Frequently Asked Questions

The following information addresses frequently asked questions about road conditions such as potholes, problems with watermains and sewer lines and making a property damage claim against the City of Guelph
[tabs slidertype=”left tabs”] [tabcontainer] [tabtext]Road Conditions[/tabtext] [tabtext]Watermains[/tabtext] [tabtext]Sewers[/tabtext] [tabtext]Property Damage[/tabtext] [tabtext]Loss of Balance[/tabtext] [tabtext]Transit Related Incidents [/tabtext] [/tabcontainer] [tabcontent] [tab]

Who can I tell about potholes or other road hazards I see?

Call Operations at 519-837-5628 and give them the exact location of the hazard so they can record and an inspection can be arranged so appropriate action can be taken.

My vehicle was damaged in a pothole. What should I do?

Notify the City of the exact location of the accident so any needed repair work can be done. If you believe the damage will exceed your deductible contact your insurance agent for assistance. If you get the vehicle repaired keep your receipts to be included with your claim.

What if I think the vehicle damage is the City’s fault?

If your insurance company pays for your vehicle repairs they will attempt to recover the money from anyone they think was responsible for the damage. Typically, insurers try to recover the amount of the claim that they paid as well as your deductible. If you want to claim directly against the City, Making a Claim provides the information you need. Based on the findings of its investigation, compensation will be provided if the City is legally liable for the property damage.

I have damaged my car on a road that was under construction or unassumed, what do I do?

Be sure to see a licensed vehicle mechanic to determine the extent of the damage. Contact your automobile insurance company as you may have coverage for this type of loss. Otherwise submit your claim in writing to the Procurement & Risk Management Services Division, Making a Claim. The contractor will have a contract with the City that contains an indemnity clause that would extend to all claims, loss, costs and damages in connection with this contract by the successful bidder, its servants or agents. This means the contractor must look after the claims made against the City for damage they allegedly caused. To assist in processing your claim the City will identify the contractor as well as copy the contractor in a response to you. Alternatively, if the loss has occurred in a subdivision unassumed by the City where the developer is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the area, the City will identify the developer and forward your claim to them for follow-up.

I have damaged my vehicle on the Hanlon Expressway, Hwy 6. What should I do?

This highway is under the jurisdiction of the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, not the City of Guelph. Be sure to see a licensed vehicle mechanic to determine the extent of damage. Contact your automobile insurance company as you may have coverage for this type of loss. Alternatively, submit your claim in writing to: Ontario Ministry of Transportation Management Board & Secretariat Risk Management and Insurance Services 6 – 700 University Ave. Toronto ON M7A 2S4 Or telephone them at 416-314-3440. [/tab]

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What is a City water main and what belongs to the private property owner?

Main municipal piping systems supply fresh water to customers’ private service lines. The connecting line that brings water from the main into a building is the property owner’s responsibility.

Why do water mains break?

Breaks may occur due to wear or other circumstances such as the damage caused by freezing in unusually cold weather.

There is a water meter leak or water line break affecting my property. What should I do?

If there is any chance of electrical circuits causing a hazard, call Guelph Hydro at (519)822-3010. Otherwise, take whatever action you can to protect your property from further damage. Make sure to call the Water Works Department at 519-837-5627 for after hours emergencies call 1-866-630-9242.

Should I call my insurance company?

Yes. Many insurance policies cover cleanup and the cost of repairing or replacing water-damaged property. Your agent can provide full details.

What if I think the damage is the City’s fault?

Typically, insurers try to recover the amount of your deductible as well as the claim that they paid. If you want to claim directly against the City, Making a Claim provides the information you need. Based on the findings of its investigation, compensation will be provided if the City is legally liable for the property damage. [/tab]

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What sewers are the property owner’s responsibility?

The sewer carries storm water and/or sewage. Private drains connect each property from the building to the City sewer line. Property owners are fully responsible for both the building sewer and private drain all the way to the main sanitary sewer under the street.

What causes as Sewer backup?

Most sewer backups happen because the line is plugged or requires maintenance work. Sewer backups are also caused by unusually heavy rainfall levels, especially during the spring when there is also water accumulating from melting snow. There are a number of steps property owners can take to reduce the contributing factors that cause weather-related sewer backups.

If there’s a sewer backup what should I do?

When a sewer backup occurs, property owners should call the City of Guelph Wastewater Treatment Plant at 519-837-5629. There is a possibility that the main sanitary sewer is blocked. These blockages cannot be solved by a drainage contractor. Only City forces have the authority to clear a main sewer. If the main sewer is clear, the City representative may advise the property owner to rod their drain. Property owners may want to hire a drainage contractor to do this work on their behalf.

Should I call my insurance company?

Yes. Many insurance policies cover sewage backup cleanup and the cost of repairing or replacing damaged property. Your agent can provide full details.

What if I think the damage is the City’s fault?

Typically, insurers try to recover the amount of your deductible as well as the claim that they paid. If you want to claim directly against the City, see Making a Claim. Based on the findings of its investigation, compensation will be provided if the City is legally liable for the property damage. [/tab]

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A City owned tree has caused damage to my property. What should I do?

Contact the City’s Operations Department at 519-837-5628 to have the tree inspected or removed. Contact your personal property insurance company as you may have coverage for the damage. Alternatively, submit your claim in writing to the City’s Procurement & Risk Management Services Division, see Making a Claim.

If the City’s Forestry department’s investigation confirms that a large limb or tree trunk was in good condition, with no obvious exterior signs of decay or structural flaws, the City will not assume any liability. Very often, tree separation is weather related. [/tab]

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I have fallen on a City sidewalk or roadway. What should I do?

Although sidewalks are inspected and maintained, deficiencies can still arise, sometimes quite suddenly. Sidewalk deficiencies may also be created by adjacent property owners, for example, by the installation of underground sprinklers, water flow and construction debris. Submit your claim in writing to the City’s Procurement & Risk Management Services Division, see Making a Claim. [/tab]

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I have been injured by the doors on a City of Guelph Transit bus. What should I do?

Manufacturers and transit authorities are continually developing new features to reduce the number of injuries occurring on a transit bus while at the same time providing mass transit at an affordable cost. Rear doors open both automatically and manually, meaning that the passenger is responsible for opening the door to exit the bus. Front doors are generally closed manually.

Until the doors are closed, the transit bus cannot move. This feature prevents a passenger from becoming caught in the door while the bus is leaving a stop.

To prevent an injury from occurring to you, the following should be considered:

  • Hold on to a bar or pole when waiting for the bus to stop
  • If you are elderly or handicapped, use the designated seats provided and ensure that the bus comes to a complete stop before moving
  • When exiting the rear doors, pay attention to the person in front of you as well as the doors. Push the bar and hold until clear of the door.

Report any malfunctions to the driver Submit your claim in writing to the City’s Procurement & Risk Management Services Division, see Making a Claim.

I have fallen on a transit bus. What should I do?

Although falls on a transit bus are uncommon, they can occur as a result of emergency stops, weather conditions or vehicle collisions. You should take the following precautions to ensure that you do not fall and become injured:

  • Hold on to a bar, pole, or seat
  • If you are elderly or handicapped, use the designated seats provided
  • Ensure that the bus comes to a complete stop before moving
  • Footwear, baggage and strollers are often main contributors to an accident
  • Although buses are ventilated and have rubber flooring, pay particular attention to where you are walking
  • Report any debris or unusual conditions to the driver

Submit your claim in writing to the City’s Procurement & Risk Management Services Division, see Making a Claim. [/tab] [/tabcontent] [/tabs]

Last Updated: September 24, 2015. Broken links or incorrect information? Let us know!