To prepare for water outages, we recommend keeping the following items on hand:

  1. Sealed container of drinking water. Store it in a cool, dark place for use in an emergency. Remember to regularly check and replace the container based on its "best before date" label.
  2. Household bucket. If you receive enough advance notice of an interruption, you can fill up your bathtub with water to use for toilet flushing. Simply pour a bucket of this water in your toilet tank after each flush, and only flush when absolutely necessary.
  3. Anti-bacterial hand sanitizer. This is useful for hand washing.

How we respond to a water outage

When your water service is interrupted, we work as quickly and safely as possible to restore service and minimize any flooding:

  1. Determine the approximate location, impact and severity of the break.
  2. Determine what valves to close to reduce or shut off water flow.
  3. Excavate to expose the watermain.
  4. Excavate around buried telephone, gas and underground power lines.
  5. Repair the water main.
  6. Flush the pipe and ensure water quality.
  7. Repair any damaged road, sidewalk or lawn (this may take some time depending on the construction season, weather, and availability of equipment and materials).

One of our employees may visit your home to determine whether the problem originated with the public water lines or your private water line (the portion of the water line that runs from your property line into your home). If there's a problem in the public water line, a utility crew will repair it. In most cases, you'll be notified when you can turn your water back on. If there is a problem in your private line, you may need to contact a plumber.

After your water has been restored

When your water will be restored depends on many factors including the severity of the outage, location and whether any special parts and equipment are needed.

Once the water is restored, run a cold water tap (bath tub or outside tap is recommended) for at least five minutes to ensure the water runs clear before any other water-using device is operated. (Watermain repairs, construction and other work may cause some rust and sediment, which normally stick to the inside of the water main. The discoloured water is safe to drink, but your water may appear dirty.)

Stay safe

Water lines can hold a significant amount of pressure. Sudden failure of large pipes under pressure can result in flooding of an excavation hole in seconds. Plus, heavy machinery around underground pipes and wires is dangerous.

Please keep yourself, your kids and your pets away from construction zones while we're working in your area. That way, repairs can be safe and efficient.

What causes a water outage?

There are a number of reasons why you may be experiencing a water service interruption.

Natural Causes: Extreme temperature fluctuations in the winter and spring can cause water interruptions. As the ground freezes and thaws several times, it can shift the earth and cause water mains to break.

Unplanned (Emergency) Interruptions: Occasionally, we have to shut off water to areas during water main breaks or to conduct certain repair work that can't be safely handled any other way. We always work as quickly and as safely as possible to fix emergency water interruptions.

Planned Interruptions: Occasionally, we will schedule planned interruptions in order to maintain our water supply system. The CRD's Integrated Water Services department provides customers with at least 48-hour notice of planned water service interruptions.