Drinking Water

To ensure safe drinking water, the Township's drinking water system operates under the Safe Drinking Water Act, 2002 and its' associated Regulations.

The Township's drinking water is continually tested, monitored and analyzed to ensure water quality, which is summarized in the Township's Annual Drinking Water Reports.

Annual Drinking Water Reports

Annual Water Reports provide information on the operation and quality of the municipal drinking water system. 

2015 Water Annual Report

2016 Water Annual Report

2017 Water Annual Report

Backflow Prevention Program

The Township's Backflow Prevention Program protects drinking water quality from contamination or pollution by preventing water from private plumbing from flowing backwards into the drinking water system.

The program includes Industrial, Commercial and Institutional buildings as well as multi-residential buildings (greater than 3 stories) and residential homes with irrigation systems. These buildings must have a water connection to the municipal water system. 

The owners of buildings that require backflow prevention devices are responsible for ensuring the devices are installed, maintained and tested. 

DVCA & PRV Backflow Prevention Device Test Report

RP Backflow Prevention Test Report

Cross Connection Survey

By-Laws

The Township By-Laws regulating the municipal water are:

  • By-Law No. 2006-080 Municipal Water By-Law
  • By-Law No. 99-55 Watering Restrictions

By-Laws are available upon request.

Drinking Water FAQ's

Am I responsible for my water service repairs?

The Township owns the water distribution system up to each property line including the curbstop (water valve at the property line). The Township also owns the water meter.

The connecting line (or the service line) from the property line into your building including the water shut off valve in the building belongs to the property owner. Any repairs are the property owner's responsibility.

The pipe ownership diagram illustrates the typical water and sewer layout and Municipal and Private responsibilities. 

How can I get the outside water valve at property repaired, raised or lowered?

The water valve at the property line is called a curbstop valve. Any issues with curbstop valves i.e. lifted, broken, bent must be repaired by Environmental Services. Residents should contact the Township at 519.846.9691 Ext 905 for curbstop valve repairs.

Who repairs my leaking water meter?

Any leaks that may develop at a water meter or its couplings must be reported immediately to the Township at 519.846.9691 Ext 905. Staff will be dispatched to make the repair. Please make sure there is clear access to the meter to make the repair. Please do not attempt to repair a meter yourself.

For water service turn on/turn off, who do I call?

If you need the water service to your home or business to be turned off, please contact Environmental Services 24 hours in advance if possible at 519.846.9691 Ext 905 for an appointment time. By giving advance notice, staff will locate and test the curbstop valve at the property line prior to the appointment time. 

Water will only be turned back on if someone is present at the home or business, to make sure there are no unexpected leaks.

How can I help reduce water consumption?

Please take a look at some water conservation tips to learn how you can help reduce water consumption.

What to do if your building will be vacant for an extended period of time?

Please call Centre Wellington Hydro to notify them of the period of time the building will be left vacant.

Are you paving your driveway?

If you are planning to pave your driveway and your curbstop (water valve at the property line) is located in the driveway, you should contact the Township to inspect the curbstop prior to the paving.

Please call 519-846-9691 Ext 905 to book an inspection at least 1 month before you plan to pave your driveway

Water and Sewer Connections

Residents who wish to connect to the municipal water or sanitary sewer system will be permitted to, provided there are services available at the property line. A Municipal Infrastructure Application is required and must be paid for before a building permit will be issued.

Frozen Services

When the temperature of the water service reaches the freezing mark, there may be a noticeable drop in water pressure or there may be no water at all. If a frozen water service is suspected, please contact the Township at 519.846.9691 Ext 905 and crews will be dispatched to determine if the water service is frozen and where on the service it is frozen. If it is found to be on Township property, Township crews may attempt to thaw the service or make other arrangements to supply water to the home. If it is found to be frozen on private property, homeowners will be advised to contact a plumber to have the service thawed.

If your water service freezes regularly, the Township will contact you in advance of the cold weather and request that you run your water. Residents are asked to run a cold water tap, at a rate of one gallon every four minutes or a stream about the width of a pencil (1/4”). Ideally the tap should be at the lowest point in the house, which is typically a laundry room sink. Please ensure the drain is kept clear of debris to prevent overflowing or flooding. The Township will contact you when it is time to turn off your tap. Your water and sewer bill will be adjusted during this time and is based on your average use.

Hard Water and Softeners

The drinking water in the Township comes from groundwater wells.  Groundwater is typically considered "hard" water due to the minerals the water picks up while it travels underground.  Although it is safe for drinking, the minerals contribute to scale build-up in pipes and appliances. Many residences use water softeners that replace the minerals with salt, resulting in softened water.

In Fergus, the average hardness is 540 mg/L as CaCO3 or 38 grains of hardness. In Elora, the average hardness is 423 mg/L as CaCO3 or 30 grains of hardness.

Quality Management System

The Township has developed and implemented a Quality Management System for the drinking water system in accordance with the Ministry of the Environment mandated Drinking Water Quality Management Standard.

The Quality Management System Policy for Centre Wellington's Drinking Water System states the Township is committed to:

  • Comply with all applicable legislation and regulations for the supply of drinking water in the Province of Ontario
  • Maintain and continually improve the Quality Management System and Drinking Water System
  • Provide safe drinking water to the consumer

Preventative Maintenance

The Township conducts regular water system maintenance to improve water quality and to ensure infrastructure is repaired or replaced as needed.

