When you've got thousands, or even millions, of people living in a given city, you're going to need a lot of sewage pipes. Metro Vancouver, for example, has around 9,000 kilometres of them winding around under its streets.
But sewer pipes don't last forever, with some more than a century old, and more instances of pipes failing have been cropping up.
A team at the University of British Columbia hopes to get ahead of the problem with a special kind of carbon-neutral coating, made from recycled material, that could give sewage pipes a new lease on life.
If widely adopted outside the lab, the coating could save taxpayers billions of dollars in the long run.
Weather Network reporter Mia Gordon has more in the video above.