Frozen Water Services


During typical winters in Ottawa, some homes and businesses experience a frozen service that prevents water from reaching their internal plumbing. To minimize the risk of this service interruption, as many as 2,600 customers may be issued notices across the city.

Water Services will issue the notices to drinking water customers that have experienced frozen water services in previous years through a phased notification process based on increasing frost penetration depths. The notice provides customers with advance notification of a potential repeat frozen service event, information on how to avoid a frozen water service, and what to do if their service line freezes.

Customers receive different notices depending on whether previous experience indicates the risk of freezing lies on the public or private side of the property line and whether their water use is tracked manually or via Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI).

As in past winters, the Public Works and Environmental Services uses Environment Canada and Weather Network data to predict frost depths. This allows the department to manage the potential risk of a frozen water service pipe that connects the City’s water distribution system into homes or buildings. Frost monitoring begins once daily temperatures are consistently below zero degrees Celsius.