Website Feedback

Water, Wastewater and Sewer


Water and Wastewater public notices


Routine spring watermain flushing for 2024 will begin on May 6.


Operators from Ontario Clean Water Agency will be flushing the below systems as per the following schedule:

Western Trent/Palmina DWS – May 6 to May 10

Norland DWS – May 13 to May 17

Kinmount DWS – May 13 to May 17

Birch Point DWS – May 15

Omemee DWS – May 22

Manorview DWS – June 4

Canadiana Shores DWS – May 28

Victoria Place DWS – May 28

Pinewood DWS – May 29

Southview Estates DWS – June 4 to June 5

Woodfield DWS – June 4

Janetville DWS – June 6

Woodville DWS – June 10 to June 28

Mariposa Estates DWS – June 12

Pleasant Point DWS – June 12

Kings Bay DWS – June 19


Flushing in Lindsay, Fenelon Falls and Bobcaygeon will begin Monday, May 13 with City staff working through these systems until flushing is complete.

The flushing of watermains is necessary to remove sediment that gradually deposits in the pipes. There may be brief periods of time when your water becomes cloudy or discoloured; please note that this is not harmful. Simply let your cold water tap run until the water runs clear. Please check your drinking, cooking and laundry water before using.

In addition to temporary discolouration, pressure fluctuations during the flushing process may be experienced. These fluctuations will stop once flushing is completed.


Bulk Water System- Rate Increase


Please note that as of April 1, 2024 the new unit rate for bulk water at the dispensing stations will be raised to:

2024 Bulk Water Rate = $5.28 per cubic metre (m3)


Additional information will be provided as received. Should you have any questions please email


Please Check our Public Notices page for more up-to-date notices about water and wastewater services. 

Protect the Tap

Our municipal drinking water is already safe and reliable. It goes through a rigorous treatment process with numerous measures in place to ensure its safety. But what about the water that comes into the treatment plant? This “source” of municipal water needs to be protected as well. That’s what the Source Water Protection Program is all about. It’s about safeguarding the water that comes into those treatment plants. That’s the water we get from underground supplies called aquifers, and surface water in lakes and rivers.

For more information, please visit Kawartha Conservation.

Did you know?

Spring Watermain Flushing

Routine Watermain flushing begins May 6, 2024. For the full schedule please see the information posted under our Water and Wastewater Public Notices section above.

- Due to the numerous construction projects currently underway, residents may be noticing some effects on their drinking water. You may notice some of the following:

  • Brown water - brown water occurs when the watermains (pipes) distributing drinking water are flushed to remove sediment. Brown water can also occur when nearby construction work vibrates the pipes and dislodges buildup within the pipe. If you experience brown water please run your cold water tap for five to ten minutes to clear the water. If after running your water the discolouration remains, please call us and let us know.
  • Low pressure - low pressure can also be the result of watermain flushing. When large amounts of water is used to pressure clean the pipes, it can result in temporary loss of pressure. Once flushing is over, pressure will return to normal. (Tip: Clogged filters on water softeners will also affect water pressure. Try bypassing the softener to see if pressure stabilizes and if so, replace your filters.)
  • A bubbling or vacuum effect in drains and toilets - this occurs during sanitary sewer flushing. Closing the lid on your toilet helps keep water from spilling over. In addition, it is important to refill all plumbing traps by running the water in your sinks and floor drains after the work is complete. Internal plumbing consists of "P" traps which hold a volume of water that prevent sewer gases from migrating into a home; it is important to replace the water after flushing to ensure this migration of gases does not occur.


Please visit our public notices section regularly to receive up to date information from your Water and Wastewater Division. Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Update: New Law will Protect Consumers at Home

As per a news release from the Ontario Government, effective March 1, 2018 "Ontario will ban unsolicited, door-to-door sales of certain household appliances to better protect consumers from aggressive and misleading contracting at home." This means that businesses will only be able to enter private residences if the consumer has contacted the company and invited them. "Contracts that are in violation of the new rules relating to door-to-door contract solicitation will be considered void, consumers will be able to keep the goods and services with no obligations."

Amongst other services (air conditioning, air cleaning, duct cleaning, furnace maintenance etc.), the new rules will apply to anyone attempting to sell water filters, heaters, purifiers, softeners, treatment devices or any combination of these products.

Businesses now must keep a record of how contact with the consumer was made and all contracts signed in the home will have a ten-day "cooling off" period, allowing the buyer to cancel the contract "for any reason without penalty."

For more information on this law, please visit the Ontario News website.   

Please remember that City employees carry identification and do not approach residents to sell any type of equipment. Should you be approached by any salespeople claiming to be with the City, do not allow them access to your home. The drinking water in the City of Kawartha Lakes is safe to drink; no additional equipment is required. Should you be approached by salespeople discrediting the quality of your drinking water and attempting to sell you unnecessary equipment of any kind, please call the City and report the incident.

Annual Reports (Drinking Water and Wastewater)

Reports (both current and previous) are available free of charge upon request. 




Wastewater Reports


Accessible formats and full appendices for these reports are available upon request.

City and resident responsibilities

Property line diagram

You are responsible for everything inside the property line. 

Home and business owners are responsible for preventative maintenance of fire hydrants located on private property. This includes:residence. The City is responsible for service outside the property line of your residence.

  • removing snow around the fire hydrant
  • flushing to remove debris
  • fire flow testing to make sure there is enough pressure
  • dip testing to make sure hydrants are not plugged

The City is responsible for preventative maintenance on fire hydrants located on City owned property.


Do not flush campaign - when in doubt, throw it out

While it might seem harmless to flush a piece of dental floss or paper towel down the toilet, the truth is that many household items (including those advertised as flushable), can damage not only your plumbing which can lead to sewer backups but also the sewer system, the wastewater treatment facility and the environment. Millions of dollars are spent unnecessarily each year on maintenance, repair and clean up costs. If we all followed some simple rules, we could reduce not only the financial impact, but the environmental impact as well.

Here is a list of things to throw OUT, not IN.

  • Paper towel
  • Facial tissues
  • Wipes (yes, even flushable ones)
  • Tampons
  • Cotton swabs

These items are among the most common offenders. First, because many people don’t know that they shouldn’t be flushed. But when we stop to think about it, these items are especially harmful. Why? Because they are all made to absorb water. Once thrown into the toilet, what do they do? EXPAND. Items that expand when exposed to water are not good for your pipes or the sewer system.