Watermain Flushing - Flushing is done in the spring and fall during evening hours. Flushing cleans out iron and sediment that has gathered in the Township's watermains. The flushing process may create discoloured water at the tap. Running the cold water tap in your home for five minutes will usually clear the discoloured water. If that does not work, wait an hour and try again. It's recommended that you wait until the water clarity returns to normal before drinking it.

Hydrant Maintenance - Hydrants are part of water infrastructure and are annually maintained. They help save lives in the event of a fire. Hydrants must be visible and easy to get to for use by the Fire Department. Plants, shrubs and fences should not block hydrants.

Report a Problem

Please report any problem you may have with the municipal water system.

Source Water Protection

Protecting the sources of our municipal drinking water is an important step toward ensuring that there is enough safe, clean drinking water for all. The closer your property is to a municipal well or municipal water intake, the more likely there may be some policies in the Source Protection Plan that may affect your property.

The responsibility for protecting municipal drinking water sources is a partnership between municipalities, conservation authorities and the provincial government, each with different roles and responsibilities. Source Protection Committees have been appointed by the provincial government to guide the development of source protection plans and are comprised of municipalities, farmers, businesses, industry, residents and members of the public.

Source Protection is delivered for the Township by Wellington Source Water Protection, a partnership of the eight municipalities that make up Wellington County. 

Supply and Treatment and Distribution

The Township's drinking water supply is groundwater. The groundwater is treated with chlorine to control bacteria, algae, and viruses that can be found in the water. It's considered one of the most important tools for disinfection of drinking water and is responsible for ending disease epidemics that were widespread prior to its use.

Chlorine levels may vary (to ensure disinfection throughout the distribution system) and there may be an intensified smell of chlorine from your taps due to aerators.

Water Billing and Rates

Water rates cover the cost of the day-to-day operations and maintenance to ensure safe drinking water and reserve funds to maintain, replace and build water infrastructure. Water billing is completed by Centre Wellington Hydro, and is based on water meter readings that are taken remotely on a monthly basis.

The Township monitors use and if an unusual usage is seen (zero or high usage), contact will be made with the customer and staff will investigate. Customers are billed for water based on the water rate and the amount of water used (in cubic metres) as measured by the installed water meter. This charge covers the cost of water treatment and distribution. The base monthly charge is based on the water meter size and covers the cost of the water meter, customer service and the billing process.

The water rate for 2018 is $2.30 per cubic metre.

If the property has a fire protection system, there will be additional charges based on the size of the service line feeding the fire system.

Water Meters

Water meters are used for calculating water usage for many reasons such as billing, consumption, leak detection, calculation of waste water discharged back into the municipal system and overall usage accountability.

Installation

The Township will supply you with a water meter spacer as well as the water meter couplings which are to be installed before the Township can install the water meter. Once these have been installed, please contact Centre Wellington Hydro to set up the water and sewer account. Centre Wellington Hydro will notify the Township of the new account and provide the contact information. The Township will call and set up an appointment to have the water meter installed.

Unusually High Water Use

Water meters are read monthly prior to each billing. This ensures that you are billed only for the water you have used.

If you receive an unusually high bill, you should check for a possible leak. Water leaks within the premise can be a very costly incident that can both contribute damages to the property and result in very large water/ wastewater bills.

All water meters are equipped with a leak indicator. The indicator can be used to determine if a leak is occurring:

  • Older meters have a red triangle on the face of the meter. If there is no water being used in the building, the red triangle should not be moving. If you find the triangle moving, there is water being used somewhere in the building.
  • Newer water meters are digital and require the customer to shine a flashlight onto the meter to turn the digital display on. An arrow will appear on the screen pointing in the direction of the water flow if water is being used somewhere in the building. The arrow will not be visible if there is no water being used.

A dripping faucet, leaky hot water tank or running toilet can significantly impact your water consumption. Please review the water conservation tips to help reduce your consumption.

Watering Restrictions

The Township maintains a year-round watering restriction through By-Law 99-55.

The use of municipal water through a hose or other attachment for lawn or garden watering, fountains, washing automobiles or filling swimming pools is subject to the following regulations:

  • Homes with EVEN house numbers – watering is allowed on EVEN calendar days.
  • Homes with ODD house numbers - watering is allowed on ODD calendar days.
  • Sprinkling or watering is only permitted between the hours of 5 a.m. – 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

People must obey watering restrictions or fines may result.

Exemptions are permitted, but must be applied for.  For further information regarding outdoor water use, please contact us.

In the case of an extreme emergency, the Township has the authority to ban any non-essential uses of water.

Lawns only need about 2.5 cm (1 inch) of water per week including any rain. The height of the lawn should be 7.5 cm (3 inches) to protect promote deeper root growth, retain moisture, and help crowd out weeds. Consider leaving grass clippings on your lawn as they act as nutrient rich mulch.

If you have an irrigation system, install water sensors to prevent the system from running on days when it is raining to protect from over-watering. Regularly check to see if the sprinkler heads are free from damage and clogging vegetation, pop up correctly and spray evenly.

Consider placing a rain barrel at a downspout to collect untreated water to use in your garden.  Use mulch in your flowerbeds and around trees to retain moisture.

Contact Us

Township of Centre Wellington
1 MacDonald Square, Elora, Ontario, Canada, N0B 1S0
Phone: 519.846.9691
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