Water and Wastewater

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The Town of Georgina is responsible for the operation, maintenance and repair of the Keswick and Sutton Water Distribution System and Wastewater Collection System. This includes water mains, valves, hydrants, water and wastewater pumping stations and lateral connections which service the residents and businesses within Georgina.

Frozen pipes

For information on how to reduce the risk of frozen water services in the winter, see our Frozen Water Service FAQs brochure.

Sewer cleaning and inspection FAQ's

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    What are sanitary sewers?

    Sanitary sewers are underground pipes that carry wastewater from homes and businesses to one of the Town’s two wastewater treatment plants where it is treated and then released back to the lake. Everything you pour down your drain or flush down your toilet goes into a sewer.

    Why are you cleaning and inspecting the sewers?

    The cleaning and inspection program keeps the sewer system operating efficiently by: 

    • Helping prevent blockages and backups

    • Removing built-up debris, such as tree roots, grease, grit and sand

    • Determining the condition of the sewer so we can repair or replace sewers as necessary

    How do you clean the sewers?

    We use a high-pressure nozzle to flush water down the sewer. The dirt and debris are sucked up through a manhole by a large vacuum truck and taken to a disposal site.

    How do you inspect the sewers?

    We insert a remotely operated closed circuit television (CCTV) camera into the sewer to record its condition. From the video we can tell if we need to repair or replace the sewer.

    Do you clean and inspect the sewers at the same time?

    We clean and inspect some sewers at the same time. We clean others and then return later to inspect them with CCTV. 

    How long does it take to clean the sewers on each street?

    It usually takes a few hours to clean each street. However, some sewers can take longer, depending on their size and condition.

    Do I need to do anything before you clean/inspect the sewers on my street?

    Yes. Occasionally during cleaning and inspection, air movement in the sewer can cause water to splash out through toilets, sinks and drains. This is often a result of inadequate venting within the plumbing system of the home. Ensuring your homes plumbing system is in good condition and is up to current codes can reduce the likelihood of this occurring. Take the following precautions to prevent water damage in your home:  

    • Close the lids on all toilet bowls when not in use.

    • Insert drain plugs in all sinks and bathtubs when not in use.

    • Remove all floor mats in bathrooms.

    • Place an old towel around the base of toilets.

    • If you have a float plug in your floor drain or a backwater valve installed in your house, ensure that it is free of debris and operating properly.

    • Wrap the cover of your basement floor drains with thick plastic (i.e., a freezer bag). Place something heavy over the floor drains to keep the plastic-covered floor drain covers in place.

    If you are running your cold water tap to prevent your water line from freezing during the winter, run water from a tap at the highest elevation in the house (i.e. main floor or upper level, not basement) without inserting the drain plug. Follow the precautions above for all remaining fixtures (toilets, sinks, and drains).

    Will I notice anything after you have cleaned/inspected the sewers on my street?

    Sometimes the sewer cleaning and inspection leaves an odour in the home. If so, run some water down the sink and bathtub drains, flush the toilets, pour a pail of water into each basement floor drain, and open the windows. After a short time, the odour should disappear.

    Can I use the toilets and my water while you are cleaning and inspecting the sewer on my block?

    Yes. However, be careful as air pressure in the sewer during the cleaning and inspection can sometimes cause water to splash out through toilets, sinks and drains. Remember to close the lids on all toilet bowls when not in use, and insert drain plugs in all sinks and bathtubs when not in use.

    How will I know when you are cleaning the sewers on my street?

    In most cases, when possible, we will place a notice on the Georgina website under ‘Notices’ and the Living Here Section under Water and Wastewater and social media before we clean the sewers in your area. If we need to clean the sewer quickly because of a blockage, we won't have time to let you know in advance.

    Ways you can protect your home against sewer backup

    The sewer cleaning and inspection program is one of the steps that we take to reduce the risk of sewer backup. 

    Homeowners should ensure that any work that is done to your plumbing system is done with permits issued from the Town’s Building Division. This will reduce any risks related to faulty plumbing.

    Steps to take to protect your home against basement flooding

    • Install a backwater valve and sump pit drainage system with a building permit.

    • Check and maintain your backwater valve and sump pit drainage system regularly.

    • Improve surface drainage at ground level away from your house.

    When do you clean and inspect the sewers?

    There are approximately 200 kilometres of sewers in Georgina. We have two types of programs: 

    1. A sewer cleaning program only – we move around the Town throughout the year cleaning, and on occasion, addressing emergency situations

    2. A sewer cleaning and inspection program – we clean and inspect sewers with CCTV cameras in selected areas of the town each year. Normal working hours are Monday to Friday (occasionally Saturdays), from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. On streets with high traffic volumes and high wastewater flow during the day, we may have to do this work at night. We realize that the equipment is noisy and may disturb residents. Sometimes this cannot be avoided and we appreciate your patience.

    Water FAQs

    Where does the Town of Georgina’s water come from?

    The Regional Municipality of York supplies the Town of Georgina’s water and its source is from Lake Simcoe.

    For further information on the Town of Georgina’s water supply and water quality, visit

    The Regional Municipality of York
    Environmental Services
    17250 Yonge St., Newmarket, ON L3Y 6Z1
    1-877-464-9675 ext. 73000

    I would like to submit a request to identify locates on my property

    Contact Ontario One Call at 1-800-400-2255 or submit your request through the Ontario One call portal at ontarioonecall.ca/portal. They will submit a work order to all utilities for your request.

    I would like to book an appointment to have my water turned off/on

    Water turn off calls, on a non-emergency basis, are conducted between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., with the last call being taken at 3 p.m., the day the call is received. We do not book appointments. Call when you wish to have it completed and a crew will be there within three hours.

