Water service lines in Calgary
A water pipe, also known as a water service line, is the way drinking water is delivered to each home in Calgary. The water pipe can be thought of as two sections:
From the water main to the property line
This part of the pipe is owned and maintained by The City of Calgary.
From the property line to your house
This part of the pipe is owned and maintained by the homeowner.
What are the responsibilities of The City and homeowner?
All water pipes and devices outside the property line are the responsibility of The City of Calgary. That includes things like water mains, water main valves and service valves. We are responsible for all repairs to these lines.
The homeowner is responsible for the water pipe that leads from their house to the service valve (which is usually located at or near the property line). The homeowner is responsible for the main shut-off valve that is normally located inside their house.
In most cases, the property line ends a few metres from the edge of the curb or sidewalk. The legal survey completed when the building was purchased shows where the property line is located.
The diagram below shows that the water service valve is placed very close to the property line, but is not always on The City's side, however The City owns it.
The property owner is responsible for all repair costs to the service on private property (with the exception of the water meter).
What causes a service leak?
Water service 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.
A drop in water pressure may indicate a leak in the water service outside the building (between the city water main and the water meter).
What if I suspect there is a leak on my property?
If you suspect there is a leak on your property, visit Water Service Line Leaks to see how to detect a leak, and what steps to take to fix it.
You can also download ourHomeowner Water Guide on Water Service Lines.
Lead and water services lines
Lead is not naturally found in the Bow and Elbow Rivers, Calgary’s source water. The water produced by The City of Calgary Water Treatment Plants meets or is better than quality guidelines set by Health Canada. The City consistently monitors for lead at its Water Treatment Plants and multiple locations throughout the distribution network.
Lead in drinking water can come from lead service lines running between the water main in the street and the home, and from plumbing inside the home that may partially contain lead such as solder, pipes, pipe fittings or fixtures.
Learn more about the history of lead service lines in Calgary, how the City works with homes that have been identified as having public lead service lines and steps homeowners can take to mitigate lead in drinking water.
Asbestos cement in water pipes
The pipes used for delivering water have evolved over time. Cement pipes made with asbestos fibers were commonly used around the world, including in Canada, but have not been installed in municipal water systems for over 50 years.
The majority of our watermain network is constructed of PVC and cast iron. Asbestos cement pipes were used for water distribution mains only and make up about one per cent (67 kilometres) of our watermain network. Public and private water service lines, which deliver drinking water from the main to homes and businesses do not have asbestos cement.
All water mains are maintained as part of our Asset Management Program, with replacement based on the condition of a pipe, including its age and the frequency of breaks.
Public health information related to asbestos can be found on Health Canada’s website.
To see the material your home’s public water service line is made of you can search our Public Water Service Lines database.
Please follow these steps:
- Click on the blue “View Data” button on the right.
- Type your address into the “Find in this dataset” search bar on the top right.