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Drinking water programs

Lead Pipe Replacement Program

The Lead Pipe Replacement Program provides support to eligible residents with the replacement of the public and private portions of a residential property’s lead service pipe.

What is a water service pipe?

A water service pipe connects a building to the City’s municipal water supply. Property owners are responsible for the pipe up to their property line and the City owns and maintains the pipe from the property line to the water main.

How can I tell if I have a lead service pipe?

If your home was built after 1955, you do not have a lead service pipe. For older homes, the best way to determine if a service pipe is lead or copper is to scratch the service pipe with sandpaper to expose bare metal.

The only visible portion of the pipe is 50 cm in length, located between your basement’s concrete floor and the water meter. Lead pipes are dull grey in colour and are easily scratched by a hard object. Copper pipes are red-brown and corroded portions may show a green deposit.

Residents can call 3-1-1 to request a water quality test. For more information on lead and drinking water, please consult our frequently asked questions (FAQs). Further information is also available from Drinking Water Ontario.

Apply to the Lead Pipe Replacement Program

Complete an Eligibility Assessment Form

Property owners interested in lead service replacement may also contact 3-1-1 to provide their information.

Please note: Families with children under the age of six and pregnant women are given priority for service replacement.

After receiving an application, the City takes the following action:

Site review

The City reviews construction history, water main data and property information related to the service address to determine the likelihood that the City portion of the water service pipe is made from lead. The City will contact applicants by phone to advise them of their eligibility for the program.

Home inspection 

A home inspection will be scheduled to verify the presence of lead and to provide the property owner with an estimate of the replacement cost of the lead water service pipe.

Property owner commitment

Once eligibility is established, the property owner will be required to sign an agreement directing the City to proceed with the work. Property owners are given two weeks to commit to the program. Should the property owner not respond within two weeks, the opportunity for service replacement would be offered to another property owner.

Cost to the homeowner

The full cost for replacing the water service from the water main to the water meter (including the City’s cost) generally ranges from $6,000 to $10,000. The cost to the property owner is generally between $2,500 to $5,000.

These estimates do not include the removal and salvage of items such as furniture and fixtures, gardens, landscaping, decks, porches and interior work or finishes and the repair or replacement of these items upon the completion of the water service replacement. The homeowner is responsible for these costs.

Payment options

The City offers three payment options:

  • Full payment at the time of the work
  • Financing over five (5) years
  • Financing over ten (10) years

If the property owner finances the work through the City, the payment will be added to the property tax bill. The interest rate will be the City's debenture rate at the time of the debenture issuance. The exact rate will only be known a few weeks after the work is completed. The City's debenture rate is usually slightly higher than financial institution personal loan rates.

Do I qualify for the program?

The following criteria is used to determine whether an applicant qualifies for the program:

  • The owner of the property must apply.
  • The City portion of the water service must be lead.
  • The property owner must agree to pay for the portion of the service replaced on their property.

If an area is scheduled for the City’s water main replacement program within the next two years, replacement of the water service pipe will be delayed to correspond with this construction activity.

Should I also replace my sewer pipe?

Before the replacement of the lead service, the City will proceed with an inspection of the sewer pipe. If the sewer pipe is not in good condition, City staff and the property owner will discuss possible solutions on a case-by-case basis.

Can I withdraw from the program?

The property owner may withdraw from the program at any time. There is no charge for the initial site visit and pipe inspection. If the property owner has signed an agreement and wishes to withdraw, they will be charged an administration fee plus the cost of any completed work on their property.

I already applied for the program. When will I be contacted for an appointment?

Property owners eligible for replacement will receive a phone call from the City prior to the construction season to provide a date when their water service will be replaced. Waiting times vary depending on the homeowner’s priority for replacement and the time and date of their application.

I applied for the program last year but I have not received any follow-up. Should I reapply for the program?

No. Your application will remain on file and there is no need to reapply for the program if you already applied for the program.

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 proving 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


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.


Contact the City of Ottawa at 3-1-1 or send an e-mail to:

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

Flusher Hydrant Program

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.

If you would like to obtain a flusher hydrant permit or have any questions related to the use and operation of a flusher hydrant, please call 3-1-1.

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.

