Water system

London's water system and supply of clean water comes from both Lake Huron and Lake Erie. Our water comes to us through a network of treatment plants, reservoirs, and pumping stations made up of more than 1,620 kilometres of pipes. 

On an annual basis, the City of London performs over 12,000 water quality tests. London also has 10 locations throughout the city in which continuous online sampling of chlorine residual is monitored. All of these efforts help ensure that the water within our distribution system is always of high quality.

Please contact the City of London's Water Department immediately to report an issue such as: 

  • No water coming from your taps
  • A possible watermain break
  • A leaking water meter
  • A taste or odour

You can report a water issue by calling 519-661-4739. The City's water emergency number is available 24 hours a day, seven days per week.

Report a water issue

Frozen water pipes

Water services and pipes can freeze in extreme cold temperatures. Property owners are responsible for maintaining and replacing water pipes inside their home or business, and from the building to the property line. The City of London is responsible for the water service within the public right-of-way.

If you believe you have a frozen pipe or service, your first step is to try to determine if it is your indoor (household) plumbing that has frozen, or if the problem is coming from outside. Try running different cold water taps throughout your home. If even one tap has running water, your issue is likely internal. You should call a plumber or see the tips on indoor plumbing care below.

If you find that all water service to your home has stopped, or you aren’t sure where the problem is, contact the City of London. The Water Operations Division will work with you to determine where your pipes have frozen. This may include a visit to your home or business. 

Report frozen water pipes, by calling 519-661-4739
Tenants having problems with frozen water pipes must advise their landlords if they contact the City for support.

Temporary water lines

The City may temporarily connect you to your neighbour with a temporary water line if you have a frozen water service. Temporary water lines are set up using potable water grade hoses. These are run from a neighbour’s house to yours, usually between outdoor taps. These lines provide a temporary, running water supply until a frozen pipe thaws. If the City connects you to a temporary water line from a neighbour, you will be required to leave one tap running constantly as instructed (preferably a faucet at your laundry tub). 

Temporary water lines are the easiest, quickest and least expensive method of restoring water when you have a frozen service. 

When the City installs a temporary water line between you and a neighbour, both of you will be set up to only pay for the minimum monthly water and sewer bill. No consumptive charges will be applied to either account. The City does this to help alleviate the inconvenience of having a frozen service and to ensure that you continue to run a pencil-sized stream of water from a faucet continuously.

Who pays for a temporary line?

If the water service has frozen there will be no cost to the property owner to have a temporary line installed.

If the frozen service is entirely within private property, such as the case with condominiums and townhouses, the City will not supply a temporary line, nor will minimum monthly billing be provided to those customers who chose to run a faucet to prevent a freezing. In these situations, all remediation efforts will be up entirely to the property owner or condominium corporation.

Can I install my own temporary line?

No, residents should not install their own temporary line. The City will make every effort to address your frozen service as quickly as possible. There are health and safety issues that may arise if the wrong material and/or improper technique are used, so the City does not encourage you to install your own temporary line. In addition, private temporary lines will not be eligible for the minimum monthly billing accommodation, and those installing them will be responsible for all costs for running and using water.


Lead water services

The City of London offers free lead testing of tap water for Londoners who live in older homes. Since only copper or plastic service pipes have been used in modern builds, there is little cause for concern if you house was built after 1952.

To inquire about lead testing, please contact leadtesting@london.ca or call 519-661-2489 x 5541.

If you have a lead water service, the best way to reduce your lead exposure is to replace it. Water services are the pipes that bring water into each house and business from the water mains that run under the streets to the water meters in each building. The public portion of the water service pipe runs from the water main to the property line that separates public property from private property. The private portion of the water service pipe runs from the property line into each building. The portion of the water service pipe on private property belongs to the homeowner and is part of the household plumbing. Homeowners are encouraged to hire a contractor to replace the private portion of their lead water service. Homeowners are required to obtain plumbing permits for this work. The City of London will then complete the process by replacing the public portion at no cost to the homeowner.

Lead Service Extension Replacement Loan Program

Homeowners seeking financial assistance for the replacement of their lead water service pipe can apply to the Lead Service Extension Replacement Loan Program. This program allows successful applicants to apply the cost of their lead water service pipe replacement to their property tax bill and pay it back over ten years.

The program is designed to provide financial assistance to owner-occupied dwellings containing three or fewer dwelling units and is not retroactive for those who have already replaced their lead water service pipes.

To learn more about the application process and its requirements, please contact skoshows@london.ca or call 519-661-2489 x 7503.