 “Flushable” wipes should not be flushed. Despite manufacturer's advertising, these wipes do not break down. They are made to be strong and to not dissolve when used to clean up messes. As a result, they break apart very slowly and easily clog pipes and filters at the wastewater plant. The first ever test of single-use wipes against rigorous criteria for flush-ability produced failing grades for all 101 products. Results showed that not one single wipe was able to fall apart or disperse safety through the sewer system test. (Water Canada, May/June 2019 issue.)

 Plastic/Vinyl Materials:

  • Condoms
  • Dental Floss
  • Contact lenses

Due to the plastic/vinyl materials in these products, they don’t break down. Contact lenses leave behind tiny pieces of plastic that make their way through the pipes and the wastewater plant, ultimately finding their way back into source water. Condoms fill with air and gas and float in water making them difficult to catch and remove. These products are just some of the items leading to the growing problem of microplastic pollution which is poisoning our rivers, lakes, streams and oceans.

Dental floss can twist up inside your pipes causing blockages. It turns into a net of sorts, catching and holding other debris and clogging up pipes and wastewater treatment equipment – dental floss can even wrap around parts of your septic system and burn out the motors on expensive plant equipment.


Miscellaneous Items:


  • Medications – Yes, these break down eventually, but trace chemicals are left behind and ultimately end up in our drinking water. Fish, animals and people can all get sick from these traces of medications. The safer, more responsible option is to return any unfinished medication to your doctor or take them to the nearest pharmacy for proper disposal.
  • Kitty litter – This material (again meant to absorb liquid), will NOT dissolve in water and can create clogs, again EVEN IF it’s labelled flushable. Just think about what it’s made to do – then consider how wise it is to flush it down the toilet.
  • Cigarette butts – Toxic chemicals tossed into the sewer system aren’t good for the environment and can make their way back into source water. Not to mention what a huge waste of water it is to flush them when they can easily and safely be thrown out.
  • Hair – Like dental floss, hair (from your brush or after shaving), gets caught on basically everything – plus, it floats. Not to mention that it’s super strong and never dissolves in water no matter how long it’s in there. It can easily cause clogs in your pipes and wrap around equipment at the wastewater plant causing significant damage.
  • Fats/Oils/Cooking Grease – Most of us know that we shouldn’t put cooking grease down the drain, yet some of us still put it down the toilet. Fat, oil and cooking grease cool and harden when they cool. Over time the grease will build up and can block the entire pipe – both in your private plumbing and in the City’s. (These can be found in meat drippings like bacon as well as in butter, shortening, salad dressing, gravy, dairy products etc.)
  • Chemicals – Most household cleaners have harmful chemicals in them that shouldn’t be flushed into the sewer system. Consider cleaning your toilet with vinegar instead.
  • Household Hazardous Waste – Hopefully we all know that putting paints or pesticides into the toilet is a definite no but just in case – don’t do it.

Household plumbing, distribution pipes and wastewater plants are not equipped to handle anything except for human waste, wastewater and toilet paper. Anything else should be put in the trash.

So remember, when in doubt – throw it out.

Picture of Items that Shuldn't Be Flushed

Properly discharging pool and hot tub water

Discharge of water from swimming pools and hot tubs contains chloride, bromine, salts, copper-based algaecides and other chemicals harmful to fish and other aquatic organisms that live in our creeks, rivers and lakes. Emptying chlorinated pools directly into storm sewers means water goes untreated, into the nearest waterway which can kill fish and damage the environment; proper discharge is important.


Chlorinated Water:

1. Do not add chemicals to your pool or hot tub two weeks before discharging

2. Running the pump will assist in the dissipation of the chlorine. Sunlight also helps.

3. Reduce chlorine levels to 0.5 mg/L before discharging water. If you don't have an accurate measuring tool, wait until the water becomes murky as this is an indication that the chlorine levels have reduced.

4. Discharge/release pool water onto your own property at a slow, controlled rate to allow absorption into the ground. This will eliminate potential damage on your property and neighbouring properties. Remember to consider any slopes/directional landscape so that water does not run in an unwanted direction, and avoid discharging on a rainy day as storm sewers systems can become overwhelmed.

5. Report any spill of chlorinated pool and hot tub water to the provincial and municipal authorities if you see it flow into a stream, river, lake or storm sewer system.


Salt Water:

Any time water enters the city's storm sewers it needs to be free of chemicals, including salt.

1. If you can, discharge saltwater pools and hot tubs to the sanitary sewer (via washer, sink or bathtub) to ensure the water is treated before being released or if that is not an option;

2. Have salt water hauled by a MECP (Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks) approved licensed hauler. There are many haulers available in the City of Kawartha Lakes.

All off-property impacts are the responsibility of the swimming pool or hot tub owner.


Hydrants and Watermain flushing

Note: Routine Spring Watermain flushing began May 6, 2024. For the full schedule please see our Water and Wastewater Public Notices section above.


Watermain Flushing - The City flushes watermains to improve water quality. Flushing removes sediment that can build up in water distribution pipes. The City flushes municipal watermains twice per year, usually in the spring and fall. When a watermain is being flushed on your street you may notice:

  • water going into street catch basins and then being released into the storm sewer system, chlorine is removed from the water before it is released into the storm sewer system.
  • slightly lower water pressure than normal
  • discoloured water

Your water will remain safe to drink during flushing. The City recommends that you wait to use your taps, washing machine and dishwasher until flushing is finished. If you use water during flushing unwanted sediment could be drawn into your household waterlines, filters and tanks.

Flushing notices and schedules are posted in our Water and Wastewater Public Notices section below as well as in the public notices section of the City website.

Hydrants - Did you know that not all hydrants are installed for the purpose of fire fighting? Many exist solely for watermain flushing and preventative maintenance of the water system. The only areas in the City of Kawartha Lakes with fire rated hydrants are: Lindsay, Bobcaygeon and Fenelon Falls. Residents living in these communities can use the location of nearby fire hydrants for possible insurance adjustments. Residents who live elsewhere in Kawartha Lakes cannot as the hydrants in non fire-rated communities are used solely for system maintenance. Hydrants that are not fire rated have caps that are painted black. Residents with non-fire rated hydrants should ensure that this information is relayed to their insurance company; missing or inaccurate information may result in claims being denied.

