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Watermain Breaks

To report a watermain break in your neighbourhood, please call our 24 hour Trouble Line
at 311.

What happens when there is a watermain break?

  1. City crews are dispatched to determine the exact location of the leak. 

  2. Upon location of the leak, crews determine what road closures are necessary so that repair work can begin.

  3. A call will be placed to Alberta One Call to request that underground utilities locations be marked.  ATCO, TELUS and electric companies will mark the ground with paint and/or flags.

  4. The section of broken watermain will be isolated in order begin repair efforts.  This often means that homes adjacent to the break are without water during the repair. 

  5. City crews will do their best to notify residents in the area of an interruption in water supply service.
    This is usually done in person by going door-to-door in the affected area.
    If residents are not home a notification tag is left on the door.

  6. Where possible, crews will bring in a temporary potable water supply trailer to the affected area. This trailer will be parked in the neighbourhood where the break is located. Neighbour water sharing is also sometimes an option.

  7. The area of the leak is then excavated.

  8. Crews can now formulate a repair plan based on what is found. 

  9. Next, they can fix the break.  The time frame varies based on the time of year, materials needed, the severity and proximity to other utilities.

  10. Crews will then sample the water to ensure water quality.

  11. Once everything is in working order, the water can be turned back on for regular use.

  12. The road surface will then be repaired and the road will be reopened.  The time frame varies based on season and availability of materials.

How long does it take to fix a watermain? 

The repair time depends on the time of year, location and severity of the break. Simple repairs may take only a day or two while more severe breaks may take weeks to fix.


There's an open excavation in front of my house and no one working – why?

At any time there can be a number of underground utility emergencies throughout Lethbridge.  Repair work must be prioritized based on factors such as the risk of property damage, impact to critical facilities (like schools and the hospital) and if there are any businesses or homes without water or sewer service.  Sometimes we will leave an open excavation for a couple of days to attend to more urgent priorities.  We understand that open excavations in your street are a significant inconvenience and we always endeavour to close up excavations as soon as possible.


Reporting Watermain Breaks

Our residents are our eyes and ears in the community.  If you see water pooling on the streets or have a loss of water pressure in your home, please call our 24 hour Trouble Line at 311.


A Little More About Our Watermain System

Our mission every day is to provide a clean, safe and reliable supply of drinking water to the community.

Our water distribution system consists of:
  • 634 kilometres of watermains
  • 8,913 valves 
  • 2,872 hydrants 
  • 30,200 metered service connections

On average, the City of Lethbridge repairs between 50 and 100 watermain breaks each year. Each break offers unique challenges, so we follow the below process to ensure minimal disruption to residents and businesses while ensuring  access to safe, clean drinking water.

Click here to view our 40 year watermain breaks data trend


Click here to find out more about Lethbridge LEAKS and our preventative programs

To learn more about our annual Watermain Renewal Program, please click here.

For more information

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