Watermains and valves

Learn more about watermain flushing, how to report a watermain break, where the water valve is located on your property, and approval requirements for watermain alteration.

On this page

  1. Watermain flushing program
  2. Reporting a watermain break
  3. Locating a water valve on your property
  4. Tips for valves on driveways
  5. Utilities locates terms and conditions
  6. Apply to alter watermain, stormwater or wastewater infrastructure

Watermain flushing program

Over time iron and other minerals settle in watermains (large pipes that carry water underground) which may cause discoloured water to flow into your home.

Our cleaning program improves water quality by flushing pipes with fresh water. No chemicals are used but you may notice water looks different as minerals are discharged. Visit our water quality page for tips on clearing discoloured water.

For questions about watermain flushing, contact our service centre during business hours.

2023 flushing schedule and updates

The 2023 watermain flushing program has been completed ahead of schedule! Thank you everyone for your patience and cooperation.

Reporting a watermain break

Watermain breaks are caused by extreme weather, freeze/thaw cycles and old age. Signs of a problem include water pooling or flowing above ground or reduced water pressure in your home. 

If you suspect a break, contact us immediately at 519-886-2310.

Locating a water valve on your property

Every property has a water valve access point (also known as a shut-off valve). It is usually found in a front yard or driveway. The valve is the only way to turn off water supply for maintenance or valve replacement.

If the valve is not visible, crews may need to dig up your driveway to locate it. They will repair the area but will not replace or match the entire driveway.

Tips for valves on driveways

Before you do substantial work replacing or renovating your driveway two weeks prior to starting work:

  • request a free valve inspection at 519-886-2310
  • contact Ontario One Call at 1-800-400-2255 to locate utilities
  • if your work is impacted by infrastructure it will be marked by paint, flags or stakes
  • ensure your contractor doesn't pave or cover over the valve when doing work
  • you will be notified by email when you locate is complete, downloadable maps/sketches are available for 30 days
  • before starting any large scale project, ensure you have all your permits - check with our building division

Utilities locates terms and conditions

Standard terms that apply to locates in Waterloo:

  • underground city's infrastructure must be supported at all times
  • if delays past two weeks should occur on the locate information, a new locate must be obtained
  • no digging, boring, trenching, grading, excavating or breaking ground with mechanical equipment or explosives without making sure the location of any pipeline may be interfered with
  • excavators must not work outside the area originally located without a further locate
  • if excavation is necessary near underground utilities, extreme caution must be taken and the underground utilities shall be exposed by hand digging within one meter of the location
  • if underground infrastructure is exposed over a distance of more than 1.25 metres, you must notify the city
  • locates are only valid for 60 days, then you must reapply

Apply to alter watermain, stormwater or wastewater infrastructure

View the water utilities alterations page to apply to alter water infrastructure.