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The City of Ottawa provides sand and sandbags to residents who require them at the following locations:

  • 29 Hurdman Road

Before you begin

Please review the Ottawa Public Health "Prevention of respiratory illnesses" page.

The City of Ottawa provides sand and sandbags to residents who live in areas prone to Spring flooding at various locations across the City.


One way to keep flood water from affecting part of your property is to build a sandbag wall.

For more information on flood mitigation, visit ottawa.ca/springflooding


Descriptive Video:

Text: How to Make a Sandbag Wall

Visual: Completed Sandbag Wall

One way to keep flood water from affecting part of your property is to build a sandbag wall.

Text: The Bag

First, let's take a look at the bag.

Visual: Close up of an empty bag

Empty sandbags can be purchased at most building supply stores in Ottawa.

Visual: Graphic showing 2/3rds of the way filled.

Only fill each bag two-thirds of the way as Overfilled bags are not as effective and become too heavy to remove later once saturated with water.

Visual: Placing a ladder onto two wooden horses and putting pylon into place.

A propped ladder and a pylon makes for a stable workspace. Carefully cut the pylon to create a syphon for the sand.

Visual: The top of a pylon being cut.

Visual: Filling the sandbags.

Visual: Close up a filled bag being tied up and thrown onto a pile

To build our wall we created a base layer four bags wide, overlapping the sides slightly.

Visual: Base layer of four bags wide already in place.

When you lay your sandbags, make sure to overlap the seams.

Visual: Graphic of sand bags positioning

Position the bottom seam of the bag towards the water, and the tied end toward the shore.

Visual: Shore labeled at the top of the screen

Visual: Water labeled at the bottom of the screen

Visual: Close up of stacking bags

Then, stack sandbags in a pyramid style on all sides. With this pyramid design, if you want a higher wall, you will need to make it wider at the base to begin with.

A ten-metre wall, two feet in height, would require approximately 100 bags.

Visual: Completed sandbag wall

This is one way to build a sandbag wall.

Text: For more information visit Ottawa.ca

Visual: Ottawa logo

Supports for affected residents

Who to call 

  • If your property is at risk call 3-1-1.
    • If you are near the river and call 3-1-1 from a cell phone, it may automatically be picked up by a Quebec cell phone tower and direct you to the City of Gatineau. Call 613-580-2400 to reach the City of Ottawa if this keeps happening to you.
  • If it is an emergency situation, call 9-1-1.  
  • For information on provincial government and local community-based health and social services, call 2-1-1
  • Restoring Power and arranging for electrical repairs, call the Electrical Safety Authority: 1-877-372-7233
  • If Enbridge has shut off gas due to flooding, call Enbridge at 1-877-362-7434

Septic systems, private wells and utilities

Septic Systems

If your septic system is affected, please contact 3-1-1 to report your location so that the City can implement appropriate additional response measures and provide you with information on supports available.

Ottawa Public Health recommends that you do not use the septic system (e.g., no flushing toilets or draining water from sinks, bathtubs, showers or dishwashers) until the water level around the house is lower than the in the septic drainage field and enough time has been given for the soil to adequately drain. The soil requires additional time to drain in order to allow sewage to be absorbed. This may take several weeks after flood waters recede depending on the length of time the system was under water and the soil conditions.

Private Wells

If flood waters have reached the level of your well head, or covered your well head, your well water may be contaminated and not safe to drink.

Residents who own private wells affected by flooding are advised to:

  • The best option is to stop using your well water and use another potable water source such as bottled water for ALL water use, including drinking, preparing food, cleaning, bathing, hand washing.
  • If you want to continue to use your well water and do not suspect chemical contamination, bring the water to a rolling boil for at least one minute and let it cool before using it for drinking, making infant formula, juices, ice or recipes, brushing your teeth, rinsing contact lenses, and washing food or dishes. Refrigerate your boiled water until it is used. 
    • If you suspect chemical contamination of your drinking water and well, please contact the Ontario Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) well help desk at 613-521-3450.
  • Do not test your well water during a flood.

For more information on Septic Systems and Private Wells during and after flooding, please visit Ottawa Public Health’s online resources.


  • If your power was disconnected, you will need to contact your hydro utility company
    • Hydro Ottawa: 613-738-0188 
    • Hydro One: 1-800-434-1235 
  • If your fuse/breaker panels, electrical appliances, and any outlets have been flooded, inspections and repairs will be required by a licensed electrical contractor before the utility company can restore your power.
  • The licensed electrical contractor will file the completed work with the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) and the hydro utility company will be able to restore your power.  A copy of the work will be provided to you for insurance purposes.
  • For more information about restoring and arranging repairs, call the ESA at 1-877-372-7233 or visit their website at easafe.com.

Enbridge Gas

If Enbridge has shut off gas due to flooding and you want it turned on again:

  • Contact Enbridge at 1-877-362-7434
  • Enbridge will come and do a property assessment to determine if it is safe to reconnect the gas supply
  • Once inspection has passed, the homeowner must contact an approved HVAC contractor
  • The HVAC contractor will connect all gas-fueled appliances (furnace, hot water tank, dryer, stove, etc)

 Visit Enbridgegas.com for more flooding safety information.

Climate change

  • Climate change is causing an increase in temperatures, rainfall and more extreme weather, including flooding. Changing weather patterns and extreme weather impact our health and safety, infrastructure, the economy and the environment. The City continues to take steps to protect our community and our city’s infrastructure from extreme weather due to climate change.
  • Learn more about Climate Resiliency and the Climate Change Master Plan. 
  • Learn more about changing riverine flood risks and check whether your property is in a flood vulnerable area at Flood Plain Mapping and Climate Change