City asks residents and businesses to protect indoor plumbing

Guelph, ON, February 24, 2015—Ongoing extreme cold temperatures are causing both City–owned water services and household plumbing to freeze. The City has installed approximately 30 temporary water lines since the beginning of February.

Unlike last year’s problems with frozen City–owned water services, private household plumbing is a more common problem this year, especially where uninsulated household pipes are exposed to cold temperatures such as in cellars and basements.

“This year we’re getting as many calls about pipes freezing inside people’s homes as we are about frozen City services. We’re working as fast as we can to ensure all customers have access to water,” said Peter Busatto, general manager of the City’s Water Services department. “People can protect their household plumbing by keeping pipes warm and insulating them.”

The City’s website offers tips for preventing and dealing with frozen household pipes such as keeping the areas where pipes run warm by opening doors and cupboards, and by insulating pipes. If a household pipe does freeze, the City suggests calling a plumber for assistance, or using a space heater or hair dryer to slowly warm up the frozen section.

The City is working with all affected households and businesses to ensure continued access to water. Crews are working hard to thaw service lines or install temporary water services where possible, and in some cases it may take until mid-April for some services to thaw.

Record cold February temperatures and increased winter frost depth are contributing to the freezing and disruption of regular water services. As cold temperatures continue, the City asks residents and businesses to take proactive steps to protect indoor plumbing. Tips are posted online at

As the air temperature warms, customers may experience leaks where expanding ice has broken or cracked previously frozen pipes. Customers that have had frozen pipes should watch for leaks over the coming weeks, and can visit for information about using their water meter to identify leaks.

Contact Water Services

Daily, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 519-837-5627
After hours at 1-866-630-9242

Media contact

Stacey Hare, Senior Communications Officer
Corporate Communications
519-822-1260 extension 2611
Mobile 519-829-0999