COVID-19 in Burnaby

For COVID-19 information, resources and impacts on City services, visit

 > Home > City Services > Water & Sewers > Engineering Permits

City Services

Was this page helpful? Yes | No

Engineering Permits

Save Time, Stay Safe, Apply and Pay Online!

Apply for Engineering Permits online with the City’s My Permits Portal. The portal allows you to register, apply for your permit, view your permit status and pay online by credit card.

Note: Engineering department fees can be paid online by credit card without registering with My Permits Portal. A 1.75% fee will be charged for credit card payments.

Engineering Permits are necessary for sewer, water, soil and ground work, noise variance and land development in Burnaby. Read more on Noise Variance and Land Development, or jump down the page for information.

You might also find our City-wide Permits and Licences page useful. You can link to Building Permits, Planning Permits, and Licences from here.

Storm and Sanitary Sewers

Construction Water Supply Fee

The City is charged for the water it receives from Metro Vancouver. Any development or construction site requiring a water supply will be charged a water supply fee.  This fee is based on the size of the development project.

Your water supply is part of the Building Permit Process, and does not require an additional Engineering permit or licence.

Ditch Enclosure Permit

To have all, or part, of a ditch outside your property filled, and to have the flows enclosed within a culvert, you need permission from the Engineering Department. The Engineering Department will review applications to ensure enclosing the ditch will not affect drainage in the immediate area or maintenance operations.

Download Lane/Street Ditch Enclosure Guidelines and Lane/Street Ditch Enclosure Application for more information.

Please contact Engineering General Enquiries with any questions.

Encroachment Application

In certain circumstances, the Engineering Department will grant a permission to allow a property owner to encroach into a Right Of Way.

An applicant has to demonstrate:

  • Why an easement trespass is required
  • Steps taken to avoid the situation
  • What impact the trespass will have on the City’s assets
  • The duration of the trespass
  • Alternative options to the trespass

Download the Encroachment Application.

Please contact Engineering General Enquiries with any questions. 

Hoarding and Shoring Permit

During excavation, Hoarding and Shoring installations separate the public from construction activities and, where excavation is close to the edge of a lot, will shore and support a sidewalk, roadway, main or sewer.

The Engineering Department will review all aspects of a hoarding and shoring proposal. This is to make sure the developer takes all necessary steps to safeguard the public and the City’s assets.

Contact us at Engineering General Enquiries with questions or to book an inspection

Hydrant Water Use Permit

The use of water from a fire hydrant may be approved during construction works and other criteria are met.

Apply online through My Permits Portal, or contact us at Engineering General Enquiries for more information.

Land Development

For information on Development Applications, Site Profiles and Erosions and Sediment Control, please see our Land Development Page under Environmental Policies.

Minor Work Permit and Agreement Requirements

The Minor Work Permit and Agreement Application is to be completed for any project work in or abutting a street, boulevard, alley, sidewalk, park, terrace, or other property controlled or owned by the City (including right-of-ways). This work may include, but is not limited to geotechnical or environmental investigations, installations, repairs, maintenance and investigation of a test pit, monitoring well, borehole, vacuum-hole, minor excavation or any other non-intrusive work on City property.

You can visit the Minor Works Permit and Agreement Requirements page for more information. 

Please contact Engineering General Enquiries with any questions.

Right of Way Release

The networks of sewers and water mains in Burnaby are planned out long before any development begins. Occasionally for these networks, utilities are routed through private property.

This is done through an Easement or Right-Of-Way. This agreement involves a piece of land belonging to a property owner with a restriction imposed on it by a legal agreement between City and Owner. These agreements are passed along with property, registered with the Land Title Office and appear on the Title of your property.

If you have an Easement or Right Of Way on your property, you can apply to have the restrictions formally released.

Contact us at Engineering General Enquiries for information and application.

Service Connection Adjustment (i.e., Lowering, Relocation)

In the past, the older/original home was serviced by connections to City sewers that were appropriate, for that time. Many new homes are now being designed with basements in mind. This results in the need for deeper foundations. When deeper foundations are required, the service connections may need to be adjusted in order to drain the newly designed structure by gravity (preferred option), either by increasing their depth, or their location.

Before a building design is completed/approved, the designer/owner/builder should confirm service connection adjustments are not required to service their new designed structure. Questions that a designer should ask themselves could be:

  • Will the existing service connection(s) meet the newly designed structure?
  • Will the existing service connection(s) location(s) meet the newly designed structure?
  • Will the newly designed structure stay well away from all boulevard/street trees?  Please review Burnaby’s Tree Bylaw for more information. 

If you answer “No” to any of the above questions, please use the Service Connection Adjustment Application

If you are unsure, please contact Engineering General Enquiries or your Building Department Plan Checker. 

Service Connection Tie-In

The connection between a sewer and property is called the Service Connection. 

The City tries to standardise the type and configuration of the tie-in in Burnaby. Doing so allows:

  • Familiarity and ease of maintenance
  • Purchase of ‘standard’ materials in bulk and reduced cost
  • Reduced chance of cross-connections
  • Continuity of specification standards for developers  to follow

Even though standardisation is preferred, there have to be variations to accommodate different site configurations and site layouts.

Please contact Engineering General Enquiries for information. 

Note: residential property owners can only apply for an upgrade if they are installing a fire sprinkler system.

