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This page contains the answers to some frequently asked questions received by our Customer Service section in Kawartha Lakes Water and Wastewater Division. Questions have been organized by topic to provide a convenient and quick method of finding answers to common questions.

If you have a question that is not answered here, please call the Water and Wastewater Division at 705-324-9411 ext 1121 Mon to Fri 08:30 to 16:30


General Info

General Water Supply System

Before it reaches our taps, water undergoes a thorough purification process. It is screened to remove debris, chemically treated, filtered, disinfected and then pumped to a distribution system before it reaches our homes. All the water that comes into our homes, whether it is used for drinking or watering lawns, must go through this extensive treatment process.

Water is treated and tested in accordance with the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change requirements, which regulate both quality and quantity. After treatment, water is delivered to the customer through a system of watermains, pumping stations and reservoirs and towers.

How many systems does Kawartha Lakes have?

  • 21 Drinking Water Systems in total
  • 6 Surface Water
  • 15 Ground Water
  • 5 Water Pollution Control Plants
  • 36 Community Wells

Anyone wishing to obtain a copy of the City of Kawartha Lakes Annual Sewage Treatment Reports or the Annual NPRI Report for the Lindsay Wastewater Treatment Plant can contact Water and Wastewater at (705) 324-9411 ext. 1121.

What portion of my water services is my responsibility and what portion is the City's responsibility?

Anything inside of the property line is the responsibility of the owner while services outside of the property fall within the City's jurisdiction.

Diagram of resident showing homeowner water service reponsibility and City responsibility

Bulk Water Filling Stations

Where are the Public Bulk Water filling stations?

Kawartha Lakes has five Water Filling Stations three of which are Bulk Water Stations for LARGE volumes of water only and two Public Water Stations for SMALL volumes of water only.

Bulk Water Stations for LARGE volumes of water only

(Requires 2” female cam lock and hose connector to connect to water station outlet)

  • Thornhill Reservoir – Thornhill Road, Lindsay
    • 1 x Coin operated Station – accepts $1 coins only
    • 1 x SmartVend operated Station – Accepts Smart Card only
  • Lindsay Water Treatment Plant – Mary Street, Lindsay
    • 1 x Coin operated Station – accepts $1 coins only
  • Fenelon Falls Water Treatment Plant
    • 1 x SmartVend operated Station – Accepts Smart Card only

Please note: The smartVend cards are issued only to approved Water Haulers. Anyone requesting a SmartVend card must first be directed to Water & Wastewater Division for approval 705-324-9411 ext 1121. Once approved, WWW Division will issue smartVend cards.

Public Water Stations for SMALL volumes of water only

  • Norland Water Treatment Plant -
    • 1 x Coin operated Station – accepts $0.25 cent coins only
  • Fenelon Falls Arena – John Street, Fenelon Falls
    • 1 x Coin operated Station – accepts $0.25 cent coins only

Frozen Water Lines

How do I know if my water line is frozen?

Open the tap closest to where the line enters your house and if there is abnormally low flow or none at all then the line could be frozen.  Call a plumbing contractor right away.

Can I thaw the lines myself and how do I do that if they become frozen?

We recommend that you call a licensed plumbing contractor to do this; attempting to thaw or repair a frozen line if you do not have experience, could create a leak and cause damage, which may create an insurance issue for you.

Does the City cover the cost of thawing or heating a line?

No the City does not cover these charges. It is the responsibility of the property owner to maintain and/or replace the portion of the water service located within the building, and between the building to the property line. However, if the City water mains are frozen on the City property (outside and beyond your property line) the City is responsible for these costs.

If I let the water tap ‘trickle’ to help keep the water line from freezing, who pays for the water usage costs?

This is a cost to the homeowner.  However, the cost is much less than the cost to repair a damaged water line or valve. The risk is higher for property owners who have previously experienced frozen services.

How long should I run my taps and how fast?