For residents living in areas that are not fire rated, it will be reassuring to know that every fire station in the City of Kawartha Lakes has Superior Tanker Shuttle Certification. Water Tank Shuttle Certification is a process that provides the assurance that adequate water can be brought to a fire incident from an alternate water supply. City of Kawartha Lakes Fire fighters train regularly so that each station will meet the requirements for re-certification every five years.

Home owners with detached dwellings and are within a qualifying road distance of the responding fire station (eight kilometres), may be eligible for an insurance adjustment. (Please contact your insurance company for details.)


Visit our Fire Services section of the website for a list of Fire Stations located within the municipality. 

Sanitary sewer flushing

Sanitary sewer flushing is preventative maintenance that removes settled and accumulated material. It prevents overloading the sewer and property damage.

You may notice a bubbling or vacuum effect in your drains and toilets during sewer flushing. Keep all toilet seats closed and cover floor drains until flushing is done. After flushing is complete you should run water into your sinks and floor drains for a few minutes.

In addition, in order to prevent sewer gasses (resulting in odours) from migrating into the home, it is important to refill all plumbing traps by running the water in your sinks and floor drains after the work is complete.

Flushing schedules are posted in our Water and Wastewater Public notices section below as well as on the Public Notices section of our website, social media and in the local newspaper.

Bulk Water

Note: Please see the Notices section above for updated information regarding the increase to the unit rate for bulk water.

The City has five Bulk Water Stations (Two automated dispensing systems and three coin operated systems) that are used to supply large volumes of water. Please see below to learn information about each station.


REGISTER for a new account:

Before you can access a Bulk Water Station you must read and submit an application for a Bulk Water User Account through Once you apply for the account it may take up to 24 hours for the City to review and approve the application. Once the City approves of your application you will receive an auto generated email with a link to confirm your account. You need to click on the link in your email to activate the account.



 Bulk Water FAQ

Why Has the City of Kawartha Lakes changed the bulk water system?

CKL’s new online pre-payment system and keypad terminal, will replace the current Smart Card payment and reader system.

The new online account system offers the following benefits:

  • Eliminates the need to purchase smart cards
  • Allows you to skip the Service Centre and load funding onto your account online by yourself
  • Avoids the possibility of lost and/or stolen cards
  • Provides you with access to user information, such as historical account balances, monthly/annual water consumption levels and more


When will the changeover occur and what stations are affected?

The new bulk water systems have been installed. Smartvend cards are no longer accepted at the dispensing units. The bulk water systems that are coin operated will remain as they are for the time being.


How Does the New Payment System Work?

  1. When you set up your new on-line pre-payment account, you will be instructed to chose 4-digit Access Code(s) and 4-digit PIN number(s). You will need to remember these numbers when you use the bulk water stations.
  2. Prior to your first visit to the bulk water station, you must pre-pay to your online account using Visa or MasterCard. If necessary, debit, credit card and cash payments can be loaded onto your online account in person at:
    • Lindsay Service Centre (26 Francis St., Lindsay)
      Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (excluding statutory or declared holidays)
    • Fenelon Falls Library (19 Market St, Fenelon Falls)
      Monday to Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

      Accepted Methods of Payment: Cash, Cheque, Visa or Mastercard, Debit Cards
  3. Upon arrival at the bulk water station, you will be prompted to input your Access Code and PIN number into the new keypad terminal.
  4. The terminal will display the volume of water available to that account (in cubic meters) based on the current pre-paid account balance.
  5. You will then enter the desired volume of water to be dispensed, press "Start" and commence pumping. You may press "Stop" at any time.
  6. Your online bulk water account will be automatically debited according to the volume of water drawn. You may deposit additional funds to your account at any time.

To access the user manual for the new system please click on the Bulk Water System User Manual

For residents requiring an accessible format of this manual, please email

What happens to the funds on my current smart card?

Smart Cards will no longer function with the new bulk water dispensing system. After you have set up an online account, please bring any remaining cards to the Lindsay Service Centre (26 Francis St., Lindsay) where City staff will transfer any remaining money from your Smart Card to your new online account.


What if I do not have a credit card to load funding onto my bulk water account?

While you will be presented with the opportunity to load funds onto your account by yourself using the Flowpoint software, you are still more than welcome to come to the Lindsay Service Centre (26 Francis St., Lindsay) or the Fenelon Falls Library (19 Market Street, Fenelon Falls) to add funds to your account with the aid of a City staff member.


Where are the bulk water stations?


There are stations in Lindsay, Fenelon Falls and Norland. Please see the location specific sections below for details. Please note that the requirements for the different stations vary - some locations require a key to open the gate and some require a hose and coupling. Some stations are coin operated and some are not. Please be sure to read the information carefully.


I have additional questions, where can I ask them?

All questions about the bulk water stations and registration process can be sent to the Water and Wastewater Division at



50 Thornhill Road at the Thornhill Reservoir - Lindsay

The Thornhill Reservoir has two separate dispensing systems: One automated bulk water system utilizing Flowpoint software for large volume users such as water haulers, and one coin operated (loonies only) system for smaller volume users.

You will need to bring your own hose and a 3-inch female coupling to connect to the dispenser using the automated Flowpoint system.

You will need to bring your own hose to connect the dispenser to the container you are filling and a 2-inch female coupling for the coin operated machine. This machine only takes 1.00$ coins (loonies).

33 Mary Street East at the Lindsay Water Treatment Plant

You will need to bring your own hose to connect the dispenser to the container you are filling and a 2-inch female coupling.

There is no Flowpoint System at this location. This machine only accepts 1.00$ coins (loonies).

Fenelon Falls Water Treatment Plant - 97 Francis St. W

This is strictly an automated Flowpoint system. You will need to bring your own hose and a 2-inch female coupling to connect the dispenser.

There is no coin-operated system at this location. You will need a bulk water account and a key (which you can be provided at the Lindsay Service Center (26 Francis St., Lindsay) and the Fenelon Falls Library (19 Market St., Fenelon Falls) for a fee of $25.00.

