Emergencies: questions & answers

Utilities Kingston is available 24 hours a day to respond to utility-service emergencies like a power outage in the City Central. Phone us any time of the day. If you require Electric service in the West or East areas of the City, please contact Hydro One 1-800-434-1235.

What is an emergency?

Here are some signs:

  • Water leak
  • Sewer backup
  • Natural gas smell
  • Power outage
  • Malfunctioning traffic lights

How to contact us:

For emergency services phone us at 613-546-1181 any time of the day. After regular business hours, you will be able to reach emergency-service support by pressing the 0 key on your touch-tone phone pad (or by holding for an operator). 

For general inquiries you can reach Utilities Kingston's Customer Service department by calling 546-0000. Our Customer Service Centre is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

  • Property owner questions

    • Any time you plan to dig on or near your property, contact Ontario One Call first. Even if you’re just digging with a shovel, be sure to get a free locate of municipal infrastructure in advance. Some underground cables or lines are just below the surface. Request your free locate by contacting Ontario One Call online or call 1-800-400-2255.

    • Yes. Many insurance policies cover cleanup and the cost of repairing or replacing water-damaged property. Your agent can provide full details. 

    • Utilities Kingston manages water and sewer services on behalf of the City of Kingston. Inquires regarding property damage should be directed to the Corporation of the City of Kingston. Follow the procedures outlined above for property damage claim inquiries.

    • Persons making a property damage claim against the City of Kingston must submit their claims in writing within 10 days of the loss to: 

      City of Kingston
      Attn: City Clerk
      City Hall
      216 Ontario Street
      Kingston, Ontario, K7L 2Z3

      Your written submission must describe the circumstances of the event that resulted in property damage - where, what, when, how and who (including the names of any contractors involved). Also, include your name and the telephone number(s) where you can be reached.

    • Upon receipt of your claim, an investigation begins. This includes visiting the claim location, if appropriate, as well as obtaining internal and external documentation, and speaking to employees and/or contractors who may have some knowledge of the situation. Upon completion of the investigation, you will be notified of the results in writing. 

      Like most Canadian municipalities, the City of Kingston provides compensation only when it is legally liable for the damage sustained. The intent is to provide an equitable policy for the taxpaying public, who ultimately bear the cost of these claims.

  • Electricity questions

    • The safety and reliability of electricity infrastructure is important to us. Periodically, scheduled service interruptions are required to perform system maintenance. If an outage is planned for your area, we’ll make our best effort to notify you. Unplanned interruptions are usually a direct result of storm damage, motor vehicle accidents, animals, or other unexpected events.

    • Utilities Kingston is available 24 hours a day to respond to power outages in the Kingston Hydro electricity distribution area.

      Are you experiencing an outage? Check our outages map, and if it's not listed, report it to us 24/7 at 613-546-1181. If you require electricity service in the west or east areas of the City, contact Hydro One at 1-800-434-1235.

  • Gas questions

    • Natural gas has been used safely for many years. Utilities Kingston has been providing safe and reliable gas services since 1847, when it was originally founded as the Kingston Gas and Light Company.

      Modern gas appliances and accessories are certified to high standards by the Canadian Standards AssociationUnderwriter Laboratories of Canada and similar organizations. They have built-in safety features, such as an automatic shut off valve that will stop the flow of gas to the appliance if the pilot light or burner goes out. Strict codes, which are updated on a regular basis, also apply to the installation of natural gas equipment. Contractors who install natural gas appliances must receive special training and be licensed by the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA).

      Utilities Kingston’s unique multi-utility model allows us to share resources and knowledge to ensure the safe and reliable delivery of all utility services. We’re committed to ensuring the safety and reliability of the City’s natural gas distribution system. The construction and maintenance programs employed at Utilities Kingston meet or exceed industry safety standards. Learn more about natural gas safety.

    • You can identify a potential natural gas leak by smell, sight and sound; most commonly smell.  Before natural gas is delivered to your home, mercaptan is added to it, which gives the gas a sulphur or “rotten egg” smell to help detect leaks. If you don’t have a sense of smell, install a natural gas alarm in your home, in accordance with manufacturer directions.

