Operations and Public Works
The Operations & Public Works Services Department is responsible for all the public works operations, including roads, sidewalks, water, sewer collection, wastewater treatment, solid waste collection, electrical, fleet and equipment maintenance. This department also implements and administers capital works programs and other related special projects as they arise. The Operations & Public Works Departments are staffed with a trained work force of 19 employees under the leadership of the Manager of Operations. The department is also responsible for implementing the storm water management, street wastewater collection water treatment, water distribution and capital programs of the City Council's direction.
The responsibilities of the Operations and Public Works department are distributed among the following divisions:
- Engineering and Construction
- Water Utility
- Sewer and Drainage
- Fleet Maintenance
- Active Transportation
- Facilities Management
General Public Works Enquires: Email Public Works or call (250) 362-2328
For after hours emergencies call 1-866-417-4104. If you are reporting a water or sewer emergency, please be sure it is a city emergency. If the emergency is not within the City Infrastructure, the homeowner will be billed. For rates click here
General City Hall enquiries:
Email: City Hall (250)362-7396
Reporting an Issue
The City relies on citizen input for reporting issues that you see around town. You can phone City Hall to report an issue on (250)362-7396, or you can report here.
Sewer & Drainage
Got a Problem? Report it here
When we flush our toilets, when we do a load of laundry or wash dishes, when we have a shower or a bath we are producing liquid waste. Liquid waste or wastewater are terms used for sewage. Everybody uses water. Everybody produces sewage. Some residents of Rossland live in unsewered areas, and rely on septic systems to treat and dispose of wastewater, but most residents and businesses are connected to the City’s sewer system. This page contains information about the sewer utility and problems that may impact the service or your home.
Most of Rossland is served by the sanitary sewer collection system. Wastewater flows from each home and business through sewer pipes. These pipes join the sewer main under the street or other right-of-way. Sewer mains transport the wastewater, by gravity wherever possible, into larger mains and eventually to the Regional District’s Columbia Pollution Control Centre near Waneta Plaza in Trail.
Where necessary, pumping stations called lift stations move the sewage. There is currently one City owned and operated lift station in our collection system, this is located at Red Mountain.
Unsewered areas, like Happy Valley, rely on septic tanks for treatment and disposal. Septic tanks allow removal of solids and floatables, and sub-surface trenches or beds provide evaporation of the liquids in a “septic field”.
This form of sewage treatment and disposal takes place on the homeowner’s property, and is typically called an “on-site” system.
Residential Responsibilities – yes that’s you!
We might not all think about where the water goes after it disappears down the drain, but eventually it flows right into local streams and the Columbia River. And whatever that water is carrying with it ends up in the environment too. That means fats, oils and grease, detergents, chemicals, medications and food waste all end up in the river systems, where they have the potential to cause environmental damage.
The good news is it’s not hard, time consuming or expensive to limit the amount of contaminants that go down our drains and it help protect our environment in the future!
There are some simple tips to protect our sewer system from problems and our environment from unnecessary sewer pollution. – See highlighted below.
Every year Rossland residents toss unused or expired medications into the garbage or down the drain. Ultimately, these drugs end up in the environment, where they can potentially have a negative impact on water quality and animal and human health. The good news is there are many pharmacies who collect our waste medications for proper disposal, including Alpine Drug Mart on Columbia Avenue (IDA), Rossland.
User tip – Please take the time to dispose your unused/unwanted medications at IDA and help look after our environment.
Laundry Detergent (Surfactants)
Laundry soap gets its cleaning power from detergent (also known as surfactant), the ingredient responsible for the suds made by many cleaning products. Unfortunately, detergents also have the potential to be toxic to marine life.
The good news is that the City of Rossland has soft water, and soft water requires less detergent to achieve the same degree of cleanliness, which means you can send fewer harmful substances down the drain with every load of laundry. Using a smaller scoop of laundry soap will reduce the presence of potentially toxic compounds in the wastewater collection system and receiving environment. It will save money too!
User tip – Because of the City’s soft water, you only need to use half of the manufacturer’s recommended amount of laundry detergent to get the same results when doing your laundry, this makes your product last longer, and saves you money!
The benefits are clear:
- A healthier environment — fish and other organisms are freed from high levels of detergent-related toxins
- Financial savings at home — one package of detergent lasts twice as long
- Energy savings during wastewater treatment — less detergent in the wastewater requires less energy to break down
Other cleaning products also benefit from our soft water. Try using smaller amounts of household cleaning and personal care products — you may find they work just as well this way.
Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG)
When fats, oils and grease (FOG) go down the drain, they can cause a whole host of problems for our wastewater system and local environment. From clogged pipes to depleted oxygen in the aquatic receiving environment, the effect of FOG in our wastewater is both costly and ecologically damaging. The good news is there are some simple alternatives to pouring your FOG down the drain.
The Best Ways to Dispose of Cooking Oil and Grease
Before we talk about how to properly dispose of cooking oil and grease, it’s important to differentiate between the two:
Grease occurs as a byproduct of cooking certain foods. Bacon, for example, creates grease in the pan as it cooks.
User tip – If the grease is still hot, pour it into a can or other dedicated grease jar (mason jars work well, too). When the jar fills up, scoop the grease into the trash or throw out the entire can. You can also wait until the grease solidifies in the pan and wipe it out with paper towels.
Cooking oils are substances you add to food to help it cook, such as deep frying french fries in vegetable or canola oil, or using olive oil for baking.
User tip – To get rid of cooking oil, let it cool off before you dispose of it. If there’s less than a cup, simply pour it into the garbage on top of some paper towel. If there are large amounts of oil, you can simply pour it into a clean container and reuse it the next time you’re frying – or throw it out like cooking grease.
There are also ways you can recycle cooking oil to cut down on waste and save money!
There is no such thing as a soluble sanitary towel or tampon. Flushing sanitary items down the toilet, pollutes rivers and the environment and may result in blocked drains.
User tip – Dispose of sanitary items in the garbage instead of flushing them.
Additionally, baby wipes and similar products should not be flushed down the toilet as they may clog residential drains or City sewers.
Residents of the City of Rossland enjoy some of the best water in the world. Our reservoir is fed by a forested watershed, which means our water supply is naturally clean and clear, and needs little treatment.
Even so, City of Rossland Water Services keeps a close eye on our water, collecting samples from across the City’s water system every day, the samples are tested to check for everything from bacteria and algae concentrations to pH, turbidity and conductivity.
The Annual Water Report reviews the procedures that the City of Rossland uses to provide clean water. Copies of the water reports are available by clicking the link –> COR – Annual Water Reports:
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is chlorine added to Rossland’s drinking water? Yes. City of Rossland Water Services adds chlorine to the drinking water to disinfect the source water entering the treatment plant.
- Is fluoride added to our drinking water? No. City of Rossland Water Services does not add fluoride to our drinking water as part of its treatment process.
- Is Rossland’s drinking water hard or soft? The drinking water in Rossland is very soft. It contains very low amounts of calcium and magnesium salts and does not, as in other cities that have much harder water, produce any buildup of lime inside kettles, hot water tanks or household plumbing.
The City of Rossland has a limited formal drainage system, based on the road network, and the predominant creek system, Trail Creek. All storm water from the City and Redstone ends up in Trail Creek, while storm water in the Red Mountain area enters the Topping Creek Catchment. Both of these streams are fish bearing and are tributaries of the Columbia River.
As these streams are considered fish habitat, the Fisheries Act and Environment Act apply, making it illegal to discharge any polluting material into the creeks.
Inflow and Infiltration
Inflow and infiltration are terms used when water that is not sewer is discharged into the sanitary system. This additional water can cause overloading of the sanitary sewers, which may lead to sanitary overflows or operational issues at the sewer treatment plant.
- Inflow. Many older homes and businesses discharge roof runoff and basement and perimeter drainage directly into the sanitary sewer. As buildings are renovated and storm water networks are improved, the City will require upgrading of storm water connections to eliminate this additional water.
- Infiltration. Many of the older sewer pipes in town are made from clay tile pipe. This type of pipe is susceptible to cracks and leaking, both permitting additional groundwater in, particularly in the spring, and sewer out.
Sewer Backups and Flooding
To prevent sewer backup, please consider installing a Backwater prevention valve
Flushing and Inspections
City Crews conduct regular inspections and maintenance on water, sewer and storm water lines, if you suspect a problem, please contact City Hall.
Reporting a Problem
Please report problems here.
Liquid Waste Management Plan
The Regional District is conducting a Liquid Waste Management Plan to determine the future treatment options for storm water and sewer in the Greater Trail area. This page will include links to the outcomes of these studies as they occur.
- RDKB – Liquid Waste Management Plan – Stage 1 (2008)
- RDKB – Liquid Waste Management Plan – Stage 2 (2015)
- RDKB – Liquid Waste Management Plan – Stage 3 (2020)