The City of Ottawa is advising residents with a history of frozen water pipes to take steps to keep their water pipes from freezing this winter.
Most water services in Ottawa are buried deep enough to protect them from cold temperatures. However, depending on soil conditions and snow cover, frost may penetrate the ground deep enough to freeze some water pipes during extremely cold weather.
The City of Ottawa has identified a list of 2,000 properties known to have vulnerable water pipes and informs those property owners annually with letters explaining how to prevent their pipes from freezing. Letters were sent this year between January 12 and February 6.. Properties with water pipes that have frozen in the past are vulnerable to freezing again unless preventative steps are taken.
The City is reminding residents who received a letter from the City to follow the instructions contained in the letter.
Residents whose properties have a history of frozen pipes should:
- Turn on one cold water tap immediately in the building and run it continuously – 24 hours a day.
- Turn off the tap on April 15, or earlier if you receive notice from the City.
- The steady stream should be about the diameter of a standard drinking straw (1/4” or 0.5 cm).
To report a frozen pipe, please call the City at 3-1-1.
If your water service freezes on your property (between the property line shut-off valve and your house or business) the City will attempt to thaw your service. The City is responding to reports of frozen services within hours of the initial call. These visits are to help triage and trouble-shoot the situation. However, if the service is frozen, the time to thaw may be between 3 and 5 days.
All residents should have an emergency water kit/supply available year-round in case of an interruption to water service.
For more information visit ottawa.ca.