This week I am pleased to announce a resolution to an ongoing concern within the community – this being standpipe valves (main water supply).
If you are a homeowner or renter, you may have noticed a small black valve with a bronze screw in the center somewhere around in the front yard of your property, either on your laneway or within your lawn or garden. This is known as a standpipe or a water service post and is used in cases of emergency to shut off water to your home.
A problem can arise as a result of natural freeze/thaw cycles affecting the height of the post which in turn can impact a homeowner’s ability to safely maintain and enjoy their outdoor space. It caused difficulty in plowing/shovelling driveways, cutting the grass, and even posed a tripping hazard.
As such, in October 2003, the City approved a water service post adjustment fee of $129 for correcting this issue. Additionally, a helpful guide was posted to Ottawa.ca for residents to safely hammer down a post themselves.
However, I, along with many residents, agreed that this did not adequately reflect costs associated with the maintenance of a city implemented valve. A study was conducted and while field costs represented approximately 40% of the fee, administration represented the remaining 60%. Likewise, an industry scan of five Ontario municipalities indicated that all of the municipalities considered the standpipe to be municipal responsibility and none charged for adjustment of the post.
I asked for Councillor Moffat (Rideau Goulbourn ward) to present the motion at Environment committee for me (as I do not sit on that committee) and the motion passed. Now, any resident can call the service in to 3-1-1 and have their standpipe re-adjusted free of charge.
This is great news for residents of all wards as many yards and driveways are serviced regularly where the standpipe may have acted as a hazard.
If you have noticed an issue with your water service post, I encourage you to report it to 3-1-1 either through telephone or emailing email@example.com to have it adjusted.
If you would like to know more about standpipes and water maintenance, please click here. As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at Shad.Qadri@ottawa.ca