FAQs - Water

Frequently Asked Questions 

To learn more please select a question from the list below or scroll down the page. 

Why do I have a spike in my water consumption?

The main reason for high water consumption is a poorly functioning toilet. A running toilet can add $100-$200 to your water bill each year and waste 30,000 to 60,000 gallons of water. Many people think they will hear a noise if a toilet is not working properly, but this is not true. 

Toilet leaks can be hard to find. They are normally caused by a bad flapper valve seal, a bad ballcock valve, an improperly positioned float arm, or defective overflow tube. Listed below are various toilet tests you should complete. 

Test 1 
Test the toilet for leaks by dropping dye tablets (or a few drops of food colouring) into the tank. DO NOT FLUSH. Wait 15-20 minutes. If colour appears in the bowl, you have a leak. 

Test 2 
Place a piece of tissue paper on the back of the toilet bowl wall. DO NOT FLUSH. If it soaks up with water, you have a leak. 

Test 3 
Overflow tube leaks are the most common and costly problems, but they are easy to repair. Remove the toilet lid. If water is at the top edge of the tube, you have a leak. Adjust the float arm down to keep water level 1 inch below the top of the overflow tube. If you see or hear water running, repair it right away. 

Other situations that can lead to an increase in consumption are filling a pool, watering the lawn, or damage to an underground sprinkler.

How do I read my Radio-Frequency water meter?

The Neptune Radio-Frequency water meter has an LCD screen which is activated when a flashlight shines on it. You will see a totalized read (9-digits with a decimal). 

How can I tell if there is a leak by looking at my water meter?

Ensure the shut-off valve or all of the faucets are off before trying either of the following: 

  • If you have a water meter with dials on it, you will see a small red arrowhead. When the arrowhead is spinning, there is water flowing through the meter. If there is a leak, the arrowhead will not stop spinning. 

  • If you have a radio-frequency meter, shine a flashlight on it to activate the LCD. You will see the totalized read (9-digits with a decimal). If there is continuous flow after the meter, you will see a faucet symbol showing that water is still passing through the meter and there is a potential leak. 

The watermain was redone on my street last winter. Who will restore my lawn and when?

Before starting construction in your area, a pre-construction letter would have been sent identifying the contractor responsible for the work on the water mains and the restoration of your lawn. Please refer to this letter for the contact. Call them about any issues regarding your restoration. If you can’t find your letter, please connect via the "Contact Us" to have another letter sent to you. 

I had a repair done to my curb box and they had to dig up my lawn. When can I expect the lawn to be fixed? 

Usually, restorations are done within four (4) weeks of excavation, weather permitting and based on sod availability. A 4-week wait period is necessary to allow the ground to settle. When work is done in late fall or winter, the restoration work will be scheduled for April or May, based on spring weather and sod availability. 

My meter is leaking. What can you do for me?

First, you must find the leak. 

If the leak is at the meter or at any of the meter connections, it is our responsibility, and the repair will be free. Call the Customer Service Centre to make an appointment. If the leak is before or beyond the meter, it is the homeowner's responsibility to repair, and you may want to contact a plumber. Frozen water meters must be replaced, and the cost of the meter will be applied.

There is water in my front yard. Who do I contact? 

If there is standing (still) water, it is likely a sewer problem. Contact the City of Windsor through 311. 

If the water is bubbling (flowing), please contact our Customer Service Centre via the "Contact Us" page, to have someone from ENWIN investigate. 

How can I stop my water billing if the house is vacant? 

Reach out to our Customer Service Centre via the "Contact Us" to have to have it shut off at the curb box and the meter removed. There is a charge to have water services shut off at the curb box. 

Pipes must be drained and sealed before freezing temperatures start, because water inside the pipes may freeze, causing pipes to break. 

There is spray paint along the street/sidewalk. What does the mean? 

When locates for underground utilities are done, it is common practice to mark the location with spray paint. 

From as referenced by Ontario One Call, these field markings come in different colours, as seen below, to help identify which utility type is buried under the ground in that location.:

OnCall Markings Image


What is my water hardness? 

Windsor's water is considered to be moderately hard. Hardness values vary from mid 90's to 125 mg/l (milligrams per liter) or PPM (parts per million) 

What chemicals are added to water for the treatment process?

Ozone gas is generated and injected into the water to destroy bacteria and viruses and control taste and odour-causing materials. PaCl (polyaluminum chloride) is added to produce a gelly-like floc particle that attracts and captures colour particles, bacteria, and suspended solids from the water so they can be removed. 

