Water main renewal program
The City has an annual capital investment program to replace aging water mains that are no longer meeting the level of service. The current level of service is a water main should not fail more than four times in the past five-year period, see FAQ #1 for additional information. The main goal of this program is to maintain the level of service for customers while minimizing water main breaks, service interruptions and water loss.
Every year, the City replaces an average of 12 kilometers of water mains as part of the annual water main renewal program.
In 2022, the City will spend approximately $18.5 million on the water main renewal program. Over the past 10 years, we have spent between $15 and $19 million per year to replace water mains and associated components (e.g. hydrants).
Frequently asked questions
1. How does the City determine which water mains to replace each year?
The City conducts an annual assessment of each water main based on risk to the level of service. The risk can be determined by assessing the probability that a water main will fail and the consequence if it fails. The consequence rating of the water main is determined by various factors including:
- Pipe size
- Street priority (traffic count)
- Critical customers (health, schools, large volume users)
- The number of dwelling counts on the asset
The likelihood of a water main failing is determined by its previous break history, in particular the previous 5-year break count. A break is when the underground water main fails. Leaks in water service pipes and main associated components, such as valve boxes and hydrants, may appear similar to a water main break and may result in a temporary water shutoff. However, they are not included in the break history count as they don’t impact the level of service of the water main itself.
At times, proactive replacement of water mains nearing the end of their service life occurs through internal coordination with other departments (e.g. annual street renewal program) to minimize impacts and maximize benefits to citizens.
2. Will I be notified if the City is going to renew the water main on my street as part of the water main renewal program?
Yes. The City will deliver a printed notice to your home or business a week or so before construction is going to start. The notice will tell you:
- The dates for the project
- Lane closures, if any
- Changes in services like garbage pick-up and transit, if applicable
- Anything you need to do during the renewal
- To contact 311 with any project concerns or questions
- That a temporary hose line will be connected to your home
Please visit Winnipeg.ca/wwdconstruction to view where construction notices have been delivered.
3. How does the City coordinate renewals on major streets when access and service to businesses or large customers may be affected by construction?
The City communicates with affected customers in advance of the construction to understand concerns and minimize the impact on business as much as possible.
If you are a business, the City will do everything we can to schedule any periods you will be without water service outside of your regular business hours.
4. How can I find out if the water main on my street is going to be renewed?