Below are some helpful tips and answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we receive about your home’s water supply.
Water supply on your property – who is responsible?
Generally, the junction box (curb box) at the front of your property is the dividing line for water entering your property – towards the street it is the responsibility of the council and towards the house/building the responsibility is the property owner. An exception is the water meter, which is the responsibility of the municipality.
Responsibility of the Middlesex Centre (shown in blue)
- Service (curb) box: Protects the curb stop valve and should be secured and flush with the ground. It is roughly on the property line. Never touch or cover it.
- Curb shut-off valve: This underground valve controls the flow of water from the water main to your property.
- Water pipes: Underground pipes throughout the community that carry water to water supply lines.
- Service connection: The part of the pipe that runs from the water main to the curb stop valve in front of your property.
- Water clock: Records the amount of water used by your property.
Responsibility of the property owner (shown in red)
- Water service pipe: Pipe that runs between the curb stop valve and your property.
- Indoor water shut-off valve: Interrupts the water supply to your property.
- Indoor installation: The system of water pipes, drains, connections, valves and devices in your building that distribute water.
Acknowledgments: This diagram is based on work done by the City of Markham.
Understand your system – shut-off valves
How water gets into your home
The water provided by the municipality enters your home either through a ball valve or a gate valve – the shut-off valve – before being read by your water meter.
Make sure you know the location of your shutoff valve and keep the area around the shutoff valve clear. This will help you stop the water supply in your home when you need to make minor plumbing repairs.
If you’re looking for ways to lower your water bill, or if your bill is higher than expected, take a few minutes to check for water leaks.
The average leak in a home can waste up to 40 cubic meters of water each year. Serious leaks can cause even more waste.
Some of the most common types of leaks in the home include worn toilet flappers, dripping faucets, and other leaky valves. By repairing these leaks, the average homeowner can save about 10 percent on their water bills.
Use this checklist as a starting point when searching for leaks.
Leak detection checklist
If you discover a leak, you should take the necessary steps to fix the problem as quickly as possible and avoid high water bills. As a homeowner, it is your responsibility to be aware of what is going on in your home. It is our responsibility as a water supplier to bill according to the value shown on your water meter.
Protect your pipes – toilets
Don’t flush it away!
Do not flush personal wipes, paper towels, or other hygiene products down the toilet. These must be thrown in the trash.
Anything other than #1, #2 and toilet paper can lead to sewer backups and flooded basements, damaging sewage systems and polluting rivers and lakes.
To learn more, visit idontflush.ca
Protect your pipes – fats, oils and grease
Fats, Oils and Greases (FOG): A major problem for your household drains
When fats, oils, and fats from food go down the drain, they are often in a warm liquid. While this may not seem harmful, as the liquid cools, the fat becomes a hardened mass.
As grease builds up over time, this mass restricts the flow of wastewater – both on your property and under the roadway.
In fact, grease-clogged pipes are an increasingly common cause of sewage backups and septic problems in homes, as well as sewer overflows. Each year, a significant amount of time and money is spent throughout the community cleaning clogged pipes caused by grease in the sewer system.
Video: Safe handling of fats, oils and fats
What can you do to help?
- DO Wipe greasy pots, pans, and utensils with a paper towel before putting them in the sink.
- DO Use a strainer in the sink to catch leftover food and other solids.
- DO Pour the fat into a cup, jar or can and store it. Once the fat has solidified, throw it in the trash or feed it to birds as suet food.
- DO Tell friends and neighbors about the problem with fats, oils and grease in the sewer system.
- DO Pour the turkey and drippings into a container and dispose of them in the trash.
- DO Grab a FOG mug!
FOG Cups – Grab a cup! Fill up.
The Middlesex Center provides free FOG Cups to its residents. You can pick it up at the municipal office or the Komoka Wellness Center.
Place fats, oils and grease (FOG) in the correct place
Do not block this line: This will prevent blockages, backflows and overflows