Fenelon Falls Fire Station - 9 John St.

This is solely a Coin-Operated Machine. This is a public bulk water station and you do not require a key to use it. No hoses can be connected at this location.

There is no Flowpoint System at this location.

Norland - 3474 Monck Road

This is solely a Coin-Operated Machine. You will need $0.25 coins (quarters) ONLY to use the Coin Operated System at this location. This is a public bulk water station and you do not require a key to use it. No hoses can be connected at this location.

There is no Flowpoint System at this location.

Source Water

The City has a Source Water Protection Program in place to keep our water clean and safe.

The City and Source Water Protection Agencies have identified Source Protection areas that are vulnerable areas of source water in and around drinking water systems that need protection. These areas are called the Well Head Protection Areas (WHPA) and Intake Protection Zones (IPZ).

If you live within a Source Protection area there may be an impact to your property. Permits and planning help protect you and your investment from hazards like flooding, unstable soils and steep slopes while contributing to a healthy, sustainable environment in Kawartha Lakes.

If you live near a lake, watercourse or wetland you need to contact the Kawartha Conservation Planning and Regulations department to find out if you need a permit to:

  • build a structure or building
  • alter an existing structure or building
  • add any soil, sand or gravel to your property
  • excavate or grade any soil, sand or gravel on your property
  • change a watercourse
  • improve or alter your shoreline
  • work in or near a wetland

You can reach the Risk Management Official at (705) 328 -2271.

The Kawartha Conservation website also contains information such as: flood forecasting, watershed monitoring, low water response program as well as lake and environmental management plans.

You can find City Source Protection Plans on the Trent Conservation Authority website, South Georgian Bay Lake Simcoe website and the Ontario Government website. These websites also offer information on flood protection, watershed management, risk management and conservation lands as well as interactive maps and additional contact information.

New transport pathways in Intake Protection Zones or Wellhead Protection Areas are prohibited as part of By-Law 2016-237 Prohibit Establishment of Transport Pathways that Increase Vulnerability of Drinking Water.

Drinking Water – Surface and Groundwater Sources


Source Water FAQ

1. Where does my drinking water come from?

Drinking water is supplied by either surface water sources (lakes and rivers), or groundwater sources (wells/aquifers.)

There are twenty-one drinking water systems in Kawartha Lakes. Six of these systems are supplied by surface water.

•    Bobcaygeon DWS – Big Bob Channel
•    Fenelon Falls DWS – Cameron Lake
•    Kinmount DWS – Burnt River
•    Lindsay DWS – Scugog River
•    Norland – Gull River
•    Southview Estates – Sturgeon Lake

The remaining fifteen drinking water systems are supplied by groundwater.

•    Birch Point DWS            
•    Canadiana Shores DWS
•    Janetville DWS
•    King’s Bay DWS
•    Manorview DWS
•    Mariposa Estates DWS
•    Omemee DWS
•    Pinewood DWS
•    Pleasant Point DWS
•    Sonya DWS
•    Victoria Place DWS
•    Western Trent Palmina DWS
•    Woodfield DWS
•    Woods of Manilla DWS
•    Woodville DWS

2.    What is the difference between surface water and groundwater? Is one better than the other?

Surface water can be more difficult to treat because it is exposed to the elements and is home to animals, fish and plants. Groundwater is pumped from aquifers located deep within the earth and is not exposed to the same influences as surface water. However, the treatment system for both sources is thorough and strictly regulated; all water is safe to drink once it leaves the treatment facility.

Groundwater systems are usually smaller than surface water systems and are more susceptible to drought, which can cause supply issues. Overuse can also affect the ability of these smaller systems to meet demand. Residents, visitors and businesses obtaining their water from groundwater sources need to be conservative with water use, especially during dry, hot summer weather when water usage increases dramatically. Activities such as watering lawns, washing cars, filling pools etc., use a great deal of water and it is important to remain conscientious of your water use to ensure that there is enough water available for everyday essential uses.

3.    How can I help conserve water?

•    Reduce non-essential use of water such as washing the car and watering the lawn and/or water during cool parts of the day
•    Turn off water when you’re not using it
•    Reduce water during essential use (i.e. turn off the water while brushing your teeth and shaving)
•    Check your toilet / faucet / pipes for leaks
•    Don’t use the toilet as a wastebasket or ashtray
•    Take shorter showers
•    Install water-saving shower heads or flow restrictors
•    Put out rain barrels to catch water to use for gardening or watering
•    Use your dishwasher for full loads only
•    Use a broom to clean walkways/driveway instead of the hose
•    Use hauled water to fill your pool

4.    You mentioned that the water is treated. What happens to the water once it is taken from the water source?

Water is pumped from the source into the treatment facility where it is treated and disinfected. Depending on the water source and its specific requirements, treatment includes processes such as filtration, coagulation, flocculation, pH correction, settling and disinfection. Once it has been monitored and tested and determined to be safe to drink, the water is pumped into the distribution system (the network of piping used to carry water), and delivered to homes and businesses. We are fortunate to live where clean, safe drinking water comes directly from our taps.

5.    How do I know my water is safe to drink?

Drinking water in Ontario is highly regulated. The Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks ensures that each step of the process – from source to tap – is governed by strict legislation to ensure that the drinking water supplied is clean and potable. We have regular inspections and water is continuously tested and monitored. Our operators are highly trained and licensed, and all compliance measures are met and exceeded to ensure that Kawartha Lakes drinking water is safe to drink.


Holding Tank Registration

Holding Tank registration is only required for out of municipality properties bringing septage to the Lindsay Septage Disposal Station. You can find Holding Tank Registration Form here or at any Municipal Service Centre. Your form will be processed by the City and you will get confirmation and your septage generator number by mail. Your septage number is used by the City for administrative purposes and is not associated with the Health Unit. All sewage haulers that deposit waste at City facilities are registered and you will need to give the sewage hauler your septage number.

If you replace or change the size of your holding tank you must complete a Holding Tank Registration Update Form. There is no cost to update your holding tank information.

If you sell your home your septage generator number is transferable to the new home owner at no cost. The new owner will need to fill out a Holding Tank Registration Update Form, please give them your septage number.

Frozen Services

The City wishes to remind residents that there will be no bill adjustments for any additional consumption due to running water to prevent freezing.


