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Water and Wastewater Information

Water FAQs

To ensure the quality of our water, we test the water continuously during and after treatment.  In fact, we conduct more tests than required by regulation. We use the necessary chemicals to treat the water, including chlorine to kill E.coli and other harmful bacteria that may be present.  A small (and harmless) amount of chlorine is left in the water to ensure its continued safety as it travels to you. If we are concerned about the quality of water, we follow the regulations in place and immediately notify the appropriate authorities such as Huron Perth Public Health and the Ministry of Environment.

Any resident who wishes to know levels of organic and inorganic parameters in the drinking water as well as microbiological sample numbers and water flows, they can be viewed in the Water Systems Annual and Summary Reports

Your tap water may look dirty for the following reasons:

  • Plugged or restricted water softeners
  • Old galvanized piping in buildings
  • Dirty water problems can be caused by a wide variety of factors, including hydrant use by the North Perth Fire Department, hydrant flushing, water main repairs, and other maintenance being conducted in the distribution system by the Public Works Department, a change in direction or in the rate of flow water moves through the pipes (e.g. due to water main break, leak, or residents running abnormal amounts of water through there service line) which stirs up sediment at the bottom of the pipes and/or rust from cast iron water mains

If you notice coloured water when you turn on your hot water taps, you likely need to drain the sediment at the bottom of your hot water tank.  Do this by placing a container under the hot water tank’s faucet and allow the tank to empty for about one minute.  Repeat this procedure monthly to prevent further build-up sediment.

At times during the year, you may find that your tap water appears cloudy.  It is usually caused by dissolved air, which is released in the form of fine bubbles when cold water becomes warmer.  These air bubbles give the water its cloudy appearance.  To confirm this, pour some cold water into a glass and observe.  You should notice the air bubbles gradually disappear from the bottom of the glass upwards.  If your hot water appears cloudy, the water is probably too hot.  To solve this problem, lower the temperature setting on your hot water tank.

The Municipality of North Perth’s water systems pump water from deep drilled groundwater wells.  These water sources may rarely have a slight odour due to the mineral content in the water. Treatment chemicals remove most, if not all, natural odour and it is rarely detected in cold tap water. The odour is not a health concern.  If you are sensitive to this taste/odour, try keeping a jug of fresh, cold water in the refrigerator for drinking and cooking.  Carbon filters can also be used to remove taste/odour but must be carefully maintained.

If you notice a “swampy” or “sulphur” odour when using the bathroom faucets, it may be caused by decaying hair, dirt and debris that is caught in the drain and releasing an odour when you run your water.  To confirm this, fill a glass with cold water and take it immediately to another room in the house.  If this water is odourless, the odour is coming from your drain. 

Many people are able to taste or smell extremely low concentrations of chlorine in water and may be able to detect it in our water system.  We have to maintain an adequate chlorine level at every customer tap to ensure the safety of the water and to meet regulations.

An easy way to get rid of the taste and smell of chlorine is to fill an uncovered container of water and keep it in the fridge for drinking.  Much of the chlorine will leave if left overnight.

Wastewater FAQs

Every year, we flush the hydrant and sewer systems to make sure they are clean, clear and working properly. 

Sewer Flushing

During the sewer cleaning process, it is possible for air pressure to be created inside the sewer pipe. Most of the time, the pressurized air escapes with no impact. Sometimes the air can only escape through the service connection between your house and our sewer system, and will expel through the internal plumbing vents without incident.

If there is a defect in your home's plumbing (like a blocked sewer pipe or vent) or the venting is too small or non-existent, the air pressure may escape through a toilet, floor drain or the nearest exit it can find. This can result in the release of unpleasant odours and, in rare occasions, water splashing from the toilet into your home/business. When this happens, it is known as a "blow-back"

We have never had any report of damage being done to the plumbing by this maintenance process.

If you have blow-back, check your plumbing to ensure that your service connection and vent pipes are clear of debris and are functioning properly.

Flush toilets and run water in any sinks, as well as refill traps in any floor drains affected. This is completed by simply introducing water into them.

It is advisable to leave all toilet seat lids closed during the maintenance program timeline.

