Protect your home with a FREE inspection

Sewer drain emergencies and flooded basements can be stressful—here’s how to resolve clogs quickly and safely. Blockages in pipes that run inside of your home typically can be cleared safely on your own. But if the clog is in sewer or septic pipes that run outside the walls of your home, it’s essential to have a FREE safety inspection before you or a plumber attempt to clear it.

To request your FREE inspection, contact Ontario One Call at 1-800-400-2255. These inspections are available 24/7 and are treated as emergencies, so issues can be resolved as quickly as possible.

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How to avoid the risks of cross bores

Natural gas lines can sometimes cross through sewer or septic pipes underground. This is unintentional and it’s called a ‘cross bore.’ Left undisturbed, cross bores aren’t an immediate safety risk. However, using motorized or water-jetting equipment to clear a blocked sewer line could damage the natural gas line, resulting in a real and immediate risk to public safety, including a gas leak, fire or explosion.

Avoid the risks of cross bores by requesting a FREE sewer safety inspection—call Ontario One Call at 1-800-400-2255 before you or a plumber attempt to clear a blockage. If a cross bore is found, it will be fixed at no cost to you.


How does a cross bore occur?

Trenchless drilling is a newer technology that saves time and minimizes costly damage to sidewalks, streets and more. Unfortunately, there are instances when sewer lines can’t be properly identified and natural gas pipes are inadvertently installed through existing infrastructure using trenchless technology. Thanks to more recent locate technology and significant investment, we are able to prevent cross bores from occurring. Cross bores are rare, but they do exist. That’s why it’s important to always call before you clear.


Smell gas? Act fast!

Natural gas smells like rotten eggs or sulphur, so you know right away if there’s a leak. Natural gas is not toxic, but it is highly flammable. If you smell gas or think you have a gas leak, leave the area immediately and call Enbridge Gas at 1-866-763-5427 or 911 from a safe distance (like a neighbour’s home).

Signs that a natural gas line has been damaged during the clearing of a sewer service line:

Rotten egg smell
Bubbling water
Hissing sound
Blowing dirt

Frequently asked questions

When we install natural gas pipelines, we’re required to identify and locate private sewer lines that may potentially intersect with the new natural gas pipeline, to ensure we install it safely. This inspection may require access to the sewer lines from inside homes, even if your home is not connected to natural gas.

If we’re in your neighbourhood, we may need access to your basement to complete the inspection. We’ll provide you with notification—all our service technicians can be identified by an Enbridge Gas licensed contractor photo identification card.

Trenchless drilling is a newer technology that saves time and minimizes damage to sidewalks, streets and more. Unfortunately, there are instances when sewer lines cannot be properly identified and natural gas pipes are inadvertently installed through existing infrastructure.

Homeowners or plumbers run the risk of damaging a natural gas line when using motorized or water-jetting equipment to clear a blocked sewer line. Once damaged, the gas line could leak or rupture, causing the release of natural gas. Natural gas is not toxic, but it is highly flammable.

Without an inspection, you wouldn’t know. A cross bore can remain undetected for months, even years.

Ontario One Call will notify the service provider in your area. They’ll visit your property to verify if you do or do not have a cross bore. If there’s no potential of a cross bore, clearing activities can proceed. If there is a potential cross bore, the call will be escalated to the appropriate utility.

Yes. The law requires you or your contractor to contact Ontario One Call at 1-800-400-2255 at least five business days before you dig, whether for landscaping, building a fence, digging a garden or more projects.

Locators from natural gas, water, sewer, electric and telecommunications companies will visit your home and paint or put flags to mark underground lines. Digging without a locate can damage lines. This poses a safety hazard, can cause loss of service and is also subject to fines. Never assume your contractor has taken care of it. Work in collaboration with them, and ask for verification that they’ve requested a locate before they start digging. Marking the location of buried facilities is a free service.


Request free inspection

Call Ontario One Call at 1-800-400-2255 before you or your plumber attempt to clear a blocked sewer pipe.


Explore more important safety topics

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Learn how to prevent and detect carbon monoxide to keep you and your family safe.

Digging safely

It’s the law to find out where underground utility lines are located before you start digging.

Appliance maintenance and safety

Avoid potential hazards by keeping your natural gas appliances running safely and efficiently.