The City has a voluntary Freeze Prevention Program to help you keep your water lines and water meters from freezing. Frozen services can cause service interruptions and damage infrastructure. The program encourages you to:

  • Make sure that your plumbing and drains will allow water to run continuously without supervision;
  • PLEASE NOTE: the weather is now turning colder. Please pay attention to the temperature and when it drops, consider running your water (the stream should be approximately 6 mm wide or the width of a straw, as per the information below - enough to ensure water continues flowing through your pipes) until the temperature rises. Please note that the City will not be responsible for any for any costs related to the additional water consumption.
  • Notify the city as soon as possible when you notice an interruption in water supply.

In extremely cold weather the City recommends that you:

  • Keep kitchen, laundry and bathroom cabinet doors open to allow warm air to circulate around water pipes and water meters;
  • Make sure all chemicals and cleaners are kept safely out of the reach of children and pets;
  • Keep a minimum household temperature of 13 degrees Celsius;
  • Make sure outside taps are drained and turned off;
  • Use foam pipe insulation to wrap pipes located near exterior walls, in crawl spaces or in attics;
  • Seal air leaks in your home and garage and keep your garage door closed;
  • If you are going away shut off the valve in your basement, drain all water lines by opening taps and have someone check your home regularly;
  • If you are having problems with frozen pipes you can speak with a plumber to about lowering your water service to a depth of at least 2 m and making sure waterlines on exterior walls are insulated.

If you are advised to run your taps a steady stream of water 6 mm wide or approximately the width of a straw should be run constantly until the extreme temperatures rise.

If you open the tap closest to where the waterline enters your house and you notice there is little to no water flow it is possible that your line could be frozen. Please call a licensed plumber right away. If your waterline has frozen:

     CALL US FIRST - we have important information that can save you time and money.

  • Call a licensed plumber as soon as possible. Please note that plumbers MUST call the City prior to the commencement of any work on City-owned services. If the plumber does not call the City, the City will not pay for any work that needs to be completed even if it is determined that the frozen service is located on the City side. This is because only City-approved plumbers can work on City-owned infrastructure. In addition, plumbers working on City-owned infrastructure must use our approved method of thawing frozen lines which is steam.
  • If the service is frozen outside of your property line on city property, the city will be notified and is responsible for thawing the line;
  • If the portion of the service line that is frozen is on your property (between your home and the property line) you are responsible for hiring a plumber and covering the cost;
  • If you have taken all reasonable steps and the line on your property can not be thawed the city may connect a temporary service line to supply your residence with water;
  • The city will bill the homeowner supplying the water and the owner receiving the water as part of the temporary service based on their previous year's bill for the same time period.

Private Wells

The City does not maintain private wells. You are responsible for all maintenance, repairs and water quality testing on any private well that you own.

Ontario Water Wastewater Agency Response Network

The City is a member of the Ontario Water Wastewater Agency Response Network. The network is made up of Ontario municipalities that have agreed to voluntarily help each other respond to and recover from emergencies. This membership increases the level of safety and security for Kawartha Lakes residents.

Water System Cross Connection Control Program

Water System Cross Connection Control Program

The City of Kawartha Lakes Water System Cross-Connection Control Program, included as part of By-law 2021-162, has been developed to protect the City’s drinking water supply from sources of contamination. This program involves identifying cross-connections located on industrial, commercial and institutional properties (ICI) connected to the City of Kawartha Lakes water distribution system and ensuring that they have adequate premise isolating measures (backflow prevention devices) in place.

A cross-connection is defined as any actual or potential connection between the water distribution system and any source of pollution, contamination or other substance that could change the quality of the potable water supply.

Backflow is defined as the undesirable reversal of flow from non potable (untreated) water or other substances from any domestic or industrial unprotected piping system into the municipal water distribution system.

The easiest way to protect the water distribution system is to eliminate all potential cross-connections. Where this is not possible, a mechanical backflow prevention device must be installed to prevent backflow from occurring.

Diagram showing the steps involved in the program. For more information, please contact


Program Requirements/Process:                                                                           

  • Identification of ICI properties with cross-connections and supplying these properties notice of the need to comply, or maintain compliance, with the Water System Cross-Connection Control Program and By-law 2021-162.

Note: Residential premises are not currently required to install BPDs, however residential premises with a) more than four units, and b) premises that are connected to an auxiliary water supply, such as an irrigation system, will require premise isolating BPD’s.

  • Once notified, affected property owners will – at their own expense - obtain a Qualified Person from the Qualified Persons Registry to conduct a cross-connection survey of the property in question. The survey report is due two months after receiving the notification letter sent to the owner by the City. Please email completed surveys to

Note: Qualified Persons are individuals who meet the following requirements:

-  The person is registered with the City’s Water System Cross-Connection Control Program

-  The person holds a valid a current Certificate of Achievement in Cross Connection Control Endorsed by the Ontario Water Works Association (OWWA), or equivalent

-  The person is in possession of a current calibration certificate as required for the testing equipment to be employed

-  The person maintains commercial general liability insurance and;

-  The person is authorized to perform the specified tasks as indicated in the Authorized Functions List 

The City of Kawartha Lakes has developed a “Qualified Persons Registry List” for resident use. The City strongly recommends that property owners obtain several quotes before selecting a qualified person. The City of Kawartha Lakes does not endorse or provide warranty of services or prices; all “Qualified Persons” operate independently from the City. Please check all references, insurance, costs and please obtain a WSIB clearance certificate prior to the commencement of any work.

  • The City will reply outlining the action (if any) the property owner must take. If the property is determined to be a moderate to high risk for cross-connection (in accordance with CSA standards B64.10-07/B64/10.1-07), the property owner will be required (at their own expense) to hire a licensed plumber from the Qualified Persons Registry to have the recommended backflow device(s) installed. (Please note that a plumbing permit is required prior to the installation of new devices. Please contact the Building Division at 705 324-9411 ext. 1288)

Note: Identified properties must complete and submit to the City, a Cross Connection Survey: once every five years; when there is a change to the internal plumbing system or premise use; or as required by the City.

