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Wastewater system

We collect all the wastewater that comes out of Calgary homes, schools, hospitals, businesses, car washes and industries in a sanitary sewer system.

The waste water flows through our pipe system by gravity or is pumped to the three wastewater treatment plants: Bonnybrook, Fish Creek and Pine Creek.

Wastewater for residential customers

The sewer system protects our health and environment by collecting and treating wastewater in Calgary. Sewer billing appears with water charges on your ENMAX bill.

Citizens can have a huge impact on our wastewater system. Simple things like putting fats, oil and grease down the drain, or flushing unwanted items down the toilet, or using a garburator can hurt the wastewater pipe system and cause problems in your home.

Wastewater for business customers

Businesses in Calgary have a variety of different wastewater disposal needs. These customers can be billed sewer charges according to how much water they use, as well as, the amount and strength of their wastewater output.

Common wastewater services and information businesses require include:

How the wastewater system works

Wastewater drains directly into a pipe system. The pipes collect all the water that is flushed down the toilets, drained from the bathtub or used for brushing teeth, doing dishes and washing your clothes.

As the wastewater gets closer to one of the treatment plants, the pipes it travels through get bigger and bigger, some are large enough to fit a car.

Once the water gets to one of the treatment plants, it goes through a series of processes before it is released as clean water into the Bow River.

To learn more, take the online tour of wastewater treatment. You can also see how wastewater has evolved in Calgary on our history of wastewater treatment page.

One of the results of treating wastewater is that we create biosolids. Our Calgro program provides biosolids to Calgary farmlands for the growth of crops.

Wastewater system vs. stormwater system

Our stormwater system uses a different set of pipes to move water from rain or snow to the nearest river or creek. This system uses storm drains, manholes and dry and wet ponds to capture and move water. Learn more about our stormwater drainage system.

To learn more about Calgary's complete water system, including available tours of our water and wastewater treatment plants, visit water, wastewater and stormwater systems.