A steady stream of about 6 mm or ¼ inch (approximately thickness of a drinking straw) should be sufficient and it should run all night and day until the extreme cold temperatures rise. Please note this measure is not necessary if you have never experienced frozen lines in the past.  Again, we recommend you call a licensed plumbing contractor to assess your personal situation and provide further guidance.

How can I warm my basement or crawl space if it isn’t heated?

Use a small micro-furnace or box heater with a thermostat to control temperature so that it does not get lower than 5 degrees above zero. Be sure to use caution, especially around flammable materials.

How can I reduce the risk of frozen water pipes?

When extremely cold weather hits, the City suggests the following:

  • Leave kitchen, laundry, or bathroom cabinet doors open to allow for warm air circulation around water pipes, especially those that are located on exterior walls. Please ensure all chemicals, cleaners etc. are out of reach of your children and family pets.
  • Maintain a minimum household temperature of 550F or 130C
  • Ensure outside faucets are drained and turned off.
  • Use specially designed foam pipe insulation to wrap pipes located near exterior walls and in crawl spaces or attics.
  • Seal air leaks in your home and garage and close the garage door to keep the cold air away from pipes close to the area.
  • If you are going away, shut off the valve in the basement and drain all the lines by opening taps and have someone check your home frequently.
  • If you are experiencing issues with frozen waterlines speak with your plumbing contractor to discuss lowering your water service to a depth of at least 2 metres and ensuring waterlines on exterior walls are protected/insulated.

Water Hardness

What is water hardness?

Hardness is calculated using the calcium and magnesium concentration in the water. It is expressed as mg/L calcium carbonate or in Grains per gallon (imperial or US). One grain per imperial gallon equals 14.25 mg/L calcium carbonate and one grain per US gallon equals 17.1 mg/L calcium carbonate

How hard is Kawartha Lakes Drinking Water Systems?

Read the following document: Water Hardness for City of Kawartha Lakes Drinking Water Systems (PDF)

Drinking Water

Is my drinking water safe to drink?

Yes, Kawartha Lakes water is safe to drink. Kawartha Lakes drinking water consistently meets all Ontario Drinking Water Standards. For more details, please review our Annual Drinking Water Reports.

How often is my water tested?

Our staff and Operating Authority regularly test our water to ensure the ongoing health and safety or our community. Samples are collected for bacteriological analysis on the raw water and treated water. As per the Ontario Safe Drinking Water Act

Inorganic and organic testing is carried out regularly as per the requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act and in conjunction with the Municipal Drinking Water Licence specifications to each plant. This includes all parameters required by the Ontario Drinking Water Standards (ODWS). A copy of the ODWS may be found at

Distribution system samples are collected as per Ministry of Environment and Climate Change regulations. Chlorine levels in the distribution system are measured at the time of sample collection. The samples are analyzed for Total Coliform, Escherichia Coli and Heterotrophic Plate Counts.

Is fluoride added to my drinking water?

No, Kawartha Lakes does not add fluoride to the water supply.

Why is my water a yellow or rusty colour?

Water main repairs, construction and other maintenance work in our area can cause some rust and scale products which normally adhere to the inside of the water main to break away. Open fire hydrants can also cause this temporary inconvenience. The discoloured water is safe to drink, but may cause water to appear dirty or may stain your laundry.

If this condition occurs in your system, allow a cold water tap to run for a good five to 10 minutes, or until the water clears. If the condition persists, please call our Water and Wastewater Division (705) 324-9411 ext 1121.

For more infomration, read the Taste and Odour Fact Sheet (PDF).

Why does my drinking water taste or smell funny? Will it make me sick?

Water naturally varies in taste and odour at different times of the year. Although the taste and odour can be unpleasant, it is not considered to be a public health problem. Refrigerating the water will help eliminate the odour and adding some lemon slices will help remove any objectionable taste.

Water may also taste stale if it has been sitting in the incoming pipes for too long. Flushing out the pipes in your home by turning on all the faucets at the same time for a few minutes may get rid of the unpleasant taste.

Fire Hydrant Info

Am I responsible for clearing my Fire Hydrant?

Yes, please ensure that all snow within a 3 ft radius is cleared around all hydrants.

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