Sewer Connection Permit

It is a Bylaw requirement for a property to be connected to a sewer where the sewer has been installed. Burnaby has 3 types of sewer: 

  1. Sanitary sewer – convey noxious and hazardous waste to treatment facilities
  2. Storm sewer – convey rain water to nearby watercourses
  3. Combined sewer – convey both sanitary and storm flows together to treatment facilities

This permit:

  1. Confirms to Building Dept that sewer can accept the flow
  2. Provides data-base record of location/age/materials to be established
  3. Triggers an inspection of connection work by Inspectors for workmanship

Please contact Engineering General Enquiries for information and to apply.

Soil Deposition and Soil Removal Permits

These permits allow soil to be imported from an outside location and placed on a site within Burnaby, or removed from a location within Burnaby. 

Bylaw No. 5974 requires that a permit be issued for all soil deposition, and Bylaw No. 4251 requires that a permit be issued for soil removed from any property within the City. 

These permits help ensure:

  • Environmental regulations are not contravened
  • City’s bylaws and any registered covenants or Rights of Way agreements are complied with
  • Existing and planned City utility infrastructure is not adversely affected
  • There are no adverse impacts on adjoining properties during, and on completion of, the deposition
  • The Federal and Provincial regulatory responsibilities that the City is responsible for are satisfied

For proposed soil deposition (filling) works, please read the Soil Deposit Permit application requirements and complete.

For proposed soil removal (removal) works, please read the Soil Removal Permit application requirements and complete.

The completed application package can be emailed to or faxed to the Engineering Department at 604-294-7425

Permit Conditions

If  soil deposition is to enable a change of land use, you'll need a review from the Planning Department to confirm the new usage is acceptable.

If your application concerns lands within the Agricultural Land Reserve, this application must be submitted to the Director Planning at the Planning Department. Works within the ALR also require approval of the ALR. You are strongly recommended to contact the ALRC at an early stage of project planning to ensure the timelines projected by both ALR and City of Burnaby to complete the review process suit your programming.

The Director of Engineering will impose conditions that will be specific to each individual site and use. If several separate lots within a localized area are being filled, do not expect the conditions to be the same for each Permit.

Stormwater/Rainwater Developmental Design Requirements

Rain Water Management, historically known as Stormwater Management, is organized by the City. 


  • Erosion and sediment control plans (ESC) must be submitted and accepted by the Environment Services Division of the Engineering Department.  They can be reached through Engineering General Enquiries Line.
  • When geotechnical reports are required to confirm infiltration rates, soil bearing capacity and/or slope stability for an ESC plan, the designers are responsible for supplying information at the pre-design stage of the development process. 
  • ESC plans must clearly outline the measures that will be taken to reduce, and at best eliminate, sediment leaving the development site during the construction period.  The designer must refer to the Land Development Guidelines for the Protection of Aquatic Habitat.
  • Where applicable, plans and proposed drainage systems must comply with the City's Integrated Stormwater Management Plan (ISMP), read below in "Information on Rainwater Management in Burnaby"
  • Remember: the control of any groundwater emergence is required in order to protect other land owners and City and privately owned infrastructure.  All impacts must be included in the overall servicing plan for the development

Information on Rainwater Management in Burnaby

In order for this rainwater to make its way to the water courses or water bodies it must be first carried through the underground sewer system or along ditches.  The City of Burnaby owns over 450kms of sewer and a myriad of catchbasins to collect runoff and safely transport this water to our sensitive watercourses and water bodies. 

When the opportunity arises, The City intends to utilize special stormwater management techniques to encourage rainwater to infiltrate into the ground, as history intended.

The City has been using a “Total” Storm Water Management Approach for development since the late 1990's.  This approach includes: Erosion & Sediment Control, peak runoff reduction, flood protection and water quality enhancement. 

Integrated Stormwater Management Plans (ISMP’s) have been developed for several watersheds under this "Total" Approach. These are:

  • Stoney Creek ISMP.  Adopted 1999;
  • Still Creek ISMP.  Adopted 2006;
  • Byrne Creek ISMP.  Draft 2010

ISMP’s provide the necessary information to designers of development sites in order to lessen the burden on the underground infrastructure and watercourse or water bodies in the area.  The proposed drainage system will need to meet the City’s drainage policies and design criteria.  This system is typically designed to convey the  5-year & 100-year return period storms.  The discharge of these storms from the proposed infrastructure must be controlled to prevent and erosion of the watercourses and flooding.

Please contact Engineering General Enquiries for information. 

Water Connection Permit

It is a Bylaw requirement for a property to be connected to a mains water supply. 

Virtually all properties in Burnaby have an existing water supply. If you need to change the existing supply, apply to the Building Department for a Plumbing Permit.

Once the Plumbing Permit has been approved, you may apply to the Engineering Department for an upgrade/alteration to the water supply. The Engineering Department will provide an estimate for the upgrade, and once payment is received work will be scheduled.

Please contact Engineering General Enquiries for information.

Water Meters 

As part of the Building Permit Process, the Engineering Dept will arrange for the installation of a new water meter on your property. 

A fixed fee will be charged based on the size of the meter required.

The fee must be paid prior to Building Permit being issued. Please contact Engineering General Enquiries for information.

Note: water meters are not required for residential properties.

Active Sidewalks Pagelet
  • Take Action For Water

    Take Action For WaterMoreTake the pledge to conserve, protect and support our water systems. 
  • Engineering

    Roads - Maintenance 1MoreFor infrastructure work and maintenance in Burnaby.
  • Working Around Waterways

    Working Around a Waterway - Beecher CreekMoreLearn the regulations for construction near a waterway.