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Common FAQs

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ Are you looking for other water, wastewater and storm water information?  You've come to the right place! Here are some common FAQs. If you cannot find what you are looking for, please click on the link at the bottom of the page.



Accordion Answer

​Our water distribution system is designed and operated to deliver a minimum acceptable pressure delivered to each Lethbridge service connection of no less than 300 kilopascals (45 psi) during peak hour demand, and 350 kilopascals (50 psi) at maximum day demand.  The maximum pressure should not exceed 625 kilopascals (90 psi).

If there is a water main flush in your area, the water pressure will seem low, but will return to normal once the water main flushing is complete.

If there is another reason, contact Public Operations at 403-320-3850 and they will assist you in finding out the cause.


​​Lethbridge drinking water consistently exceeds regulated requirements established by Health Canada in the "Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality", and the specific requirements within our Approval from the Province of Alberta under the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act.


​​The hardness of Lethbridge water varies and is highest in the winter.  It typically ranges from 140 milligrams per litre (about 8 grains per US gallon) to 210 milligrams per litre (about 12 grains per US gallon).


​​The smell can be due to changing temperatures or services in your area. In this case, it is safe. If there is no information being released about water interruptions in your area or required water conservation, please call Public Operations at 403-320-3850.


No. The water is constantly flowing and there may be fast flowing waters or debris in the water. It is also best to stay off the Oldman River in winter due to instability of the ice.

Q. Is the Oldman River safe to swim in?

A. No. The water is constantly flowing and there may be fast flowing waters or debris in the water. It is also best to stay off the Oldman River in winter due to instability of the ice.

Q. Is the Oldman River safe to cross when frozen?

A. No. The constantly changing weather patterns in Lethbridge create a dangerous environment around the river. The ice may never be completely frozen through. Please use the pathways on Whoop Up Drive and Bridge Drive.

Q. How do we treat our water?

A. Please see the "Water" webpage for further details.

Q. Sometimes when I fill a glass with water it appears cloudy and clears up with time. Why?

A. This occurs most often during the winter months. Water can entrap tiny air bubbles, particularly if the water is extremely cold, or if it passes through a tiny screen, like those found in some faucets. As oxygen is a gas, it dissipates with time and the water clears up.

Q. Do we add fluoride to our water?

A. Yes. It is added as a dental health measure to prevent tooth decay. Its application is authorized under City Bylaw 3236 and has been added to the water in Lethbridge since 1974. The dosage of fluoride added to the water is 0.5mg/L to 0.7mg/L. The resulting concentration of fluoride in the treated water is 0.7mg/L to 0.9mg/L. The use of this chemical is not necessary to produce potable water.



Accordion Answer

​​Do not flush any of the following items:

  • houseplant leaves and clippings
  • silt or mud
  • rags
  • human or animal hair
  • tea bags
  • coffee grounds
  • cooking grease or animal grease
  • cigarettes, cigars, butts
  • kitty litter
  • solvents, paint
  • sanitary napkins
  • tampon applicators (plastic or cardboard)
  • disposable diapers
  • boxes, packaging, wrappers

The items above do not biodegrade during time spent in the wastewater collection and treatment systems. They cause blockages in sanitary sewer service connections, mains and pumping stations, causing backups into homes, and unnecessary discharges to the environment. They foul valves and pumps, resulting in thousands of dollars in maintenance and repair costs each year.

The same answer goes to homes which use on-site disposal (septic tanks and disposal fields). These items do not quickly biodegrade and therefore take up space and may interfere with the normal operation in the tank. They may also interfere with tank maintenance, and may detrimentally affect the municipal system when/if the sludge is finally disposed of.

The general rule is:
If you did not eat it first, you should find another way to dispose of it.

For more information, check out the​ "Don't Rush, Think Before You Flush" webpage.



Q. What happens when I flush my toilet or when water goes down my sink or shower drains?

A. Check out our wastewater treatment process or what not to flush webpages to find out more!

Q. How is the sanitary water treated?

A. Water goes down our toilets and drains, and is carried by our sewer systems to the Lethbridge Wastewater Treatment Plant.  Check out our Wastewater Treatment Plant Process.

Q. Where does the water go from the Wastewater Treatment Plant?

A. The water enters the Oldman River and eventually merges with the South Saskatchewan and emptying into Hudson Bay.



Accordion Answer

​​No. According to Bylaw 5594, no items other than rainwater can enter the stormwater system, as they pollute the Oldman River.

Rule of thumb: If it is not "RAINWATER" it should not be entering the stormwater system.

Q. What is the difference between storm sewer systems and sanitary sewer systems?

A.  Storm sewer systems are not connected to the Wastewater Treatment Plant, and therefore goes directly to the Oldman River, untreated. Sanitary sewer systems are treated at the Wastewater Treatment Plant, and include the drains within your households, such as shower drains and sink drains.

Q. Can I wash my car in the driveway or street?

A. The City recommends (Bylaw 5594) using a commercial car wash to clean your vehicle. Commercial car washes discharge to the City’s wastewater
treatment facility where the wastewater is cleaned and treated. If you
do wash your car in the driveway or street, you cannot use soap.
Even biodegradable soaps will harm living things in the river. Use
water only and ensure that dirt or oil from your car does not get
washed down the storm drain.

Q. What if I see someone pouring down the storm drains?

A. The Bylaw now obligates you to report and mitigate any discharge of
prohibited materials whether accidental or intentional.
If the release creates an immediate danger to public health and safety,
call 9-1-1 for the Fire Department HAZMAT Team to respond. For
other violations and incidents, please report them to Lethbridge 311.

Q. Does the City of Lethbridge have a Bylaw about dumping down storm drains?

A. Bylaw 5594, A Bylaw of the City of Lethbridge to regulate storm sewers and storm drainage in the City of Lethbridge


Q. Do we have any programs to help conserve water in Lethbridge?

A. Yes! We have programs such as the Yellow Fish Road Program, Gutter Buddy Program, Adopt A Storm Drain, and Storm Drain Survival Kits. Check out our Education page!


Q. What is a watershed?

A.Wherever you live, you live in a watershed.  A watershed is the area of land that carries water from the land after rain falls and snow melts through the soil, groundwaters, creeks and streams making its way into larger rivers and eventually the ocean.  Because water flows downhill, the watershed boundaries are most always located on the top of hills or mountains. (Oldman Watershed Council).

Q. What watershed do we live in here in Lethbridge?

A. We live in the Oldman Watershed. Click here for more information  


​Looking for construction specifications or current projects related to water and wastewater?

For more information

Phone: 311 or 403-320-3111 (if outside of Lethbridge)
Online: Submit a service request