During typical winters in Ottawa, some homes and businesses experience a frozen water service pipe that prevents water from reaching their internal plumbing. To minimize the risk of this service interruption, as many as 2,100 customers may be issued notices across the city.
Water Services will issue these notices to drinking water customers that have previously experienced a frozen water service pipe, using a phased notification process based on increasing frost penetration depths. The notice provides customers with advance notification that their water service pipe may freeze again, information on how to avoid a frozen water service pipe (including a run water advisory), and steps to take if their water service pipe 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, as this will dictate whether there is an associated cost to running water.
As in past winters, Water Services uses Environment Canada and Weather Network data to predict frost depths and mitigate the potential risk of a frozen water service pipe. Frost monitoring begins once daily temperatures are consistently below zero degrees Celsius.