What Causes a Leak?
What can happen if a leak isn't addressed?
Your water service is connected to city water mains that carry water from the Water Treatment Plant to your home. Because the water system is pressurized, when a hole or crack occurs in the water service, water will continue to flow until we turn off your outside water service valve(s). Failure to address a leak may cause damage to your property, the street and sidewalks. Repairs must be made as soon as possible. Water usually finds its way to the surface, but depending on the soil type (e.g. gravel, sandy soil), water may not surface immediately. Water may:
- saturate the soil and eventually seep into your basement or your neighbour's basement
- cause sump pumps to operate unnecessarily
- cause damage to the foundation of your house or business
What happens if there is a leak in the owner's service line?
The homeowner is responsible for arranging for a plumbing contractor to make necessary repairs and paying all repair costs to their part of the water line, including any water leaks on their property (with the exception of the water meter).
How do I check for a leak on my property?
To check if there is a leak on your property:
- turn off all the taps
- go to the meter and check if the red dial is spinning
- if yes, water is running somewhere inside the building (for example, this could be a leaking toilet)
The following signs may mean there is a water service line leak outside the building (between the water meter and the City outside service valve/standpipe).
- noise on the water line while none of the taps are running
- a drop in the water pressure
- water flowing or pooling on the ground surface
If you suspect a leak on your water service line outside your home, please call 403-342-8750 to have the water shut off at the outside water service valve/standpipe. Call a plumbing contractor to carry out repairs if you are not able to carry out repairs yourself.
Who should I call to get my water service leak fixed?
The City does not recommend which contractor to hire, nor does The City endorse the quality of work or warranty any work done on private property by any of these contractors.
There are a number of contractors who can repair or replace residential services.
The following links may be helpful in finding a contractor:
When hiring a contractor, we recommend that you:
- Get at least three estimates
- Ask for and check contractor references
- Contact the Better Business Bureau or a similar agency for a reliability report
What to do while your water is off during the repairs
While your water is off during the repair we recommend that you keep your taps closed to prevent flooding when your water is turned back on. Additionally, turn off hot water tanks to prevent damage.
What to do after the repairs
Once the repair is complete, we recommend that someone 18 years or older be present at the home or building in order to have your water services turned on.
How is a water service leak repaired?
There are a few methods used to repair a water service.
- Service pull - Trenchless procedure that pulls a replacement water service from the house to the service valve with minimal digging.
- Excavating - Trench excavation from property line service valve to the house.
- Spot repair - Utilizing a hydro-excavation procedure (pressurized water and vacuum system to expose underground pipes) allows for repairs to a water service at the immediate leak location.