What Causes a Leak?

Water service line leaks can result from corrosion due to pipe age and material type, soil type, ground movement and/or the expansion/contraction of the pipe resulting from temperature variations.

It’s important to address water leaks immediately. They can cause property damage and waste large amounts of water.

What can happen if a leak isn't addressed?

Your water service line (i.e. water pipe) is connected to City water mains that carry water from the Water Treatment Plant to your home. Because the water system is pressurized, when a hole or crack occurs in the water service line, water will continue to flow until we turn off your water service valve(s). Failure to address a leak may cause damage to your property, the street and sidewalks so repairs must be made as soon as possible. Water usually finds its way to the surface, but depending on the soil type (e.g. gravel, sandy soil), this may not be immediately noticeable. Water may:

  • Saturate the soil and seep into your basement or your neighbour's basement
  • Cause sump pumps to operate unnecessarily
  • Cause damage to the foundation of your house or business
What happens if there is a leak in the owner's water service line?

The homeowner is responsible for water service lines on their property and must arrange for a plumbing contractor to make necessary repairs. They are also responsible for paying all repair costs to their part of the water service line, including any water leaks on their property (with the exception of the water meter).

How do I check for a leak on my property?

 To check if there is a leak on your property:

  • Turn off all the taps
  • Go to the water meter (usually found in the basement; pictured here) and check if the red dial is spinning
  • If yes, water is running somewhere inside the building (e.g. a leaking toilet)

The following signs may mean there is a water service line leak outside the building (between the water meter and the City service valve).

  • Noise on the water service line while none of the taps are running
  • A drop in the water pressure
  • Water flowing or pooling on the ground surface

If you suspect a leak on the water service line outside your home, call 403-342-8750 to have the water shut off at the service valve. Call a plumbing contractor to carry out repairs if you are not able to carry out repairs yourself.

Who should I call to get my water service leak fixed?

The City does not make recommendations on which contractor to hire, nor does The City endorse the quality of work or warranty any work done on private property by any contractor.

There are a number of contractors who can repair or replace residential services. Check the YellowPages or Google for listings.

When hiring a contractor, it is recommended that you:

  • Get at least three estimates
  • Ask for and check contractor references
  • Contact the Better Business Bureau or a similar agency for a reliability report
How is a water service line leak repaired?

There are a few methods used to repair a water service line.

  • Service pull - Trenchless procedure that pulls a replacement water service line from the house to the service valve with minimal digging.
  • Excavating - Trench excavation from service valve to the house.
  • Spot repair - Utilizing a hydro-excavation procedure (pressurized water and vacuum system to expose underground pipes) allows for repairs to a water service line at the immediate leak location.

Your water will be turned off during the repair and we recommend that you keep your taps closed to prevent flooding when your water is turned back on. Additionally, turn off hot water tanks to prevent damage.

Once the repair is complete, your water services can be turned back on. Someone 18 years or older must be present at the home or building to complete this process.

Learn more about how to handle leaks with these resources.