Water Main Breaks & Repairs
If you are affected by a water outage and have any questions, or to report a water main break 24/7, please call Customer Service at 306-975-2476.
Wait time for water main break repairs and return of water service: 1 to 2 days (depending on location)
Learn about the Drinking Water Advisory that is in effect when the water is turned back on.
We empathize with residents and businesses who are without running water and we are doing as much as possible to provide temporary drinking water. Water trailers are provided within 8 hours or when the next trailer becomes available.
Every home should have an emergency preparedness plan for any time of the year, not just for water outage. Residents in areas where water main breaks have occurred in the past few years, including neighbourhoods adjacent to current water main breaks, are encouraged to be prepared by having extra drinking water stored as a precaution.
It is recommended to have a 72-hour supply of water on hand for drinking and cooking equal to 3.8 litres (one gallon) per person or pet per day.
Frozen Water Connections
In the winter, a separate issue may be experienced. A frozen water connection is where there is a blockage on the water connection from the City’s water main to the private home. If your water does not turn on, it may be an issue with the private portion of your water connection. If there is an issue on the City portion, we will come out and set up a temporary water connection. If it's not possible to set up a temporary water connection we will use specialized equipment to defrost the line from your home. To help prevent this, we recommend making sure the pipes are well-insulated, including the portion at the outside walls of your home.
We want to thank everyone for their cooperation and understanding. We will do our best to restore water service within 48 hours of turning it off.
Water Main Replacement
The City records the locations of water main breaks and has an annual program to replace approximately 3km to 4km of water main. Locations with the highest break rates are selected for replacement.
Replacement programs take place from approximately late May to mid-October. The 2015 Water Main Replacement Program can be found at 2015 Construction projects map.
Residents at replacement locations will receive information regarding the upcoming work before it begins.
If you have any questions regarding the water main replacement program, please contact Major Projects at 306-975-2476.
Digital Imaging Technology
In 2015, the City began using advanced, state-of-the-art digital imaging technology to inspect water and sewer infrastructure. Increased investments in water and sewer rehabilitation will decrease the risk of unexpected watermain breakages that result in water service and roadway impacts.
Instead of performing conventional visual inspections, the new digital imaging technology allows manholes to be evaluated by lowering a camera into the area to take several images. The system allows engineers to review images systematically as well as re-inspect files at any time.
Manhole inspection and maintenance help identify deterioration that can lead to collapses and blockages that cause waste water to back up—something that can be more prevalent as a sewer system ages. Cleaning and inspecting sewer lines is essential to maintaining a properly functioning system; this new technology will further Saskatoon’s investment in its wastewater infrastructure.
Water Main Lining
Every year the City rehabilitates water mains using a technology that involves lining the existing pipes with an inner pipe, known as a Cured-In-Place Pipe. This trenchless method has proven to work well to extend the service life of a main. Instead of digging up the entire roadway, access pits are dug at either end of the pipe, which in turn is more cost effective and less disruptive to residents and drivers.
Frequently Asked Questions
What causes water main breaks?
Water main breaks generally result from corrosion, ground movement and/or the expansion/contraction of the pipe that happens when the weather changes.
How will I know if there is a water main break on my street?
The following may occur if there is a water main break on your street:
- There is a yellow door hanger from the City explaining the situation when you get home.
- You have no running water.
- There is water on the road or the lawn behind the sidewalk.
- The water pressure in your home is low.
- Tap water that is muddy or discoloured.
- You hear the sound of water running by the water meter.
- In a small number of situations you may notice water coming up in the floor drain when no one is using water in the home.
- If you have a sump pump, you may notice that it turns on frequently when it would normally not operate (for example, in the winter).
What should I do if I see water on the road or coming into my basement?
Phone the Public Works customer service centre immediately at 306-975-2476.
What do I do if I don’t have running water in my house?
The City has six emergency water trailers that can supply potable (safe drinking) water for you until the water main can be repaired and water is turned back on. If just one home is affected, the City will attempt to arrange for a temporary connection.
When will I have running water again?
We understand that being without water service is a significant inconvenience, and we always endeavour to get customer's water back on as soon as possible. Approximately 75% of water main breaks in residential areas are repaired and the water service restored within 24 hours. Delays may occur for a variety of reasons such as the condition of the pipe or the location of the break in the pipe. Water main breaks where residents or businesses are affected, are given priority.
What can I do to protect my home from the risk of a flood caused by a water main break
- Phone the Public Works customer service centre immediately at 306-975-2476 if you see or suspect that something is different with either your home or sewer system. Early notification could help you avoid unnecessary damage to your home.
- Slope the soil around your foundation and window wells at least two metres away from your house, with a drop of 10 to 20 centimetres.
- Over time, the soil around most homes will settle and cause flat spots or depressions where water can accumulate, or worse – slope towards the house. Check all drainage paths on your property (many lots drain along the back property line or to the lane) and ensure they are graded properly and that they aren’t blocked or altered.
- Repair all leaks in walls, floors, windows and doors to help keep water from getting into your basement.
- Make sure your sump pump and/or backwater valve(s) are working (if you have this). If you’re not sure what to look for or how to recognize them, contact a local plumbing company for assistance.
- A sump pit draining system collects water from the weeping tiles around the basement and pushes the water outside the house through a discharge pipe. To check if a sump pump is working, pour a pail of water into the pit. Ensure that the water pumps out at least two meters from your house.
- All homes built since January 1, 2004, have a sump pump, and other homes have been retrofitted with them. Note that sump pumps likely won’t operate during an electrical failure which could result in basement flooding.
What is a functioning outdoor faucet without backflow prevention?
If water main lining is occuring adjacent to your household, you will receive a construction notice which states that a functioning outdoor faucet without backflow prevention will be necessary in order to connect to the temporary water system. A faucet with backflow prevention is essentially a freeze-proof faucet or water tap. For the water main lining process, crews require that the faucet is without backflow prevention so that the temporary water system can provide water to the residence.
Usually a faucet with backflow prevention will have a cap (anti siphon valve) on top of the faucet as shown below:
Most older houses will not have backflow prevention. If you are uncertain please call a plumber to double check.