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Water pipe responsibilities for property owners


Homeowners (single-family homes and duplexes)

Illustration showing portions of pipe that property owners and City are responsible for

You own the water pipe from your home up to the shut-off valve (usually at your property line). We own the shut-off valve. The responsibility for a leak on private residential property can be determined by turning off the water at the shut-off valve. If the leak stops, repairing the leak is your responsibility. We do not trace private sewer or water pipes on public or private property. Unlike other utilities, we do not own these pipes. They have been installed by private contractors. We may have records provided by the contractors when the water and sewer service was installed. These are available to property owners. However, we cannot guarantee their accuracy. Contact us for more information.

If there is a leak in your water pipe:

You are responsible for:

If your water pipe is lead, we recommend that you replace the pipe rather than repair the leak. If you replace your pipe, contact us and shortly after, we will replace the lead pipe on the City's portion of the water pipe (from the shut-off valve to the water main) as part of our lead control program.

When hiring a licensed water contractor, we recommend that you:

  • get at least three estimates
  • ask for and check contractor references
  • call the Better Business Bureau for a reliability report on contractors

Your contractor will be responsible for:

  • obtaining the necessary permits
  • getting clearances from utility companies (e.g., Manitoba Hydro)
  • repairing the leak
  • arranging for us to inspect the repair and turn the water back on

We are responsible for:

We will turn off the water if the leak becomes a risk to:

  • the water supply system
  • public safety
  • private or public property

While your water is off during the repair, we recommend that you:

  • keep your taps closed to prevent flooding when your water is turned on
  • turn off electrically operated hot water tanks to prevent damage

If you have any questions, contact 311.

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Other property owners

You may be serviced by:

  1. A fire service - water exclusively for fire protection using sprinklers and/or hydrants. You own this water pipe from your building to the City's water main, including all pipes, tees, sprinkler systems, valves, valve boxes, hydrants, and plumbing.
  2. A water pipe for potable water and/or for use in business processes, but not for fire protection. You own the water pipe from your building up to the shut-off valve (usually at your property line).
  3. Both of the above. You own this water service from your building to the City's water main, including all pipes, tees, sprinkler systems, valves, valve boxes, hydrants, and plumbing.

Illustration showing portions of pipe with fire service that property owners and City are responsible for

The responsibility for a leak on private residential property with a fire/domestic line can be determined by turning off the water at the shut-off valve. If the leak stops, repairing the leak is your responsibility.

If there is a leak in any portion of your service pipe:

You are responsible for:

If your water pipe is lead, we recommend that you replace the pipe rather than repair the leak.

When hiring a licensed water contractor, we recommend that you:

  • get at least three estimates
  • ask for and check contractor references
  • call the Better Business Bureau for a reliability report on contractors

Your contractor will be responsible for:

  • obtaining the necessary permits
  • getting clearances from utility companies (e.g., Manitoba Hydro)
  • repairing the leak
  • arranging for us to inspect the repair and turn the water back on

We are responsible for:

Underground pipe leak illustrationWe will turn off the water if the leak becomes a risk to:

  • the water supply system
  • public safety
  • private or public property

While your water is off during the repair, we recommend that you:

  • keep your taps closed to prevent flooding when your water is turned on
  • turn off electrically operated hot water tanks to prevent damage
  • notify your insurance company that your fire protection service is off

There are steps you can take in maintaining your private water system (non-residential properties) (pdf - 1,504kb) that are important to the successful operation of your business.

If you have any questions, contact 311.

Last updated: February 24, 2016

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