Sewers and catch basins

The City of Vaughan is responsible for the operation and management of water distribution and wastewater collection services for all citizens and businesses to ensure a healthy and sustainable community for all.

There are two different sewer systems in Vaughan:


  1. Sanitary sewers collect wastewater that leaves homes or buildings through a drain, such as toilets, sinks, washers or showers and help move it to the wastewater treatment facilities in Durham Region and Peel Region. From there, wastewater is treated before it is released into Lake Ontario. Maintenance access holes are the City’s access points to the sanitary sewer system on the road.

    Maintenance Access Hole lid

  2. Storm sewers carry rain and melted snow away from homes, roads and non-permeable surfaces, such as paved driveways, patios and parking lots, through large grates on the ground known as catch basins. This water is referred to as stormwater and is not treated at a treatment facility before it goes back into the environment. That’s why it is important for all citizens to be aware of what should – and should not – go down the drain. Pollutants released into the storm sewers may significantly impact the City’s infrastructure and water quality.

    Catch basin on the road with snow surrounding


About catch basins

A catch basin is a curbside drain that collects stormwater and run-off from outdoor water use, such as lawn watering and car washing, and carries it to local waterways. Stormwater catch basins do not connect to the same system as the drains in your house (known as the wastewater system). That’s why keeping chemicals, fertilizers, yard waste, food, construction materials and other objects from going into catch basins is critical in protecting the City’s water quality and supply.


In Vaughan, there are about 22,000 catch basins that keep stormwater moving. These drainage systems need to be regularly maintained to keep Vaughan’s water clean and safe. Although City staff clean and maintain catch basins annually, the resident living closest to the catch basin is encouraged to help clear it of snow, ice and other debris, if it’s safe to do so. This is an important step in reducing the chances of flooding during heavy rainfalls.


Sometimes, excess water may fail to drain from the streets near a home or business, mostly when the surface of a catch basin is blocked by litter, debris such as leaves or snow. By ensuring catch basins are clear at the street level, citizens can help do their part to continue to keep Vaughan’s water clean and safe.

To report sewer or street flooding, contact Service Vaughan at 905-832-2281 or email


The City is committed to providing clean and safe drinking water to all residents and businesses and uses strict water quality testing processes that continue to meet industry standards set by the Province of Ontario. Maintenance of the City's water infrastructure ensures water continues to flow now and for generations to come. This further aligns with the City’s focus on environmental stewardship, a priority in the Council-approved 2018-2022 Term of Council Service Excellence Strategic Plan.