It's a grate mystery in North Battleford

North Battleford, Sask., says it's battling a rash of incidents of stolen sewer grates.

Catch basins, valve caps being removed

Catch basins and valve caps have been disappearing from the streets of North Battleford, although crews are recovering some of them later. (City of North Battleford)


  • City suspects metal is being sold for scrap

North Battleford says it's battling a rash of incidents of stolen sewer grates.

And it's not just a nuisance — it's a danger to public safety, the city says.

The open holes are traffic hazards in the central Saskatchewan city.

The thefts of the iron grates, also known as catch basins, started in March.

Unknown people are also taking off with iron valve caps.

Some of them remain missing, while others have been found later by city crews.

City has theory

Public works spokesman Colin Carriere, who said he's seen nothing like it in his 25 years with the city, has a theory about why the sewer grates have been stolen.

"We assume they're being sold for scrap metal and for money," he said.

The city is asking anyone who notices suspicious activity to notify the Battlefords RCMP with as many details as possible.

They're also asking anyone who notices areas where valve lids and catch basins are missing to notify the public works department at 306-445-1730.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.