An example of a water service leak on private property
Water service line or waterline leaks usually happen due to corrosion from pipe age, pipe materials, surrounding soil conditions, ground movement and/or the growth and shrinkage of the service pipe from temperature changes.
How do I check for a leak on my property?
To check if there is a leak in your home or building:
- Turn off all the taps
- Go to the meter and check if the red dial is spinning
- If yes, water is running somewhere inside the building (for example, this could be a leaking toilet)
These signs may mean there is a water service line leak outside the building (between water meter and City service valve).
- Noise on the water 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 your water service line outside your home, please call 311.
For more information about identifying service line leaks and what steps to take to repair them, you can also download ourWater Service Line Leaks on Private Property brochure.
How are service line leaks identified?
The City of Calgary checks for leaks in two ways:
- Leak locators are dispatched when a citizen makes a 311 request
- Leak locators proactively check for leaks when not attending to service calls
If a leak is suspected on private property, The City leak locator will contact the homeowner to obtain access to the water meter or shut-off valve inside the house or building to perform further tests. A leak on private property can be determined by turning off the water at the shut-off valve.
If the leak is determined to be on the homeowner's portion of the water service line, the leak locator will inform the property owner of where the leak is located.
What happens if my water service line is leaking?
If there is a leak on your side of the water pipe, you are responsible for:
- Arranging for a water contractor to make any necessary repairs
- Paying for the repairs
As per theWater Utility Bylaw, the owner is responsible to "maintain such Water Service Connections in a state of good repair, with sufficient protection from freezing, free form leakage, or other water loss." The City requires repairs to be made within 15 days or a remedial order may be issued.
Please note: Because the water main is pressurized, when a hole or crack occurs in the service line, water will continue to flow until the water service valve is turned off. Failure to address the leak may cause damage to your property, the street and sidewalks. We recommend repairing the leak as soon as possible.
To learn more about who is responsible for water lines, visit Water Service Lines in Calgary.
Who should I call to get my water service leak fixed?
The City of Calgary has a list ofqualified indemnity contractors that can work on our watermains. The City does not recommend which contractor to hire, not does The City endorse the quality of work or warranty any work done on private property by any of these contractors. We are providing this list to homeowners so they are aware of contractors who complete this type of work.
There are also a number of Calgary contractors not on the list who can repair or replace residential services.
The following links may be helpful in finding a contractor:
When hiring a contractor, we recommend 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
Your contractor will be responsible for:
- Obtaining the necessary permits
- Getting clearances from utility companies (for example: Alberta One Call)
- Repairing the leak
The City will be responsible for turning off the water so the repair can be made.
We may also have to turn off the water if the leak becomes a risk to the following:
- The water supply system
- Public safety
- Private or public property
What to do while your water is off during the repairs
While your water is off during the repair 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.
What to do after the repairs
Once the repair is complete, we recommend that someone 18 years or older be present at the home or building in order to have your water services turned on.
Wash tap aerators and screens in hot soapy water, then disinfect them for ten minutes in a solution of one part bleach to nine parts water. Also disinfect any water filters to the manufacturer's recommendations.