Sewer Back-up and Rodding Rebate

Any property connected to the municipal sanitary sewer collection system must adhere to the City of St. Thomas Sewer Use By-law, as amended. 

Property owners own and are solely responsible for the private drain connection component (prom the property line into the building) of the sanitary sewer service lateral, including any associated maintenance, repair, or replacement cots.

Property owners are also solely responsible for the operation of the entire sanitary service lateral.   If you are having a sewer backup, please call a plumber of your choice. There are many local plumbers available that can be found at If the blockage is deemed to be on City property, by way of measurement or video, the homeowner may submit a Rodding Rebate Application to the city for review. The form must be signed by the licensed plumber that performed the work that shows the blockage to be on the City side. If the rebate application is approved, the homeowner would receive a rebate not exceeding $250 for the rodding. The rebate application will be considered for a residential property up to a maximum of twice per calendar year.

Sanitary Service Lateral

What does the term ‘rodding’ mean?

‘Rodding’ is an industry term for the use of a mechanical device in plugged private drain to either punch a hole through or cut out a blockage to relieve a sewer backup.


Do I have to call the City when I have a sewer back-up ?
No, you no longer have to call the City to dispatch a plumber. We recommend you call a plumber of your choice as soon as possible to rectify the damage and minimize the clean-up costs associated with a back-up.
Who Pays for Rodding if I have a Sewer Back-Up?
If you have a sewer back-up and require rodding services, the licensed plumber may require immediate payment. The determination of whether the blockage is on private or City property is done by Measurement or Video and must be performed by a Licensed Plumber of your choice. If it is deemed to be on City property, the City will reimburse the homeowner $250 up to a maximum of twice per Calendar year.
Do I have to be home when rodding is done?

Yes, you must be present when the plumber is on site. It’s a good idea to have the Rodding Rebate Application  printed and ready for the licensed plumber’s signature if you will be applying for a rebate.


Will I get a video of the blockage?

Homeowners can request that a video be done from a private contractor. There are several companies in the area that provide both Rodding and Video Services.


How much is rodding going to cost me?
The cost charged for rodding by local plumbing companies varies. Some plumbers charge a flat rate, while others use a floating scale that is affected by factors like after hours servicing or holidays. The city recommends that homeowners get quotes from several companies and request that they disclose the full extent of services and fees that are charged.
What are the Eligibility Requirements for the Sanitary Sewer Rodding Rebate Program?
An applicant for the Sanitary Sewer Rodding Rebate Program must meet the following criteria in order to qualify for the Program:
  • The applicant must be the registered owner of the property;
  • The applicant must reside in a single detached, semi-detached, duplex or triplex dwelling unit as defined in the City's Zoning By-law, as amended;
  • The applicant must have no other outstanding debts with the City'
  • The blockage location has been confirmed by measurement from a licensed plumber to be within the public drain connection component of the sanitary service lateral;
  • The blockage within the public drain connection component of the sanitary service lateral is not a result of inappropriate material other objects/issues originating from the applicants dwelling; and
  • The applicant has submitted a completed Rodding Rebate Application form along with a copy of the paid licensed plumber's invoice.
Eligible applicants will receive a maximum rebate of $250 up to twice per calendar year for the sewer rodding service completed by a licensed plumber.

Should the applicant submit a sewer video completed by a licensed plumber showing that the public drain connection component of the sanitary service lateral is in need of repair, the City will complete the public drain connection repair and reimburse the applicant the full cost of the sewer video.
How do I apply for a rodding rebate?
Fill out the Rebate Application Form and submit it to [email protected]. It must be signed by a licensed plumber in order to be considered. Once the application is reviewed and if the blockage is deemed to be on the City’s side, you will receive email notification of approval and a cheque will be mailed to the attention of the homeowner listed on the application.
Why was my rebate application denied?
If the City determines through its investigation that the blockage was not on City property or if the blockage was a result of negligence by the homeowner, the rebate will not be approved and the homeowner will be billed for the City’s expense.  See the eligibility requirements above for more information on who is eligible for the rebate.