Emergencies: Water

There is water gushing out on the street! 
What is happening?

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.

Avoid driving through flooded areas:

  • Avoid driving through puddles as they can hide a pothole that could damage your vehicle or its suspension, or flatten a tire. The spray of water could obstruct the vision of adjacent motorists and result in a collision, cause harm to nearby pedestrians or drown your engine, causing it to stall. Water can also make your brakes less effective.
  • Avoid driving on flooded roads, water may prevent your brakes from working. If you must drive through a flooded stretch of road, test your brakes afterward to dry them out. Test your brakes when it is safe to do so by stopping quickly and firmly at 50 km/h. Make sure the vehicle stops in a straight line, without pulling to one side. The brake pedal should feel firm and secure, not spongy, that's a sign of trouble. If you still feel a pulling to one side or a spongy brake pedal even after the brakes are dry, you should take the vehicle in for repair immediately.
  • Obey road closures and signs and using appropriate detour routes.
  • Get more information from the Ministry of Transportation.

My water is brown. What do I do?

If your water is discoloured, please flush your pipes as follows:

  1. Turn on the cold water tap that is closest to your water meter.
  2. Let it run until the water turns clear. This may take 5-25 minutes.

Please keep in mind that discoloured water is still safe water. Sedimentation (usually iron deposits in the metal pipes ) occurs as a normal part of the water distribution system. Activities such as inspecting fire hydrants, operating and maintaining valves, preventative maintenance, and water main breaks may disturb these sediments, which can discolour the water. If you have any questions, please contact a Customer Service Representative at 613-546-0000.

What do I do in case of a boil water advisory? 

Ontario has strict water quality standards, which Utilities Kingston continually meets and exceeds. There are a series of filtration, treatment, monitoring and backup systems in place to continually supply high quality drinking water to every home and business within the urban area of Kingston.

Although rare, an adverse test result or potential problem in the water treatment and distribution system may result in us asking customers to boil water before consuming it. This web page explains what you should do in case we take this precautionary measure to ensure your safety.

Should I call my insurance company if my property is flooded?

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

Should I notify Utilities Kingston about my damages?

Utilities Kingston manages municipal water and wastewater services on behalf of the City of Kingston. Inquiries regarding property damage should be directed to the Corporation of the City of Kingston by calling 613-546-0000.

Who do I call if I have questions about my drinking water?

Utilities Kingston values the input received from our customers. Comments or questions about the City’s drinking water are always welcome. Please call our Water Quality Assurance Operators at 613-546-1181 ex. 2195.

Should I call my insurance company if I have a sewer backup?

Yes. Many insurance policies cover sewage backup cleanup and the cost of repairing or replacing damaged property. Your agent can provide full details. The City urges you to check with your home insurer regarding the availability of sewer backup insurance coverage.

What is a City water main?

Water mains run underneath the roadway and supply freshwater to the private services connected to it.

What is a private service?

Private service refers to the pipe that brings water from the water main to your building. The maintenance of the private service is the property owner’s responsibility.

It’s freezing out and I don’t have any water.
What should I do?

You could have a problem with frozen plumbing.

The water mains that distribute water throughout the city and the service line that brings water to your home are well insulated underground and don’t typically freeze. However, exposed plumbing pipes in exterior walls of your home, unheated basements and crawlspaces may be at risk of freezing.

Touch any exposed cold water pipes, such as the ones in your basement or under your kitchen sink. If a spot feels unusually cold to the touch, take measures to warm it up, for example you can insulate pipes and external walls or open cupboard doors to improve warm air flow.

If you have a frozen internal plumbing pipe, try using a hair dryer to thaw it. (Safety first: never leave a heating device unattended and be careful not to weaken plumbing joints.)

Residents are reminded to call a licensed plumber to deal with internal plumbing issues, but Utilities Kingston employees are always happy to assist with customer questions.