If you experience a blow-back during the maintenance process, notify us at or 519-292-2067. We will make a note of the issue at your residence for the next maintenance cycle that is scheduled, approximately every 5 years. If you have experienced this in the past, you can cover the closed toilet seat or drain with an old rag to prevent any water from being splashed out.

Hydrant Flushing

When we flush the hydrants, you may notice slight discolouration or a cloudy appearance of your water, and possibly reduced pressure. If you notice discolouration, we recommend that you run your cold water through your bathtub or another tap that does not have a screen until it clears up. You may also notice puddles in the street as the water could be flushed onto the roads. If you have any concerns please contact us at 519-292-2067. 

Frozen Pipes

Below is everything you need to know on preventing and treating frozen pipes in your home during cold weather.

A water service line is the pipe that runs underground from the water main at the street into your home where it connects to the water meter. North Perth is responsible for the part of the water service that runs from the municipal water main to the shut off valve (curb stop). The homeowner is responsible for the part of the water service that runs from the shut off valve (curb stop) into the home.

Understanding your water service

  • Indoor plumbing: inadequate heat inside the home or building. For example, if a building temperature falls below freezing during an extended blackout, or plumbing is located in an area of the home with insufficient heat, such as a crawlspace or against an outside wall with inadequate insulation.
  • Underground water service lines: an extended period of extreme cold temperature can push the frost line deeper than normal, causing some service lines to freeze.

  • When temperatures are below freezing, you can leave a cold water tap running at a steady stream of about 6 mm or 1/4 inch (approximate thickness of a drinking straw). Ensure the drain is kept clear of debris to prevent overflowing or flooding.
    • Please note only those directed to run a tap by the Municipality will be compensated for increased use. Review North Perth's Frozen Water Services Policy for more information.
  • Leave cupboard doors under your kitchen and bathroom sink open if piping is located next to exterior walls. Please take care to remove household cleaners and other items that could harm children or pets while cupboard doors are open.
  • Do not turn your furnace below 13 degrees Celsius (55 degrees Fahrenheit) at night or when the house is vacant.
  • Shut off and drain pipes leading to outside taps.
  • Wrap foam pipe insulation around pipes most prone to freezing. For example, pipes near outside walls, crawlspaces, attics, and garages.
  • Seal air leaks in your home and garage, especially in areas where pipes are located.
  • If you are away, have someone check your home regularly. If you are leaving your property vacant for the winter, you are advised to have your water services temporarily shut off.

  • Homeowners are responsible for maintaining and replacing water pipes inside their homes or businesses and from their home or business to the property line. This includes responsibility for corrective actions regarding frozen water services.
  • If freezing is confirmed to be private plumbing, the homeowner is responsible to initiate corrective actions. We recommend you call a plumber.
    • Do not use a torch to thaw a frozen pipe. Too much heat too fast can cause the ice to fracture and rupture the pipe, causing flooding.
  • If you are unsure where the problem is occurring, and it is likely a frozen service issue, contact the Public Works department.
    • Regular business hours (Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) call 519-292-2067
    • After hours emergency call our answering service 519-291-2940

If frozen service is confirmed, a temporary water line may be required.

Temporary water lines are set up using municipally approved water lines. These run from a neighbour's house to yours, usually between outdoor taps. These lines provide a temporary, running water supply until a frozen pipe thaws.

If the Municipality connects you to a temporary water line from a neighbour, you must leave one tap running constantly as instructed. Run a drinking straw wide stream around the clock to ensure your temporary line does not freeze.

North Perth adjusts consumption charges to account for extra water usage if the Municipality notifies the property owner by letter to run a tap to prevent municipal water service pipe from freezing.

The property owner is responsible for full consumption charges if:

  • You ran a tap to prevent freezing or prevent re-freezing after thawing without direction from the Municipality to do so.
  • If the Municipality has advised the property owner to let their water run and the property owner chooses not to do so, the property owner will be responsible for covering all costs incurred should the water freeze, even if the frozen section occurs in pipes that are on Municipal property.

Please review the Municipality of North Perth's Frozen Water Services Policy for detailed information on water meter billing.

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