Halifax Water is warning residents to be careful about what they pour down the kitchen sink after an accumulation of bacon fat clogged sewage pipes in the Ridgevale Drive subdivision in Bedford.

Some basements were damaged when raw sewage built up during a two-week break in February and spewed into homes.

Dan Legge said it's not the first time the basement of his Ridgevale Drive home has flooded this way.

"Almost the entire level here was impacted," he said Friday."It would have come in through the toilet, through the shower and, of course, all over the floor."

Halifax Water spokesman James Campbell said crews sent cameras down manholes, and discovered the problem was created by bacon fat. The cameras sent back images of thick, white congealed fat, oil and grease.


The basements of some homes in a Bedford subdivision have flooded as the result of a buildup of bacon fat in the pipes. (CBC)

"Most people think, 'If I just pour a little bit down, what's the big deal?'  But, you know, if there's a couple hundred thousand people doing the same thing throughout the city, I mean it's going somewhere," Campbell said Friday.

"It doesn't just go away, it congeals and it clogs the pipes."

Some homeowners say Halifax Regional Municipality should be paying for the cleanup.

Residents of one house told CBC News that their basement was destroyed when Halifax Water brought in hoses to blast through the congealed mess. Their insurance company is now fighting with the city over who should pay.

"I'm sure that's something that'll be reviewed, and if it's an insurance matter, it'll definitely be referred to our insurance or through the homeowners insurance and whoever's found to be liable in this, we'll certainly straighten it out," Campbell said.    

Coun. Tim Outhit, who lives in the neighbourhood, knows about these floods — sewage flooded his basement a few years ago. But he doesn't know why people in the area appear to be eating so much bacon.  

"I always thought it was a pretty healthy neighbourhood. We're always out walking and shovelling and bicycling. But apparently someone along here likes their fried food," he said.

Halifax Water said grease build up is a common problem around restaurants in the city, but they're not sure why it's happening in this neighbourhood.

It's sending out flyers this week to remind homeowners to be careful about what they pour down their drains.


  • James Campbell spoke for Halifax Water. An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified him as general manager Carl Yates.
    Apr 03, 2011 12:31 PM AT