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Fire hydrant maintenance and testing

Fire hydrant maintenance

Removal of hydrant markers: As part of the ongoing COVID-19 response, fire hydrant markers will not be removed for spring/summer 2021 in order to prioritize essential hydrant maintenance activities.

The City of Ottawa maintains more than 23,000 fire hydrants, ensuring they are in operation for firefighters in the event of a fire.

If a fire hydrant is located on your property, you are responsible for ensuring nothing obstructs access to the hydrant, as per Ottawa's Water By-law, as amended. Ensure vegetation around or near the hydrant does not impede access (e.g. landscaping, shrubs, trees, etc.).

If you spot a damaged or leaking hydrant, please call 3-1-1.

Keep fire hydrants clear of snow

We encourage you to be a hydrant hero this winter and keep your local hydrant clear of snow. Clearing 1.5 metres around a hydrant maintains access for our firefighters and helps them keep you, your family and your community safe.

Contractors are reminded to not pile snow over or against hydrants when clearing pathways and driveways in the winter.

If you are unable to clear the hydrant on your property, please call 3-1-1.

Receive your Hydrant Hero certificate!

Send a photo of your cleared hydrant to and receive your Hydrant Hero certificate. Students can also request confirmation of your community involvement hours.

Snow Go and Snow Go Assist Programs

The Snow Go and Snow Go Assist Programs provide a matching service and financial assistance to eligible seniors and people with disabilities looking to hire an individual or contractor to clear snow from private driveways and walkways.

Yellow and blue hydrant with 1.5 metres of snow cleared around it.


Fire hydrant testing

Please note: No significant hydrant testing activity is currently scheduled for 2020.

Fire hydrant testing ensures fire hydrants are in full working order and have proper flow capacity. To ensure a hydrant is capable of meeting flow requirements, City crews open the hydrants and discharge water from the hydrant at a very high flow rate.

Impact to residents

While fire hydrant testing is considered routine maintenance, it may result in temporary inconveniences. The testing disturbs sediments in the water distribution system and often results in brown or rust-coloured water. Hydrant testing may also temporarily reduce water pressure. Your regular water pressure will return to normal when testing is complete.

While the City completes testing on your street, we recommend that you turn off your taps for 10 to 20 minutes and to not do laundry. When work crews have left the area, turn on one cold water tap in your home for a few minutes to flush out the system.

Testing schedule

Please note: No significant hydrant testing activity is currently scheduled for 2020.

  • Check the fire hydrant test schedule to see when your street’s fire hydrants will be tested. Please note the schedule only includes streets impacted by fire hydrant testing. If your street has not been listed, it will not be subject to fire hydrant testing this year.