To help the PaCl remove particles, a polymer is added to produce larger, stronger floc particles that can be more easily removed from the water during settling and filtering processes. 

Liquid Chlorine is added as water leaves the treatment process, to protect it from bacteria as it travels through the distribution piping. Concentration of Chlorine is strictly controlled at 1.5 mg/l (PPM) by continuous monitoring of the treated water stream. 

There is a rotten egg (hydrogen sulfide) odour coming from my bathroom water. What is wrong with it? 

The rotten egg odour is not coming from the water. All sinks are equipped with "S" shaped traps that have a water seal to prevent sewer gases from entering the house. Gases from the sewer can be absorbed into this water if it is not used for a long time (when the homeowner is on vacation, or even away overnight). When the water is turned on, the water coming from the tap displaces the air in the piping and a rotten egg smell is emitted. A quick way to check that the smell is not coming from the water is to collect a glass of the water leaving the tap and smell it away from the sink. 

How often is chlorine added and how often is it monitored?

Chlorine is added on a continuous basis to the water leaving the treatment process, at a strictly controlled concentration of 1.5 mg/l. The concentration is continually monitored through an online monitor and is sampled by the operator hourly, 24 hours a day. Also, the concentration of chlorine is monitored each day at 18 locations throughout the distribution system to ensure enough concentration is maintained to keep water safe for customers. 

My water tastes like a swimming pool! Can you turn down the chlorine? 

Chlorine concentrations in the distribution piping that supplies water to customers is controlled based on requirements of the Ministry of the Environment to ensure enough chlorine concentration is maintained to provide safe drinking water to all customers. Some customers living close to the treatment facility may experience higher chlorine concentrations than customers living further away, because the concentration added must be enough to ensure adequate chlorine at the furthest extremes of the distribution system.

Is my tap water safe to drink? 

YES. The Windsor Utilities Commission is committed to adhering to the standards set by the regulating organizations. However, all sources of drinking water are subject to potential contamination by constituents that are naturally occurring or are manmade. These constituents can be microbes, organic or inorganic chemicals. All drinking water can reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some of these contaminants. This does not necessarily mean that the water poses a health risk. Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in the drinking water than others. Immuno compromised people include those undergoing chemotherapy, people who have had organ transplants, and people with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders. Some elderly and infants can be at higher risk of infection and should talk to their health care providers about drinking water. 

My water has an earthy, musty odour. Is it safe to drink?

Water with an earthy, musty odour is safe to drink. The odour is typically caused by a group of naturally occurring organic chemicals formed from dying water vegetation in the source water. Windsor experienced such a problem in the early 1990's but this has been corrected by adding Ozone into our treatment process. 

My water is grey in colour and cloudy. Should I drink it?

This problem is typically seen during colder weather when cold water leaves the customers' plumbing through the tap and enters the warm air or glass. Air, dissolved in the cold water, forms tiny air bubbles, making the water appear grey and cloudy. Letting the water stand for a few minutes will cause the air bubbles to rise to the surface, leaving the water clear. The water is safe to drink. 

I have low water pressure? How can I fix it? 

If you have water pressure low enough to affect the use of your shower, or toilet flushing, you should contact ENWIN, so that a qualified operator can investigate. It may be as simple as excessive use of water in your neighbourhood, or even city-wide, during the high consumption periods of summer months. Or it could be caused by a water main break that requires a repair crew to expose and repair the system. Normally this problem is not one that you can fix yourself, unless the supply valve to your plumbing has been closed or partially closed during plumbing repairs. 

I want to dig some fence postholes in my yard. Will the region locate my water service for free? 

Before digging, contact Ontario One Call to have them locate any buried services. This service is free. Click here to learn more. 

What is Corrosion Control? 

Corrosion control is a program implemented by the Windsor Utilities Commission aimed at lowering lead levels in customers' homes and businesses that have lead service lines, lead plumbing and fixtures. The program involves adding orthophosphate (food grade phosphoric acid) at the A.H. Weeks Filtration plant between 1.5 and 2 parts per million (ppm). Over time, this small dosage will promote the creation of a protective coating internal to the pipes preventing the leaching of lead into the customers' drinking water. This method of lead corrosion control is a preferred method in many other municipalities across North America including Winnipeg (MB), Detroit (MI) and Toronto (ON) and addresses the legislative changes directed by the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation & Parks (MECP).