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Prevent property damage and conserve water

Know how to identify a potential water service leak

Knowing how to identify a water leak and what to do about it can protect properties in your neighbourhood (including your own), conserve treated tap water and help us provide efficient utility services. Learn what a leaking water service is.

Here are some warning signs that you might have a water leak on your property:

Reduced or
low water pressure

picture of a shower head

Sump pump
constantly running

Image of Sump Pump

Noise around
the water meter 

click above to listen to a leak noise

at the meter pipe

water meter intake pipe (where to check for vibrations)

If your meter is running when you’re not actively using tap water, the leak is likely inside your building. If this is the case, contact a licensed plumber.

Don’t assume we know about water leaks. If you suspect a water leak on your property, please:

  1. Rule out noise from surrounding appliances.
  2. Determine if the leak is coming from inside your property. If so, contact a licensed plumber.
  3. If the leak is not clean water, for example, a sewer blockage or flooding, please visit our web page on basement flooding.
  4. If you have determined that water may be leaking from your water service outside on your property, of if you’re not sure, then report it by calling 613-546-1181, extension 2285.

Who is responsible?

Utilities Kingston is responsible for the operation, repair, and maintenance of the 560 kilometres of municipal watermains that supply nearly 40,000 homes and businesses in the community. Property owners are responsible for the portion of the pipe that supplies their individual property.

If we find a leak on the private side of the water service to your property, our certified water distribution operators will talk with you about next steps.

How does Utilities Kingston respond? 

Finding the location of the leak on the service pipe and fixing the leak are not always simple.

If there is a high volume of water escaping from the leak, or if the water loss is having an impact on the water supply, the leak may be repaired on the same day.

However, in most cases, a Utilities Kingston certified water distribution operator will investigate within three business days and (if the leak is on the municipal side) will fix the leak within 30 business days depending on severity and operational priorities. Occasionally, it can take longer than expected to repair it if several checks and tests are needed to be completed first.

We’re very grateful when customers let us know about a leak. Control room operators will determine the priority of the leak and dispatch crews to conduct a leak survey in your area. The survey includes:

inspectionUtilities Kingston worker inspecting a service line

Listening with
acoustic technologyUtilities Kingston worker listening for water leaks

Testing water
samples for chlorineAn operator tests water sample for chlorine

How do we know it is a leak from the drinking water system?

The presence of chlorine in the water indicates that it is treated water. For example, chlorine may be present in water samples taken from your sump pit, a location where we do not expect to find chlorinated water.

Property owner responsibilities

If the leak is found on the privately owned portion of the water service, the following are the property owners’ responsibilities:

When your contractor is ready to make the repair, please contact our service advisors at 613-546-1181, extension 2285 to arrange to have the water shut off at your property. Please note two business days of notice are required.

Utilities Kingston temporary water bypass

Utilities Kingston may need to provide a temporary water supply from a neighbouring property while the repair is underway. This is referred to as a water bypass because the water consumed bypasses the water meter. As per the Water By-Law No. 2006-122, billing for consumption for the timeframe that the property is connected to the bypass will be estimated based on the average reading for the previous months. The utility bill will continue to be generated as per the accounts billing cycle. When the property is removed from the bypass the actual reads will resume based on the accounts bill day.

The home providing the temporary bypass will only be billed for service charges not consumption.