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Obtaining a flusher hydrant permit

The City of Ottawa’s Flusher Hydrant Program issues permits to businesses requiring non-potable water for services such as street cleaning or pool filling. Businesses looking to use City water from flusher hydrants must obtain a permit per vehicle and report their usage. Unauthorized use of a fire hydrant can result in fines.

Flusher hydrant locations

On an annual basis, the City of Ottawa provides a map and a list of the designated flusher hydrant locations. Flusher hydrants are numbered, and a full written description is printed on the reverse of the map. The use of hydrants for the purpose of bulk water dispensing is located in areas of the distribution system where the steady state operating pressures are moderate.

This map is provided for information purposes only and shall not be considered a blanket authorization for hydrant use. Please note that the locations of the flusher hydrants may change without prior notification. Should this happen, the City of Ottawa shall forward these revisions to all permit holders.

The locations of flusher hydrants are selected annually using the following criteria:

  • Size of watermains.
  • Ease of access to trucks.
  • Least disruption to traffic and the public.
  • Reasonable distribution / spacing throughout the City.

The City strongly discourages the use of hydrants for bulk water withdrawals during peak demand (i.e. morning and evening peaks) and during periods of minimum demand (i.e. during the dead-of-night periods).

Flusher hydrant use schedule

  • April 13, 2020 to November 15, 2020: All flusher hydrants are available.
  • November 16, 2020 to April 12, 2021: Only “all-season” flusher hydrants are available.

Identifying a flusher hydrant

Flusher hydrants are identified onsite by:

  1. A painted blue band around the base of the hydrant/H2O water sign.
  2. A permanent marker.

Please note:

  • Only those hydrants identified on the map will be allowed to be accessed as a flusher hydrant by water tankers.
  • During the winter months the number of accessible hydrants is reduced and designated on the map as “all-season” hydrants.

Guidelines for use of flusher hydrants

The use of all hydrants (including private hydrants) is governed by the City of Ottawa’s Water By-law, as amended.

  • No direct access to fire hydrants is allowed except for firefighting purposes.
  • Operation of a hydrant is not allowed by unauthorized persons.

Access to flusher hydrants is a service provided by the City of Ottawa that is conditional upon the cooperation of all parties involved. An individual permit is required for each vehicle that will access a flusher hydrant. According to section 61, no person shall operate a fire hydrant without a gate valve and double check valve protection device and according with this guideline.

No water shall be taken from hydrants connected to the City of Ottawa’s public well systems, as these hydrants are to be used for firefighting purposes only. These include hydrants located in Carp, Munster Hamlet, Richmond, Richmond West, Shadow Ridge and Vars.

Under Section 67, the permit holder shall report the quantity of water taken from all flusher hydrants within 24 hours of taking the water.

The permit holder is responsible for the costs of any repairs to the hydrant, as a result of improper use and operation. Improper use of any fire hydrant is a violation of The Public Utilities Act and the City’s Water By-Law, as amended.

City staff will maintain regular inspection to ensure that the operational and reporting procedures are enforced.

If you or your contractors are aware of individuals or companies that access hydrants without authorization, please contact us immediately:

Backflow protection devices are mandatory to ensure no possible backflow and contamination.

Water obtained from hydrants should be considered non-potable and should not be used for drinking purposes.

To complete a flusher hydrant permit application, you’ll need the following information.

  • Confirmation of type of backflow prevention required (double check valve or air gap);
  • Company name, contact name, Business Registration Number, and company address;
  • Telephone/cell number and/or email address;
  • Vehicle information (make, model, year, capacity).

  • 2021 flusher hydrant permit price: $288.00
    • Truck and trailer permits are the same price.
    • An individual permit is required for each vehicle that will access a flusher hydrant.
    • 2021 permits are valid from March 1, 2021 – February 28, 2022
  • Monthly invoices and options for payment will be provided based on reported usage.

Usage of flusher hydrants must be reported (in gallons only) within 24 hours:

The necessary reporting template will be provided upon granting of your permit.

Apply for a flusher hydrant permit 

If you have questions regarding your application, please contact the Hydrant Flusher Program: