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Your City. Your Water.

 Welcome to the first edition of the Hamilton Water Newsletter.

In this newsletter you will find information on:  

  1. Sewer and Water Service Line Warranties now available.

  2. Winter is Coming. How to prepare for the FREEZING winter ahead.

  3. What to think of when you’re planning an extended trip away from home.

  4. Buying a house? Ensure the previous owners have paid off any outstanding water charges.

  5. Some things you put down the drain don’t disappear; they really don’t go too far at all!

  6. Updating your contact information with Horizon Utilities.

Hamilton Partners with Service Line Warranties of Canada (SLWC)

Bringing affordable utility line warranties to Hamilton homeowners

Many homeowners are not aware they – and not the City – are  responsible for the private portion of the water and sewer lines that run between their homes and the property line.

When these lines break, leak or clog, they can be extremely expensive to repair. That’s why Hamilton is pleased to partner with SLWC to provide affordable, optional warranty programs to our residents. SLWC’s program was established through the City’s procurement process and approved by Hamilton City Council. SLWC is an accredited Better Business Bureau organization that has maintained an A+ rating.

Sewer Line Warranty – Covers the cost of repairing broken, frozen, leaking or clogged outside sewer lines to restore flow.

Water Line Warranty – Covers the cost of repairing broken, frozen, or leaking outside water lines to restore flow.

In Home Plumbing Warranty – Covers the cost of broken or leaking water or sewer lines inside the house, including drain lines connected to the main sewer stack.

To learn more, visit or call (855) 326-4730.  Residents will see offers in their mail boxes soon.

Frozen Pipes:

Last winter, Hamilton experienced record setting cold temperatures. Environment Canada data going back to 1960 shows that the 2013-2014 winter was the coldest on record. During that time Hamilton Water had over 1800 service requests from residents who reported frozen water service lines, watermain breaks and leaks. Those homeowners with frozen water lines were without running water for extended periods of time while their service was frozen.

What can you do to help prevent frozen pipes?

Look for cold drafts – Check around your home for areas where water supply lines are in unheated areas and take measures to prevent the flow of cold air in these areas. Common locations include: basements, crawl spaces, attics, garages, cold cellars, storage rooms and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Remember to repair broken windows, check doors and insulate areas that allow cold exterior air to enter your home.

Insulate pipes – Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a pipe sleeve or installing UL-listed heat tape, heat cable or similar materials on exposed pipes. If you have plumbing in your garage, ensure that it is also properly insulated as it is often overlooked. For dry enclosed spaces, you may want to consider a heated reflector lamp to warm the water pipes in areas that are unheated like cold cellars as they are more susceptible to freezing.

Be prepared when travelling – If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home and set it to a temperature no lower than 15 degrees Celsius. Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.

Going Away

Avoid a high water bill from an unexpected leak! Be sure you turn off your water.

It’s a good idea to shut off the inside water supply if your house is going to be unoccupied for any length of time even a period as short as a weekend (except where water is used for heating purposes).

Simply close the inside building control shut-off valve and open faucets to relieve pressure in the lines. If there is no shut-off valve, at least close the water supply to toilets, sinks, tubs and washing machines that often have individual shut-off valves.

If a property is to be left vacant for 90 days or more, the City’s Waterworks By-law requires property owners notify Hamilton Water within 24 hours of vacating the home to have the water shut off at the street. Hamilton Water can be contacted at (905) 546-4426.

To arrange for account payments during your absence, contact Horizon Utilities Customer Service at (905) 522-9200.

Buying a home?

Something you need to know …

When property changes ownership, any unpaid water and wastewater/storm arrears becomes the responsibility of the new owner.

The buyer’s lawyer should contact Horizon Utilities at (905) 522-9200 to provide the relevant property transfer information and to request a final water meter read. It’s important that the final read is an actual read and not an estimate. Any unbilled consumption resulting from obtaining an actual water meter reading is the sole responsibility of the property owner on title when the actual reading occurs.

Fats, Oils, and Grease In Your Pipes

Some things you put down the drain don’t just disappear.

When grease, fat and cooking oil are dumped down your kitchen sink, they attach to the inside of the sewer pipes. Why? The cool temperatures of the buried sewer pipes cause the fat to coagulate quickly and stick to the sewer walls. This build-up is created over time and could affect not only your sewer lateral but the City’s sewers as well.

Some results of clogged sewer pipes are:

  1. Raw sewage back-ups into your home and that of your neighbours.

  2. Raw sewage overflows into neighbourhood yards, parks and streets.

  3. Potential messy and expensive basement clean-ups and/or sewer line cleaning that may not be covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy.

  4. Potential contact with disease causing bacteria.

  5. Increase in operational and maintenance costs for the City, which causes higher sewer and water rates for residents.

The easiest way to prevent blockages in your sewer is NOT to let fats, cooking oils and grease get into your sewer pipes. Let them cool in the pan then compost them!

Toilets are NOT Trash Cans

By keeping harmful items out of your toilet, you help the sewer systems run more effectively. The following items can clog pipes or tangle into massive knots that damage sewage pumps and are prohibited from being flushed into the sewer.

– Wipes (including the “Flushable” kind)– Diapers– Feminine Hygiene Products– Condoms– Kitty Litter – Hair– Dental Floss– Paper Towels

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