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News Release - April 29, 2021: Jarvis Street Watermain Replacement and Sanitary Sewer Upgrade

Each year, the City will replace the City-owned portion of approximately 3,000 substandard drinking water service pipes under the Capital Water Service Replacement Program.

A pipe is considered substandard if it is:

  • made of lead or galvanized metal;
  • deemed smaller than the City's 19mm standard size;
  • servicing more than one home (also called 'double-service); or
  • leaking or broken.

These replacements are coordinated with other capital construction projects, such as road, sewer or watermain reconstruction and watermain structural lining. There is no need to apply for this program.

Older homes that may have lead pipes
Water service pipes are divided into two sections: one part is owned by the City and the other part is owned by the homeowner.

If a pipe is found to be made of lead during a capital construction project, the City will replace the City-owned portion of the pipe. Lead pipes are most likely to be found in areas of the City built before the mid-1950s when residential water service pipes were commonly made of lead.

Prior to the work, the City will send you a notice that outlines the construction schedule and contact information for the contractor assigned to complete the replacement. If you live in an older home with lead pipes, you may contact this contractor to obtain a quote to replace your private portion of the pipe at the same time as the City's portion. Alternatively, you can hire your own contractor to replace just your side.

Any contract between a homeowner and the City-hired contractor (or any other contractor) is deemed a contract between those two parties. The property owner is encouraged to obtain additional quotes for comparison purposes. The homeowner should also be advised that while the City's contractor is working on a water service connection, no other contractors may conduct work on the water service at the same time.

Emergency replacements: The City will also replace an individual water service on an emergency basis if the service is leaking or broken OR does not provide a flow of 7 litres per minute (measured at the meter or closest faucet to the entry point of service).

Requesting a replacement: Water services that do not meet the criteria under the Capital Water Service Replacement Program or Priority Lead Water Service Replacement Program may still be replaced at the request of a homeowner (i.e.upsize, galvanized replacement) on a first-come, first-served basis if the homeowner wants to pay for the full replacement (including the City-owned portion) of the water service.

Interested homeowners can apply and pay for a new or replacement water service by visiting the Toronto Water service counter.

Working to reduce watermain breaks

  • The City replaces approximately 35 to 50 km of watermains each year, and rehabilitates more than 130 km to help extend the life of its watermains.
  • Watermain replacements are determined based on several factors, including age, break frequency, material, operational requests, hydraulic performance, future growth, and minimizing cost and disruption to the community by co-ordinating with other construction programs (such as road, sewer, gas and hydro).
  • Rehabilitation is done using one of the following methods:
    • cathodic protection, which involves installing a sacrificial anode (magnesium cylinder) to an existing watermain so that it corrodes instead of the watermain.
    • structural lining, which involves inserting fibreglass within an existing watermain to form a new pipe wall. This technology is best suited to situations where larger diameter watermains need to be renewed and the cost of open-cut (trenching) and traffic disruptions are a significant consideration.