How we respond
Utilities Kingston is responsible for the operation, maintenance, and repair of the municipal drinking water system. This includes municipally-owned water service lines and curb stop water shut-off valves.
In order to reduce the impact of service disruptions to our customers, Utilities Kingston makes every reasonable effort to restore interrupted water services as quickly as possible.
A home’s water service line, showing private and municipal responsibilities
We’re making sure that we’re ready in case of long duration cold spells that put services at risk of freezing.
We maintain and test the operation of five thawing machines, and stock an ample supply of water line in case we need to run temporary water services. On the communications front, we have educational materials prepared for affected home owners, and our front line staff members are trained regarding the Frozen Water Service Policy (WD-P-01).
Prioritizing the work
Crews address frozen water services as quickly as possible, in the order of calls received. Priority may be given to hospitals and health care facilities, residents with special health needs, schools and daycares, and properties that cannot be supplied through a temporary service connection.
Check out our video to learn how our crews respond to frozen water services.
Correcting issues with municipal water pipes
In some cases, freezing originates from municipally-owned service lines that are not buried to the current standard minimum depth. This issue is generally experienced with older infrastructure…road profiles, installation techniques and standards have changed over time.
Utilities Kingston is addressing these issues by prioritizing work to lower or insulate municipal piping as efficiently as possible.
Monitoring and communicating
To proactively assist building owners in protecting their properties, Utilities Kingston will monitor conditions to determine if building owners should run water to prevent services from freezing. We’ll monitor for factors such as prolonged periods of extreme cold, frost depth, water temperature, and reported frozen services.
Once we decide to implement a call to run water, we’ll proactively contact the owners of properties identified as having previously frozen on the municipal side. If our records indicate that the water service line at your address has a history of freezing, you can look for a notice on your door.
We’ll advise to begin running water continuously and to arrange for the removal of the water meter. While the water meter is inoperative, billing for water and sewer services will be based on a fixed flat rate charge.
Temporary service connections
In order to help restore a service as quickly as possible, Utilities Kingston may install a temporary water service connection that runs over land, usually from a neighbouring water service. The decision is based on the availability of personnel and equipment to thaw the service within a reasonable time frame and the availability of a suitable water connection adjacent to the affected property.
Where a temporary service connection is drawing water from a neighbouring property, Utilities Kingston will remove, or render inoperative, the water meter from that property.
Billing for water and sewer services for both the property providing the temporary water supply and the property receiving the temporary water supply will be based on a fixed flat rate charge until the temporary water service has been removed and normal service conditions are restored.