Drinking water programs

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High Volume User Program

Save money and water with the City’s High Volume User (HVU) Program. The HVU Program offers rebates to property owners for installing eligible water efficient toilets, urinals, spray valves and commercial dishwashers and washing machines.

What are the benefits?

Inefficient use of water increases utility costs and places undue stress on the environment. These negative outcomes can often be avoided by retrofitting inefficient fixtures with devices which use less water while providing equal or superior performance. The HVU program aims to offset the costs when retrofitting water fixtures by providing rebates. Find out how these Ottawa organizations benefitted from the High Volume User Program:

  • Ottawa Community Housing Bank Street location cut $78,000 from its annual water bill
  • Osgoode Properties sees return on investment eight months after installing water efficient toilets
  • Ramphos Holdings Inc. saves money with water efficient toilets and washing machines

Are you eligible?

The business or facility must be built before 1996, located in the City of Ottawa and be either:

An industrial, commercial or institutional property consuming a minimum of  25,000 m3 of water per year

or

A multi-residential property with six or more units.

Ready to apply?

  1. Complete the Screening and Application form [ PDF - 196 KB].
  2. Before removing old fixtures and appliances, take photos of what is being replaced.
  3. Send completed form and photos for review to:

WaterWise Coordinator
City of Ottawa 
951 Clyde Avenue
Ottawa, ON K1Z 5A6

Once your application has been approved, you will receive more information about next steps.

Frequently asked questions

Which toilet should I purchase?

Review the maximum performance (MaP) testing information to ensure the toilets you are considering meet the HVUP criteria. Toilet selection will be reviewed by the City as part of the screening form review and approval process.

What dollar rebate values are available?

Qualifying applications may receive:

  • Toilets: $50 rebate for single-flush and dual flush high-efficiency toilets
  • Urinals: $60 rebate for 3.8L or less; $75 rebate for waterless urinals
  • Spray valves: 50% of the pre-tax price, to a maximum of $200
  • Commercial dishwashers and washing machines: 25% of the pre-tax price, to a maximum of $1,000

The total maximum rebate is $10,000 per tax roll number.

Is there a deadline for completing the work?

After a project is approved, applicants must complete the work within 18 months.

Questions?

Contact the City of Ottawa at 3-1-1 or send an e-mail to: waterwise@ottawa.ca.

High Volume User success stories

Find out how local property owners have benefitted from the High Volume User Program.

Ottawa Community Housing

In 2011, the Ottawa Community Housing Corporation (OCH) installed 144 water-efficient toilets at a facility located on Bank Street.

Water conserved: ~20,000 m3 of water/year
Rebate received: $7,200 rebate
Return on investment: 1 year
Annual savings: ~$78,000

Osgoode Properties

In 2011, Osgoode Properties installed 122 water-efficient toilets in their building.

Water conserved: ~14,000 m3 of water/year
Rebate received: $6,100 rebate
Return on investment: 8 months
Annual savings: ~$54,000

Ramphos Holdings Inc.

From 2011-2012, Ramphos Holdings Inc. installed 18 water-efficient toilets and 2 water-efficient washing machines.

Water conserved: ~400 m3 of water/year 
Rebate received: $1,643 rebate
Return on investment: Five years  
Annual savings: ~$1,500


 

Water main maintenance - Cathodic Protection Program

The City of Ottawa’s Water Services completes preventative water main maintenance to ensure the continued efficient delivery of safe drinking water to your community.

What is cathodic protection?

Cathodic protection is a process that involves attaching a series of magnesium rods (or "anodes") to the outside of a metallic water main or water service to provide corrosion protection to the water main.

Excavation

Why are we doing it?

With age, metal pipes corrode and eventually break. Cathodic protection helps prevent this process by transferring the corrosion from the outside of the water main to a “sacrificial” anode.

Why was my street selected?

The City analyzed the frequency and severity of water main breaks in Ottawa over a five year period. From this analysis, locations were identified and prioritized. 

How is it done?

Work crews drill a series of 30 cm (1 foot) diameter holes on City property and insert magnesium (sacrificial) anodes beneath the ground. The anodes are connected together by a wire which is attached to your water service.

Will cathodic protection be added to all water mains?

No. Cathodic protection is for metallic pipes. Today, most water mains are made from PVC.

How will this work impact residents?

  • There will be noise associated with the work.
  • The installation process takes minutes and holes are refilled the same day.
  • Traffic and pedestrian impacts are minimal.
  • Work is done on the outside of the pipe, so water quality and pressure are not affected.

When will the work take place?

The Program is set to resume operations in 2023.

Questions or concerns

For more information, please contact the City’s Water Information Line by phone at 613-580-2424, extension 22300 or by email at info-water@ottawa.ca.