  • The BPDs are required to be tested upon installation and yearly thereafter by a Qualified Person. Once a test has been performed, a test tag must be affixed to each device and the report forwarded to the City. The City will maintain a listing of where BPDs have been installed, however it is the property owner’s responsibility to ensure device test reports are provided to the City in a timely fashion.

It is the responsibility of the owner to ensure that only Qualified Persons listed by the City of Kawartha Lakes conduct backflow prevention work on their property. The City may immediately terminate water service, require disconnection of a cross-connection and/or impose fines if the City determines that a health hazard, or potential health hazard, exists.

The owner is also responsible for ensuring that the information provided to the City remains current.

The following is a list of certified Backflow Prevention Device Testers who have registered with the City of Kawartha Lakes (CKL). Please contact these Registered Testers directly as they are not employed by the City.

Certified backflow prevention device testers

Company Name

Phone number


Approved Function(s)

Adamson and Dobbin Ltd


407 Pido Road

PO Box 352

Peterborough, ON

K9J 6Z3

All functions

Ainsworth Inc.


131 Bermondsey Rd.

North York, ON

M4A 1X4

 All functions



4175 14th Avenue

Suite 300

Markham. ON

L3R 0J2

All Functions

Bruce Maly Plumbing and Drain Services Inc.


840 Aylmer St. N

Peterborough, ON

K9H 3Y8

All functions

Caledon Creek Mechanical Limited


18023 Horseshoe Hill Road

Caledon, ON

L7K 2B8

All functions

Carmichael Engineering


2015 Fisher Dr

Peterborough, ON

K9J 6X6

All functions

Cast & Brass Plumbing Services


54 Alcorn Dr.

Lindsay, ON

K9V 0M7

All functions

Century Plumbing and Heating


766 Gordon Baker Rd North York, ON
M2H 3B4

All functions

Dalray Contracting Inc.


285 Lake Rd.

Bowmanville, ON

L1C 4P8

 All functions

Doyle Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling



1316 County Rd 28

Fraserville, ON

K0L 1V0

All functions

Eastman Plumbing


416 Highway 36

Lindsay, ON

K9V 4R1

All functions

Fine Air Mechanical Ltd.


16 Winstar Rd. Unit 4

Oro-Medonte, ON

L0L 2L0

 All functions

G.O Tap Plus


335 Watline Ave.

Mississauga, ON

L4Z 1P3

All functions

Gravity Plumbing and Heating


40 Needham St.

Unit 2

Lindsay, ON

K9V 5J9

All functions

Jackson Water Conditioning Ltd


554 Woodville Rd

Woodville, ON

K0M 2T0

All Functions

John Sullivan Plumbing


1158 Tara Rd
Ennismore, ON
K0L 1T0

All functions

Liquid Logics


62 Log House Rd

Dunsford, ON

K0M 1L0

All functions

Peterborough Backflow Testing and Repair


1158 Tara Road

Ennismore, ON

K0L 1T0

All functions

Proactive Water Solutions


12-242 Applewood Crescent

Vaughn, ON

L4K 4E5

All functions

Robertson Fire Equipment


50 Chauncey Ave.

Toronto, ON

M8Z 2Z4

Fire protection systems only

Summit Mechanical


749 The Kingsway

Peterborough, ON

K9J 6W7

All functions

Tec Mechanical Inc.


3-3221 Derry Road W

Mississauga, ON

L5N 7L0

All functions

Vandermeulen Plumbing Ltd. 705-742-3433

505 Parkhill Road West

Peterborough, ON

K9H 3J4

All functions


Disclaimer: CKL makes no representation regarding the abilities, performance or quality of the service provided by the Registered Testers above. CKL does not accept or assume any responsibilities for the performance or actions of these Testers. These service providers are required to submit proof of their certification as a tester of backflow devices issued by the OWWA/AWWA, ASSE or approved equivalent and a valid Certificate of Calibration of their test equipment on an annual basis. Only companies listed above are permitted to carry out functions required by the Cross Connection Control Program. Please use your own judgment and discretion with respect to contracting with these Testers.

Note: Qualified Testers should contact us for information on how to become registered at


Contact changes (in addition to any concerns or questions related to the Water Systems Cross Connection Control program) can be emailed to or mailed directly to:

Public Works – Water and Wastewater Division

322 Kent St. W

PO Box 9000

Lindsay, ON

K9V 5R8


Please click on the following links to print a required document.

Authorized Functions List  

Backflow Device Test Form

Cross Connection Survey Form

Qualified Persons Application Form

Alternate formats are available upon request by emailing

Sanitary Sewer Backups 

NOTE: Please CALL US FIRST. Staff need to determine if the backup is associated with a City main prior to the commencement of any work.

  • If it is determined that the the main is fine and that the backup is due to a blockage, the owner/occupant will need to call a plumber to determine if the blockage is located on the City side (from the property line to the street/road), or on the owner's side (inside the property line.)
  • The plumber then MUST call the City prior to commencing any work. This is very important: if the plumber does not call the City first, the City shall not be responsible to pay for any work related to the sewer backup even if it is determine that the cause of the blockage is location on City owned property. Only City-approved plumbers may work on City-owned systems/infrastructure. Please see link below for plumbers who are City-approved.
  • NOTE: The plumber hired to determine where the blockage is located MUST provide video documentation to prove the location of the cause of the sewer backup. Therefore, any plumber hired by the owner to determine the location of the blockage must have the capability/equipment to provide this. Without this proof, the City shall not be responsible to pay for any work associated with the sewer backup regardless of the location/responsibility. When the plumber calls the City, he/she will be advised of this and will speak to the Supervisor/ORO of Distribution and Collection for further instruction.
  • If it is determined that the blockage is located on the owner's side (inside the property line), the property owner shall be responsible for all costs associated with the sewer backup UNLESS there has been misuse of the system. (i.e. if oil, excessive material of any kind etc.,  or other unacceptable substances have been put into the system.) If the blockage is on the owner's side, the owner may hire any plumber he/she wishes. If it is determined that the backup is due to misuse of the system, the City will NOT be responsible for any associated costs.
  • Responses to vulnerable customers are accelerated when possible.
  • Please click for listing of City-approved plumbers. If you are a plumber and would like to be added to the City's listing of approved vendors, please email 


Septage Disposal / Information for Septage Haulers


Procedure for New Septage Haulers


New septage haulers need to contact the Finance Department (705 324 9411 ext. 1222) to obtain and fill out a credit application for account set up. Once the hauler is approved by finance (and given directions to the Landfill), they are to call the Waste Management Supervisor (705 324 9411 ext. 1133) to meet at the Landfill and obtain a manifest package. This package includes a summary of steps for registration as a hauler, septage manifest and a copy of Bylaw 2016-219 A Bylaw to Govern Septage Disposal at the City of Kawartha Lakes Sewage Works.