 Cathodic Protection

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 work starts in May and finishes in early-August. Work takes place between 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

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

2019 work schedule

Ward Street From To
4 Colville Crt. Lismer Cres. Dead End
4 Gagnon Crt. Lismer Cres. Dead End
4 Lismer Cres. Varley Dr. Varley Dr.
4 Penfield Dr. Teron Rd. Teron Rd.
4 Pentland Cres. Leacock Dr. Leacock Dr.
4 Pentland Pl. Pentland Cres. Pentland Cres.
8 Bonnie Cres. Clyde Ave. Castle Hill Cres.
8 Cameo Dr. Bonnie Cres. Maitland Ave.
8 Castle Hill Cres. Cameo Dr. Clyde Ave.
8 Glenmount Ave. Maitland Ave. Bonnie Cres.
8 Greenlawn Cres. Bonnie Cres. Bonnie Cres.
8 Greyrock Cres. Cameo Dr. Castle Hill Cres.
11 Rothwell Dr. Whippoorwill Dr. Cedar Rd.
11 Wick Cres. Rothwell Dr. Rothwell Dr.
15 Sherbourne Rd. Carling Ave. Dovercourt Ave.
18 Faircrest Rd. Alta Vista Dr. Fairbanks Ave.
23 Airlie Pl. Barra Ave. Dead End
23 Ardagh Gate Ballantrae Way Dead End
23 Ballantrae Way Rothesay Dr. Glamorgan Dr.
23 Barra Ave. Gowrie Dr. Seabrooke Dr.
23 Binscarth Cres. Sheldrake Dr. Sheldrake Dr.
23 Boylston Lane Winchester Dr Dunoon Pl.
23 Castlefrank Rd. Glamorgan Dr. Hazeldean Rd.
23 Dundegan Dr. Glamorgan Dr. Glamorgan Dr.
23 Dunoon Pl. Winchester Dr. Dead End
23 Glamorgan Dr. Castlefrank Rd. Castlefrank Rd.
23 Glenmoriston Ave. Gowrie Dr. Seabrooke Dr.
23 Gowrie Dr. Winchester Dr. Seabrooke Dr.
23 Heathcliffe Crt. Glamorgan Dr. Dead End
23 Laurie Crt. Sheldrake Dr. Sheldrake Dr.
23 McElroy Dr. McElroy Dr. Morton Dr.
23 Mckitrick Dr. Rickey Pl. Castlefrank Rd.
23 Melanie Cres. Mckitrick Dr. Mckitrick Dr.
23 Montebello Lane Morton Dr. Morton Dr.
23 Morton Dr. Sheldrake Dr. McElroy Dr.
23 Old Colony Rd. Rothesay Dr. Courtney Rd.
23 Rickey Pl. Winchester Dr. Mcelroy Dr.
23 Rothesay Dr. Glamorgan Dr. Dead End
23 Scharf Lane Seabrooke Dr. Seabrooke Dr.
23 Seabrooke Dr. Winchester Dr. Dead End
23 Sheldrake Dr. Morton Dr. Castlefrank Rd.
23 Shouldice Cres. Rothesay Dr. Rothesay Dr.
23 Spearman Lane McElroy Dr. McElroy Dr.
23 Sumner St. Melanie Cres. Mckitrick Dr.
23 Turret Crt. Sumner St. Dead End
23 Uxbridge Cres. Glamorgan Dr. Glamorgan Dr.
23 Winchester Dr. Terry Fox Dr. Castlefrank Rd.
23 Windbrook Cres. Willow Glen Dr. Willow Glen Dr.
23 Young's Pond Crt. Maple Grove Rd. Dead End
23 Abbeyhill Dr. Castlefrank Rd. Sherwood St.
23 Amundsen Cres. Chimo Dr. Chimo Dr.
23 Appaloosa Dr. Palomino Dr. Palomino Dr.
23 Barrow Cres. Kukalu Rd. Kukalu Rd.
23 Beaufort Dr. Chimo Dr. Katimavik Rd.
23 Bernier Terr. Kukalu Rd. Kukalu Rd.
23 Black Rivers Pl. Bridle Park Dr. Dead End
23 Bluegrass Dr. Foxleigh Cres. Equestrian Dr.
23 Bluemeadow Way Willow Glem Dr. Willow Glem Dr.
23 Bradley Farm Crt. Banning Rd. Dead End
23 Bramblewood Cres. Stonemeadow Dr. Stonemeadow Dr.
23 Brandy Creek Cres. Pine Hill Dr. Pine Hill Dr.
23 Bridle Park Dr. Bridgestone Dr. Windgate Cres.
23 Bridlewood Dr. Stonehaven Dr. Steeple Chase Dr.
23 Brodeur Cres. Beaufort Dr. Beaufort Dr.
23 Bylot Crt. Bernier Terr. Dead End
23 Byrd Cres. Chimo Dr. Chimo Dr.
23 Cadence Gate Eagleson Rd. Equestrian Dr.
23 Cedarock Dr. Stonehaven Dr. Bridgestone Dr.
