Watermains are underground pipes that deliver a steady supply of fresh, clean drinking water to residents and businesses.
The City is improving the watermain distribution system through the following programs:
The City replaces approximately 30 to 40 km of watermains each year.
A combination of factors are considered when prioritizing replacement, including pipe age and material, break frequency, operational performance, future growth, and coordination with other construction projects (i.e. roads, transit, sewer, gas, hydro, etc.) in order to minimize cost and disruption to the community.
Watermain replacement is part of the City’s planned capital works. Watermain replacement generally involves excavation of the road and digging of a trench to install new watermains and replace City-owned substandard water service lines. The trench would then be resurfaced and areas affected by construction would be restored once the watermain is replaced.
The City rehabilitates more than 100 km of watermains each year to help extend the life of its watermains. This is mainly done through the following methods:
Residents should call 311 to report a watermain break. Toronto Water staff are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to respond to calls. Depending on the circumstances and severity of the break, repairs can take up to 24 hours and sometimes longer. Whenever possible, Toronto Water and its contractors will provide those impacted by a watermain break notice of disruptions to water supply or access.
The City flushes watermains to help renew the pipes and improve the quality of water moving through them.