The bylaw will include the rates for haulers within the City of Kawartha Lakes and outside of City boundaries, however haulers hauling from outside the City of Kawartha Lakes will be charged an additional administration fee on weight of septage. (See rates below.)

At the Landfill the hauler will provide confirmation of account setup, MECP (Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks) and Truck Licence number. As per bylaw 2016-219, a waste hauler shall provide all required information about the contents of their load, the origin of their load or any other information about the contents of the load or any other information required to be supplied by the City. New haulers must be aware that hauled septage waste that is deposited at the Sewage Works shall be in compliance with the Sewage Works current Environmental Compliance Approval and only if the hauled septage waste meets the conditions set out in O. Reg. 347, R.R.0 1990 as amended. Under bylaw 2016-219, Section 4.00 item 4.02, the hauler shall not deposit any hauled waste that contains any prohibited material or substance. The hauler will be told that upon request. A waste hauler shall provide a representative sample of the septage waste to be discharged and that at any time, the City of Kawartha Lakes may refuse to accept any hauled septage waste if the sewage works does not at that time have the capacity to treat that sewage or if any requirements are not met. Any waste hauler who provides false information shall be guilty of an offense and shall be permanently banned from disposing septage waste at the Sewage Works.

The waste hauler shall, at all times, have and maintain all necessary approvals, permits, and/or certificates required under Ontario legislation and regulation.

The Waste Management Operations Supervisor will provide orientation for the new hauler at the Lindsay Ops Landfill site. The Supervisor and/or designated landfill staff will tare the vehicle at the scale and have the hauler sign in and complete the Septage Manifest form. The Waste Manifest form for leachate must be supplied by the hauler and approved by the province.

New haulers will be instructed on the use of the scales at the City of Kawartha Lakes Landfill and advised that City staff shall issue weigh tickets to waste haulers and complete the appropriate section of the Septage Manifest.

The Revenue and Taxation Department shall invoice the waste hauler on a monthly basis based on weight ticket and Septage Manifest information. (Please see rates below.) The Revenue and Taxation Department will add one percent of the overdue amount as a late payment charge.


Septage Disposal Rates/Fees


Standard Septage/Holding Tank/Abattoir Waste (Table is included in Schedule B of By-law 2021-162 "A By-law to Regulate Water and Wastewater Services in Kawartha Lakes".)








Rate per 1000 gal






Rate per m³







  • Registration Fee of $50.00 for all owners/haulers
  • Administration Fee for Septage Hauled from Outside Municipal Boundaries – Flat rate of $7.00 per tonne
  • Environmental Compliance Charge – Flat rate of $100 per load for Abattoir Waste



Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact our office

Backwater Valve Program


General Description of Program

With increasingly frequent and severe wet weather events related to climate change, the possibility for sanitary sewers to reach capacity and surcharge or back-up into residential homes is increasing. As a proactive measure, the City is offering residential property owners a financial subsidy to install a backwater valve (BWV), on their sanitary line within their home to prevent wastewater from reversing in direction and travelling back into the home.

The subsidy will pay for 50% of the costs to install a BWV on the property owner’s sanitary line. It does not cover work such as interior demolition or restoration (paint, drywall, flooring), or exterior work (landscaping for example). In order to meet program requirements, a building permit must be obtained prior to the work being done and installations must be completed by a licensed plumber. The program is only available to existing residential homes. The program is not available to any Institutional, Commercial, and Industrial (ICI) properties. Eligible properties must be within municipal boundaries and only applies to first time installations, not for replacement devices.

The application and all supporting documentation must be received within one year of the work being completed.


Applications must be mailed to:

City of Kawartha Lakes – Water/Wastewater Division

Backwater Valve Subsidy Program

322 Kent St W – PO BOX 9000

Lindsay, ON

K9V 5R8


Backwater Valve Subsidy Application Form


City staff will review your application and determine whether you are eligible for a subsidy. If your application is incomplete or you have not included the proper documentation, your application will not be processed, and all documents will be returned to you. If your application is denied you will be notified by mail.


Backwater Valve Subsidy Program Frequently Asked Questions 


Why should I install a backwater valve and what do they do?

Installing a backwater valve can help significantly decrease the potential of basement flooding by reducing the risk of wastewater (sewage) entering your home. Basement flooding can happen during a severe weather event or if the City’s wastewater system reaches its maximum capacity. A Backwater valve is typically installed within a home’s basement on the sanitary line. These devices have hinged flaps that only open in one direction, allowing wastewater to flow from your home into the City’s system, but preventing it from flowing back into your basement.


Does the City of Kawartha Lakes provide a subsidy to have one of these devices installed in my home?

Yes, the City provides a subsidy to assist homeowners with the cost of installing a backwater valve. The available subsidy is fifty percent of the invoiced cost of installing an approved backwater valve, including eligible labour, materials, permit fees and taxes. The backwater valve must be installed by a certified plumbing professional. Subsidies are subject to available funding and are provided on a first-come, first-served basis.


Does the subsidy apply to homes that are currently under construction?

No, this subsidy only applies to pre-existing homes.


Does the City recommend a contractor/plumber to install a backwater valve?

No, it is up to the homeowner to research and hire a licensed professional that meets the requirements of the building permit process. The subsidy is contingent on the BWV being installed by a certified plumbing professional. While the City does not have any affiliation with the plumbing services, a list of certified plumbers can be located under the Water System Cross Connection Control Program tab on the Utilities, Water, and Sewer heading of the City website.


How do I know if the plumber/contractor is certified?

The BWV must be installed by a certified plumbing professional. To qualify for the subsidy, your plumber must be able to provide his/her Skilled Trades Ontario membership number. Visit Skilled Trades Ontario to verify trade qualification status.


Where do I obtain a building permit?

