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. More than 12,000 London homes have been tested so far. 

If you have a lead water service, the best way to reduce your lead exposure is to replace the service pipe. The City of London replaces the public portion of about 450 lead services each year, mostly through water main replacement projects. The portion of the service on private property belongs to the homeowner – it is part of the household plumbing. Homeowners are encouraged to hire a contractor replace the private portion of their lead water service if the City is replacing the public portion.

If the City isn’t replacing the water main, homeowners can initiate a lead service replacement by hiring a contractor to replace the private portion of the service. The City of London will then complete the process by replacing the public portion at no cost to the homeowner.

If you live in an older home that hasn’t been tested, or if you aren’t sure if your water has been tested, we encourage you to contact us to arrange for a test.

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

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

The City of London has several automated bulk water stations throughout the city to allow bulk water haulers obtain potable water. Most of these stations are operational 24 hours per day, 7 days a week.

These bulk water stations have been designed to eliminate the need for withdrawal of water from fire hydrants. Unauthorized withdrawal of water through a fire hydrant is illegal. 

Bulk water stations dispense a high volume of water over a short amount of time. They are intended to be used for supply of large quantities of water in excess of 1,000 litres. Attempting to fill tanks smaller than this will result in overflow and possible damage to the user’s equipment.  

Bulk water account portal

Residents can create an account online and manage their bulk water pre-payments, track their usage, and create reports. You no longer are required to go to City Hall for service. 

bulk water account portal

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

What to do with old pre-paid cards

There is no longer a need to retain any of the pre-paid cards, or to go to City Hall to add value to the pre-paid cards. Any value you have on existing pre-pad cards can be transferred to your new customer profile by one of the City's Bulk Water Administrators. This can be done by mailing in your card  or dropping them off at:

Attn: Jeff Kuchta, 663 Bathurst Street, London, ON N5Z 1P8

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

The City of London owns and operates the City of London distribution system and is committed to:

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

To report a water quality issue, please call 519-661-4739

Annual and summary 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.

 

 

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 summery 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, October 23, 2020