23 Chickasaw Cres. Palomino Dr. Palomino Dr.
23 Chimo Dr. Katimavik Rd. Katimavik Rd.
23 Conant Pl. McGibbon Dr. Dead End
23 Curran St. Katimavik Rd. McCurdy Dr.
23 Dartmoor Dr. Palomino Dr. Shetland Way
23 Dorey Crt. McCurdy Dr. Dead End
23 Dunlop Crt. Turnbull Ave. Dead End
23 Equestrian Dr. Bridgestone Dr. Bridgestone Dr.
23 Fessenden Way Jarlan Terr. McCurdy Dr.
23 Forbes Ave. Young's Farm Way Humphrey Way
23 Foxleigh Cres. Equestrian Dr. Equestrian Dr.
23 Furlong Cres. Stonehaven Dr. Stonehaven Dr.
23 Gesner Crt. Maple Grove Rd. Dead End
23 Harmon Way Shearer Cres. Pickford Dr.
23 Hawley Cres. Willow Glen Dr. Willow Glen Dr.
23 Haywood Cres. Sewell Way Sewell Way
23 Hearst Way Katimavik Rd. Katimavik Rd.
23 Hendrie Crt. McGibbon Dr. Dead End
23 Hepburn Crt. Robarts Cres. Dead End
23 Herschel Cres. Beaufort Dr. Beaufort Dr.
23 Hewitt Crt. Hewitt Way Dead End
23 Hewitt Way Pickford Dr. Dead End
23 Humphrey Way Young's Farm Way McCurdy Dr.
23 Huntings End Ave. Bluemeadow Way Bridlewood Dr.
23 Huntsman Cres. Equestrian Dr. Equestrian Dr.
23 Inuvik Cres. Chimo Dr. Chimo Dr.
23 Jarlan Terr. Maple Grove Rd. Fessenden Way
23 Kirkpatrick Crt. McGibbon Dr. Dead End
23 Klein Crt. Young's Farm Way Dead End
23 Maple Grove Rd. Terry Fox Dr. Young's Farm Way
23 McClure Cres. Chimo Dr. Chimo Dr.
23 McCurdy Dr. Castlefrank Rd. Castlefrank Rd.
23 McGibbon Dr. Rowe Dr. Katimavik Rd.
23 McIntosh Pl. McCurdy Dr. Maple Grove Rd.
23 McIntosh Way McIntosh Pl. Maple Grove Rd.
23 McLaughlin Cres. McCurdy Dr. McCurdy Dr.
23 McLennan Way Parsons Ridge Rd. Turnbull Ave.
23 Millman Crt. Pickford Dr. Dead End
23 Naismith Cres. McCurdy Dr. McCurdy Dr.
23 Nanook Cres. Chimo Dr. Chimo Dr.
23 Oriole Ave. Abbeyhill Dr. 109 Abbeyhill Dr.
23 Pacer Pl. Stable Way Dead End
23 Palomino Dr. Eagleson Rd. Eagleson Rd.
23 Parsons Ridge Rd Young Rd. McCurdy Dr.
23 Peterson Pl. Robarts Cres. Dead End
23 Pine Hill Dr. Partridge Dr. Stonehaven Dr.
23 Pommel Cres. Equestrian Dr. Equestrian Dr.
23 Rein Terr. Equestrian Dr Saddlehorn Cres.
23 Riding Way Equestrian Dr. Huntsman Cres.
23 Robarts Cres. McGibbon Dr. McGibbon Dr.
23 Rosethorn Way Bluemeadow Way Bridlewood Dr.
23 Rowe Dr. McGibbon Dr. Davis Ave.
23 Saddlehorn Cres. Equestrian Dr. Equestrian Dr.
23 Shannondoe Cres. Stonemeadow Dr. Stonemeadow Dr.
23 Shaw Crt. Humphrey Way Dead End
23 Shearer Cres. Pickford Dr. Lombardo Dr.
23 Shetland Way Palomino Dr. Dead End
23 Sicard Way McCurdy Dr. Dead End
23 Silver Horse Cres. Equestrian Dr. Equestrian Dr.
23 Speers Cres. Bridlewood Dr. Bridlewood Dr.
23 Stable Way Equestrian Dr. Equestrian Dr.
23 Stirrup Pl. Equestrian Dr. Dead End
23 Stursberg Way Shearer Cres. Pickford Dr.
23 Sulky Way Bluegrass Dr. Bluegrass Dr.
23 Tamblyn Cres. Castlefrank Rd. Dressler Dr.
23 Thiessen Cres. McCurdy Dr. McCurdy Dr.
23 Tower Hill Cres. Bridlewood Dr. Bridlewood Dr.
23 Trotting Way. Equestrian Dr. Foxleigh Cres.
23 Turnbull Ave. Young Rd. McLennan Way
23 Willow Glen Dr. Stonehaven Dr. Bridlewood Dr.
23 Young Rd. McCurdy Dr. Hazeldean Rd.

Backflow Prevention Program

The Backflow Prevention Program mitigates the risk of backflow to the city’s water distribution system, as required under City of Ottawa's Water By-law, as amended.

Learn More