know it’s been a long hot summer, and summer floods are the last thing from our minds, but those summer storms can sneak up on us here in Edmonton. Is your home ready for it? One way to protect your home from flooding is having a backwater valve on your main sanitary sewer pipe. While these are required and come standard in newer homes, homes built prior to 1989 may not have this device. If you own an older home and don’t have a backwater valve, don’t worry, you’re not out of luck; you may qualify for the EPCOR Backwater Valve Subsidy Program.
What is a Backwater Valve?A backwater valve is a device with a flap that floats up and closes off the pipe when there is backflow from the sewer. This ensures that sewage only flows one way, out.
What is the Cost to Retrofit a Backwater Valve?While the cost is dependant on a number of variables, you can expect the retrofitting of a backwater valve to cost somewhere between $1000 - $2000.
What is the EPCOR Backwater Valve Subsidy Program?The program offers Edmonton homeowners up to $800 towards the cost of installing a backwater valve.
- Not have an existing backwater valve in your home
- Not have previously received a subsidy for the application address
- Have your home separately serviced (single-family dwelling or duplex)
- Have a pre-approval consultation completed by EPCOR Flood Prevention.
- Get pre-approved Contact the EPCOR Prevention Team at 780.944.7777 to schedule your consultation.
- Install the backwater valve within 6 months of inspection Installation must be completed by a professional plumber and only certain valve types qualify.
- Submit the application within 6 months of the inspection Your application must include proof of installation and payment for the backwater valve and a copy of the City of Edmonton Acceptable green sticker that includes the permit number for the installation
- The subsidy, up to $800, will be paid by cheque made payable to the applicant
- Subsidies are subject to available funding and are provided on a first-come, first-served basis. There are no guarantees to receive a subsidy
How to Maintain an Existing Backwater Valve:Your backwater valve should be accessible in your basement via a plug or panel, and you should check it at least twice a year. (Prior to winter melt and summer storm flood seasons.)
- Open the plug or panel and check for debris using a flashlight.
- Clean the area by flushing with water and scrubbing if necessary.
- Move the gate back and forth to ensure it moves without issue. Lubricate with oil if necessary.
- Check the O-ring for cracks or damage and replace if necessary.
- Replace the plug or panel.