The necessary building permit can be obtained by contacting the City’s Building Division through phone 705-324-9411 ext 1288 or by visiting the My Property section of the Living Here page of the City website.


How much does a plumbing permit cost?

Please visit the above link for information regarding permit costs. Please note that fees are subject to change without notice.


Can I get a permit after installation?

Yes, but the cost will be double the permit flat fee.


Where can I purchase a backwater valve?

Backwater valves are typically purchased through the contractor hired to complete the installation. They can also be purchased from any hardware or plumbing supply store.


Does the backwater valve installation need to be inspected by the City?

Yes, backwater valve installations need to be inspected by a Building Inspector from the City’s Building Division. The inspection must be conducted before enclosing or covering the work. This will allow the inspector to ensure the installation meets the applicable building code requirements. Note: To receive the subsidy, an inspection must be completed.


How do I apply for the subsidy program?

Once the installation of the backwater valve is complete (and up to one year thereafter), you may apply for the subsidy program. The following documents must be provided:

  • A completed application form, which can be found below. The application must include a verifiable Skilled Trades Ontario membership number.
  • A copy of the invoice. The invoice must show a complete breakdown of all charges as well as the plumbing or drain license number of the contractor, the total amount paid. The invoice must also be marked as Paid in Full.
  • A copy of the building permit and final inspection.


Applications must be mailed to:


City of Kawartha Lakes – Water/Wastewater Division

Backwater Valve Subsidy Program

322 Kent St W – PO BOX 9000

Lindsay, ON

K9V 5R8


Can I include the cost of my restorations?

No, the subsidy does not cover any interior (paint, drywall, flooring, etc.), or exterior restorations required to complete the backwater valve installation.


Does a backwater valve require maintenance?

Yes, backwater valves need to be flushed regularly. Each device varies so please refer to the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance program for more information.


FOGs Management Education and Awareness


FOGs Management Education and Awareness:

The City of Kawartha Lakes Management and Use of the Sewer Works By-Law 2016-006 prohibits the discharge of sewage containing more than 150 mg/L of fats, oils and grease (FOGs) of animal/vegetable origin. However, despite this regulation, the accumulation of FOGs in the sanitary sewage collection system remains a significant problem. In an effort to reduce the harmful impacts on human health and the environment, and the costs associated with damages that occur from FOGs build up in the sanitary sewer system, the City is introducing an education tool on the management of FOGs for business and homeowners.

What you put down your drain can cause blockages in your plumbing. This includes; food scraps, dirt, fat, oils or grease. When these types of substances drain from your property down into the sewer system, FOGs, along with debris, can slowly build up and clog the plumbing. Once the grease and the water cool it begins to solidify and deposits along the sides of the pipes; which over time can blocking the pipe. When the sewer line is blocked, there is no place for the wastewater to go except back into your home or business. The blockages and backups can also attract vermin and disease-causing organisms, all of which pose serious health risks to your employees, city staff, and visitors to your establishment.

Commercial/Industrial Producers

Under the City of Kawartha Lakes Sewer Works Bylaw and the Ontario Building Code 350/06, it is mandatory for establishments that cook, heat, process or prepare food on site, to install, operate and maintain a grease interceptor (also known as a grease trap), on any pipe that connects to a city-owned sanitary sewer system. An interceptor is a plumbing device designed to “trap” FOGs preventing them from entering the sewer system. Grease traps should be connected to any fixture or drain that discharges wastewater containing FOGs, including drains serving self-cleaning exhaust hoods and cooking equipment. These devices slow the flow of wastewater to allow heavier solids to settle to the bottom while FOGs float to the top. Debris will accumulate in the device instead of traveling into the sanitary sewer system. Not having an interceptor installed and working correctly can result in having the properties’ water turned off with the owners’ subject to possible conviction and fines up to $25,000 for a first time offender. It is recommended to have your grease interceptor cleaned out at least once a month by a MECP certified waste hauler.

Typical facilities that must install and maintain a grease interceptor include:

  • Restaurants/bakeries
  • Grocery stores
  • Banquet halls
  • Nursing and retirement homes
  • Schools
  • Any office building with a cafeteria inside of it
  • Coffee shops
  • Food processing operations

What can you as a business to help prevent sewer system blockages?

  • Wipe grease from pots and pans before washing them
  • Use a strainer in sinks to stop food particles from entering the buildings plumbing
  • Recycle used FOGs
  • Train employees on how to properly handle and dispose of FOGs waste
  • Scrape food scraps and grease into garbage
  • Check your grease trap/grease interceptor often (at least once per week)
  • Avoid pouring grease down the drains or toilets
  • Avoid using degreasers, emulsifiers or hot water to dissolve grease
  • Avoid pouring liquid grease straight into the garbage
  • Post signs throughout your kitchen reminding staff to not put fats, oils, or grease down the drain
  • Keep accurate and up-to-date records of equipment inspections and maintenance of your grease interceptor. An example of what your maintenance records could look like are included below.


Residential Producers

Flushing fats, oils, and grease can also be a concern for residential homeowners. It is important to establish preventative practices when cooking with FOGs in order to prevent blockages in your homes’ plumbing. Prevention is the most cost effective and sustainable method to deal with plugged sewers and wastewater overflows in your neighbourhood. Your sink is not a garbage disposal. Your cooperation results in a significant and measurable impact. Talk to your neighbours and other business owners to encourage them to follow these preventative practices.

What can you as a homeowner to help prevent sewer system blockages?

  • Use a paper towel to wipe grease from pots and pans before rinsing them dispose of paper towel in trash or compost afterwards
  • Use a strainer in sinks to stop food from entering drain
  • Recycle used oil
  • Place grease from cooking into a jar or can and once solidified dispose of in the garbage
  • Do not drain food products down the drain or toilet, such as:
    • Butter/margarine
    • Cooking oils
    • Sauces/gravies/marinades
    • Meat fats
    • Soup
    • Salad dressing
    • Shortening/lard
    • Dairy products like cheese, creams and ice cream
    • Larger amounts of liquid cooking oil (up to 15 L) should be collected in a sealed container labelled “cooking oil” which can then be brought to the either the Fenelon Falls or Lindsay Ops Landfill Household Hazardous Waste Depots for free disposal.

Contact Us