    I would like to have my water turned off

    Contact Service Georgina. A service request will be submitted right away. A waterworks attendant will be there within three hours to have the water turned off. There is no need to be there, however, with no one onsite we are not able to confirm the water is completely turned off.

    I would like to have my water turned on

    Contact Service Georgina. Is somebody onsite? Yes – a service request will be submitted and a waterworks attendant will be onsite within three hours. Someone must be onsite in order to turn the water on. This is a precaution, in case there is a leak within the house, we can have our attendant turn the water off again right away if needed. Call back Monday to Friday before 3 p.m. when someone will be onsite.

    The valve on my lawn/driveway is broken

    Contact Service Georgina. A service request will be submitted and an attendant will be out to inspect. If necessary, locates will be ordered and the repair will be scheduled with the contractor.

    The lawn around the water valve is saturated

    Contact Service Georgina. A service request will be submitted and an attendant will be out to inspect. If necessary, locates will be ordered and the repair will be scheduled with the contractor.

    I have no water, what can I do?

    There could be a number of reasons for low water pressure so before you call, please check the following:

    1. Is it happening in the entire house or just one floor or room? If it is just in one room or floor, it would be a blockage or issue within the home and you should call a plumber.
    2. Check internal shut off to ensure it is in the open position.  
    3. Check all filters and the water softener as this issue could mean they may need to be replaced.
    4. Call Service Georgina and they will create a public service request ticket for someone to come and assess.
    I have low water pressure, what can I do?

    There could be a number of reasons for low water pressure so before you call, check the following:

    1. Is it happening with one fixture? If so, remove the faucet aerator (located at the tip of the faucet) and rinse the screen. To clean these, soak the aerator or showerhead in a bowl filled with vinegar until the deposits are gone. If showerheads or aerators do not come clean, replace them to increase water flow. Using a water-saving showerhead can increase flow but save on water usage when installed correctly.
    2. If you have a water softener, put it on bypass and see if you receive your full water pressure back. If so, this is an indication the water softener filter needs to be replaced or the softener needs maintenance. Search your softener make and model online to see where the bypass button is and what maintenance is required. Please note, even if your softener is not on or being used, water will still go through unless it is on bypass.
    3. If you have low pressure at all of your taps, ensure nothing is turned on (such as a hose).
    4. Call Service Georgina at 905-476-4301 and they will create a public service request ticket.
    Why is there is an odour/taste to my water?

    Water odour can be caused by lake turnover in spring and fall. The warmer water travels to the bottom of the lake or from bottom to the top. These changes can cause some residents to notice a musty or earthy smell during this time. The water is safe to drink and it will pass in a few days. Water softeners and filtration systems can also cause a smell/taste issue.

    Is it from the cold or hot water?
    1. If it is just hot, it generally indicates a problem with the water heater. First, try to flush your hot water tank.
    2. Another common problem is the sacrificial water heater anode will often wear away. If it is worn away, there can be an increase water odour in the water tank and you should call a plumber.
    3. Odour issues may be caused by the drain itself. Run some water down the drain to fill the P-trap. This ensures the odour is not coming back up the drain as if the P-trap is not full, the odour will permeate throughout the room.
    4. Call Service Georgina at 905-476-4301 and they will create a public service request ticket.
    I have discoloured water, what should I do?

    You will need to know if the discolouration is in the hot water or cold water.

    The toilet is a good place to check if it is also in cold water as no hot water runs to the toilet.

    If discoloured hot water, you will need to call a plumber to flush your hot water tank.

    If it is in the toilet water or cold water as well, call Service Georgina and we will create a service request ticket.

    I have cloudy water, what should I do?

    Cloudy water is caused by dissolved air. Gases are more soluble at low temperatures. As the lake water is treated and distributed, and the temperature rises in the water, the air becomes insoluble and tiny bubbles of air are mixed with water as it gets delivered to the customers. Let the water stand still and the small air bubbles will slowly rise and dissipate. It is not harmful.

    What should I do if my water pipe is frozen?

    Property owners are responsible for contacting a licensed plumber to determine if the service line is frozen on the public or private side.

    It would be in the best interest of all parties if the plumber advises the Town when the service is frozen on the public side, as the Town maintains a record of service calls to residences and commercial properties with frozen water lines for future reference, and works with these customers to proactively manage this issue. If you are a tenant, your landlord must contact the Town about issues with your water service.

    The majority of calls received for frozen water pipes and water meters are a result of inadequate heating and cold air drafts where piping is located in the home. If you have a history of pipes freezing, you can leave a cold water tap running at a steady stream of about 6 mm or 1/4 inch minimum (depending on the temperature and length of cold snap) when outside temperatures are below freezing.

    1. Do not run a water tap continuously unless the Town has requested that you do so. Only those who are requested to run their tap by the Town will be compensated for this increased use. Customers running taps to prevent frozen indoor plumbing will be responsible for resulting water use charges
    2. Open kitchen, bathroom and laundry cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing.
    3. If piping is located next to exterior walls, leave the cupboard doors under your kitchen and bathroom sinks open.
    4. Shut off and drain pipes leading to outside faucets.
    5. Wrap foam pipe insulation around pipes most susceptible to freezing (e.g. near outside walls, crawl spaces, attics). Insulate all exposed outside water pipes with specially designed foam pipe covers available at building supply or home improvement stores.
    6. Seal air leaks in your home and garage, especially in areas where pipes are located.
    7. If you will be away, have someone check your home and taps regularly. Keep garage doors closed and monitor the temperature inside the garage if there are water supply lines located in this area.
    8. Commercial water customers need to prepare for cold nights as well. Protect water pipes by wrapping all lines exposed to cold temperatures.