      If you suspect a natural gas leak: 

      Inside:

      • Evacuate your premises.
      • Don't do anything that could create a spark – don’t switch a light on or off, and don’t use cell phones or lighters, for example.
      • Call Utilities Kingston immediately from outside your home or building at 613-546-1181,extension 2151.
      • Don’t use lighters or matches, and don’t smoke.

      Outside:

      • Call Utilities Kingston immediately at 613-546-1181, extension 2151.
      • Keep clear of the area.
      • Don’t start any motors or motor vehicles near the area of the suspected gas leak.
      • Don’t use lighters or matches and do not smoke.
      • Accumulated snow places stress on your meter piping; damage to the piping can cause a gas leak.
      • Every meter has a pressure relief vent. It is important to keep this clear of snow and debris.
      • In case of emergency, emergency response crews need access to your meter.

      Utilities Kingston reminds you that, although your outdoor gas meter is designed to withstand winter weather, heavy or hard-packed snow and ice on your meter can be a safety hazard. If you suspect a problem with your gas meter equipment, call Utilities Kingston at 613-546-1181.

  • Water questions

    • We take pride in providing safe, quality drinking water to residents and businesses in Kingston. Service excellence is important to us - if you have a question or concern about drinking water quality, please talk to one of our experts by calling 613-546-1181, extension 2525.

    • A water main or water pipe has probably broken on your street. Please call us immediately at 613-546-1181. Learn why water mains break and how we repair them.

    • The ownership demarcation point is where municipally-owned and maintained equipment ends and the property owner’s equipment begins:

      • Utilities Kingston is responsible for maintaining and repairing equipment up to this ownership demarcation point.
      • It is the property owner’s responsibility to maintain and repair equipment beyond the ownership demarcation point.

      View diagrams that show demarcation, including the private water service lateral. 

  • Sewage questions

    • Yes. They will immediately advise you on any standard clean-up procedures, contractors to call, and claim procedures. In general:

      • Make sure to take lots of photos and document items that have been damaged or need to be replaced. Before you head out and start buying new stuff, make sure you are familiar with the coverage you have with your insurer. Keep any and all receipts for emergency work done, purchases, and/or repairs.
      • Based on your insurance, you may be covered for such an occurrence. Even if you have insurance coverage, the homeowner is responsible for the clean-up, repairs and replacement of lost property.
      • An insurer is more likely to look favourably on homeowners wanting to undertake work on their own to reduce the likelihood of future flooding. Repeat claims with no efforts to reduce future risk may be sufficient for an insurance company to drop that form of coverage in the future. Visit How to Protect Your Home from Basement Flooding for practical suggestions you can use.
    • For 24-hour emergency assistance with a sanitary sewer flood in your home, call Utilities Kingston at 613-546-1181. We will check the sanitary sewer collection system, ensure it's working properly, and correct any issues we may find. 

      Homeowners own the sewer pipe from the home’s plumbing system to the property line. If the problem is with this, or other components of your home's plumbing, you will need to contact a licensed plumber. View a demarcation diagram showing home owner and utility responsibilities. 

    • The ownership demarcation point is where municipally-owned and maintained equipment ends and the property owner’s equipment begins:

      • Utilities Kingston is responsible for maintaining and repairing equipment up to this ownership demarcation point.
      • It is the property owner’s responsibility to maintain and repair equipment beyond the ownership demarcation point.

      View diagrams that show demarcation, including the private service lateral. 

    • Flooding of basements and sewer backups can occur any time. It can happen to anyone who has a basement, even if never flooded before. While most often flooding occurs during big rains or rapid snow melts in the spring, it can occur even during dry weather.

      There are a number of reasons why basements flood. Flooding can occur by seepage or flow through the walls or foundation floor, from surface water sources, or by a sanitary or storm sewer backup.

      Learn more

  • Streetlights and traffic signals

    • Utilities Kingston maintains and operates over 10,000 streetlights in Kingston, Ontario. Thanks for helping us keep neighbourhoods safe by reporting streetlight problems. We strive to repair streetlights within 5-10 business days. However, there are factors that can extend that timeframe. 

      Use our online form to report a streetlight outage in Kingston, Ontario. You can also call customer service at 613-546-0000, Monday to Friday from 8 AM to 5 PM. 

    • Issues with traffic signals can be urgent! Report immediately by calling our 24-hour emergency line at 613-546-1181.