Backflow prevention and monitoring program

Backflow prevention ensures that the supply of drinking water, in your facility and the City water mains, is protected against the entry of any contaminants, pollutants, infectious agents, or other materials or substances.  In most cases, this is achieved by the installation of an appropriate backflow prevention device at the water connection.  In some circumstances, the main water supply must also be isolated with the installation of a backflow prevention device at the water meter.

A building permit for plumbing will be required for the installation of any new testable backflow prevention device.  Replacement of existing testable devices would require a permit if the type, size, or location of the device is being changed.  Removal of a testable source isolation backflow preventer also requires a permit.

In accordance with the Ontario Building Code and City of London Water By-law, any existing or new reduced pressure backflow preventers, double check valves and pressure vacuum breakers are required to be inspected and tested upon installation, when cleaned, repaired or overhauled, when relocated - and annually thereafter - by a tester registered with the City of London. No person shall without the permission of the City remove any cross connection control or backflow prevention devices.

For more information about the backflow prevention and monitoring program, please contact Backflow@london.ca or call 519-661-4555

Bulk water stations
Bulk water station in London Ontario

The City of London currently has eight automated bulk water filling stations throughout the city for users to obtain potable water. Most of these stations are operational 24 hours per day, 7 days a week. The following PDF map shows all the locations:

 The bulk water filling stations were designed to eliminate the filling from fire hydrants. Unauthorized use of a fire hydrant is illegal as per City By-Law W8.

The filling stations dispense a high volume of water over a short amount of time (approximately 1,000 litres per minute). They are intended to be used for filling large volumes in excess of 1000 litres. Attempting to fill smaller volumes than this may result in overflow and possible damage to the user’s equipment.  

Bulk water account portal

Access to the bulk water system is done through a pre-paid online account that you create and manage. You will have the ability to track your usage, create reports and manage multiple users within your company quickly and efficiently.

To create your online Bulk Water Account please follow these step by step instructions:

Additional information including current rate and equipment needed is also included in the set-up instructions.

For quick access to the online Bulk Water Portal:

bulk water account portal

For assistance, please contact at bulkwater@london.ca or call or 519-661-2489 x 5541

Resources for teachers

The City of London has partnered with the Thames Valley District School Board (TVDSB) to develop curriculum related lessons using the City of London as a  case study.

Lessons are continuously being developed for kindergarten to grade 12 and include activities in and outside the classroom.

If you would like to inquire about teaching resources and lesson plans, please contact water@london.ca or call 519-661-2489 x 5081 

Drinking water quality management system

Quality management of London’s drinking water system occurs through the implementation and continual improvement of a Quality Management System (QMS) that meets the requirements of Ontario’s Drinking Water Quality Management Standard. London’s QMS policy forms the foundation of the QMS for the drinking water system, as follows:

The City of London owns and operates the City of London Drinking Water System and is committed to:

  • providing safe drinking water for all consumers supplied by its drinking water system
  • complying with all legislation and regulations applicable to the operation of its drinking water system
  • the maintenance and continual improvement of the Quality Management System for its drinking water system

The QMS for London’s drinking water system is documented in an Operational Plan that outlines the processes and procedures for the overall quality management of the system. Ontario’s Drinking Water Quality Management Standard requires that Operational Plans be made available for viewing by the public. If you would like to view the Operational Plan for the City of London Drinking Water System or the Elgin-Middlesex Pumping Station - London Portion, please request access by contacting water@london.ca.

Drinking water licences
Water system reports

Each year, the City of London submits an annual and summary report to the Ministry of the Environment detailing the results of 1,000s of tests that were taken throughout the drinking water system that year. 

The annual report contains:

  • A brief description of the drinking water system, including a list of water treatment chemicals used by the system.
  • A summary of the results of required tests.
  • A summary of any adverse test results reported and corrective actions taken.
  • A description of any major expenses incurred to install, repair or replace required equipment.

The summary report contains:

  • A list of any regulatory requirements applicable to the system that were not met at any time during the period covered by the report, the duration of the failure, and the measures that were taken to correct the failure.
  • A summary of the quantities and flow rates of the water supplied during the period covered by the report, including monthly average and maximum daily flows and compared to the rated capacity of the system.

Inspection Report:

Each year, the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) provides the City of London with an Inspection Report. The main purpose of their inspection is to confirm compliance with MECP legislation as well as evaluating conformance with ministry drinking water policies and guidelines during the inspection period.

Financial plan:

The City of London maintains a safe, secure, and reliable water supply for Londoners through sound financial planning. The City prepares a Financial Plan as a summary of various capital and operational programs already approved by Council for the current budget year (2020) with an outlook of projected expenditures to 2026.

If you have any questions or wish to receive a copy of the annual and summary reports, or a copy of the financial plan, please contact Scott Koshowski at skoshows@london.ca or call 519-661-2489 x 7503


Last modified:Friday, July 19, 2024