What’s a leaking water service

…and why should we care?

Your private water service line brings tap water from the municipal water main to your home. Depending on the decade when it was installed, it may be made of metal or plastic materials.

Over time, cracks can form, allowing water to leak out of the pipe. Leaks can develop for a number of reasons such as corrosion and material defects.

typical water main connection

What’s the impact?

Property damage

Water service leaks can go undetected for months if we’re not told about them. Over time, they can leak enough to affect the supply of water to your home or cause property damage like sink holes or basement flooding.

Water conservation

We care about water stewardship. Leaks waste tap water, a precious resource that’s taken from Lake Ontario and treated by our skilled operators.

Operating efficiency

Water leaks reduce operating efficiency, a cost that is ultimately borne by all of us, as water rate payers.

Other sources of water leaks

…and what we’re doing about it.

Water can also be lost and unaccounted for throughout the water distribution system, including through water main breaks, hydrants and valves. Utilities Kingston is working hard to reduce leaks and breaks on aging infrastructure and is implementing a water loss strategy.

Our water leak survey program involves closely monitoring system blows and actively detecting main and service leaks.

Water main breaks

    Water main breaks most often occur on aging infrastructure. More recently, the industry has advanced the materials and installation practices used, so it’s less of an issue with newer infrastructure.

    Over the last four years we have:

    • Replaced over 19 kilometres of cast-iron water mains with tough new plastic pipes less prone to leaks and bursts.
    • Structurally relined 13 kilometres of water main to create a tough new“pipe-within-a-pipe” (see sample shown at right) that ensures the reliability of the pipe for up to 50 additional years.

    cross-section of a pipe with inner lining

    Fire hydrants and valves

    Mechanical issues and failed gaskets in fire hydrants and valves are another common cause of unaccounted for water.

    Utilities Kingston has implemented a yearly fire hydrant inspection program. Licensed water distribution operators inspect mechanical parts for proper operation and assess the overall condition of all 3,200 fire hydrants in the distribution system.

    We also look forward to implementing a similar preventative program for the valves in the distribution system.

    It’s all a part of our commitment to providing safe, reliable, and efficient utility services to residents in Kingston.

    Prevent property damage and conserve water

    Learn more about identifying a water service leak.