Water and wastewater services are a shared responsibility between Port Colborne and Niagara Region. 


The Regional Municipality of Niagara draws water from the Welland Canal and treats it to make it safe to drink. Then the water is sent to the Fielden Avenue Reservoir, or the Barrick Road Water Tower, and then to the City-owned water distribution system and to our homes and businesses.

For more information, visit the Port Colborne Water Treatment plant website. 


Wastewater is collected from Port Colborne homes and businesses by the City's wastewater collection system, which is made up of approximately 90 km of sewer mains. Wastewater is then emptied into one of the Region's 17 sewage pumping stations and then pumped to the Region's Seaway Wastewater Treatment Plant. There it is treated and then discharged back into the Welland Canal.

For more information, visit Niagara Region's Seaway Wastewater Treatment Plan website. 

The maintenance and management of drinking water and wastewater in Port Colborne, including the setting of rates and fees, are regulated by the City. 

See the Water/Wastewater Rate By-law and the Sewer Use By-law for more information. 

Water & Waste Water Billing / Payment Options

To view rates and billing information, please visit our Water & Waste Water Billing / Payment Options page for details. 

Understanding Your Water and Wastewater Bill 

Water Meter Repair / Replacement

 Water Meter Repair / Replacement Appointment Form

If you experience no reads or zero consumption reads for 90 consecutive days.  We will need to visit the service address to possibly repair/replace the Water Meter.

If you have received a letter and would like to book an appointment to have your Water Meter repaired / replaced.  Please fill out the appointment request from below:

Water Meter Repair / Replacement Appointment Request Form

Drinking Water 

The City of Port Colborne takes pride in ensuring that its residents are provided with clean and safe water, free of any pollutants that could jeopardize their health. The City's water system receives its treated water from the Region of Niagara.

 Drinking Water Licensing 
 The Safe Drinking Water Act , or SDWA, was enacted by the Province of Ontario after the events in Walkerton and were based on Justice O'Connor's recommendations after the Walkerton Inquiry. The SDWA requires owners of a municipal drinking water system to get and maintain a Municipal Drinking Water Licence (Licence). In order to get the Licence and renew it every five years, municipalities must have:
  • Drinking Water Works Permit (renewed every five years with the Licence)
  • Permit to Take Water (does not apply to Port Colborne)
  • Accredited Operating Authority
  • Operational Plan
  • Financial Plan

See the Safe Drinking Water Act for more information.

See the Walkerton Inquiry for more information.

Please visit the Drinking Water Licensing and the Drinking Water Quality Management system page for more information.

 Drinking Water Quality Reports 
When you fill up your glass with water from your tap, you can be assured that Port Colborne's drinking water is safe to drink. Standards for drinking water are set and legally enforced by the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). The City of Port Colborne's drinking water consistently meets all Ontario Drinking Water Quality Standards. The SDWA focuses on:
  • Treating and testing drinking water
  • Public access to information and notification of adverse water results

More information on drinking water quality and previous reports can be found here. 

 Frozen Water Service 
Water pipes and service lines can freeze when frost enters the ground during long periods of extremely low temperatures. Water pipes located in unheated areas can also freeze without proper insulation.

In 2015 the City of Port Colborne received over 250 calls from residents whose water pipes had frozen, leaving some without running water for days. We generally take our water for granted until we can't flush toilets, have a shower, do laundry or wash dishes. Routine activities like brushing teeth or having a glass of water are no longer as easy as turning on your tap. Being proactive before the temperature drops is an affordable way to help prevent your water pipes from freezing.

Prepare for winter

Follow these steps to reduce the risk of frozen pipes:

  • Seal air leaks in your home and garage.
  • Install insulated pipe sleeves, UL listed heat tape or heat cables (found at your local building supply and home improvement stores) on exposed pipes in unheated areas of your home such as crawl spaces, cold cellars, basements, attics, storage rooms and garages.
  • Disconnect and drain all outdoor hoses.
  • Shut off and drain all outdoor taps.

What to do if your pipes are frozen

If the pipes in your home have frozen, you can attempt to thaw those pipes yourself following the steps below.

  1. Turn on a tap in the basement. If you are successful in thawing your pipes, water will begin flowing from the tap.
  2. Locate the water shut-off valve in your home. If the pipe you are attempting to thaw bursts or you are successful in thawing the pipe, it may leak and potentially cause a flood. In this case, you will need to shut off the water to your house using the water shut-off valve until the leaky pipe is fixed.
  3. Use a blow dryer or space heater on the exposed pipe near the water meter for one or two hours, or you can try placing a warm towel or rag around the pipe. Do not use a torch with an open flame – you could set your house on fire.

If you have completed these steps and still don't have water, under the City's Frozen Water Service Pipe Policy , you will need to contact a plumber to come to your home. The plumber should confirm that your internal plumbing is not frozen, and attempt to thaw your service line from inside the building.

For more information, see the Frozen Water Services – Information for Property Owners or see the Frozen Water Service Pipe Policy .


If you have a concern that your water service may freeze, it is suggested that you let a cold water tap closest to the water meter run at a 1/8” stream (approximately the width of a pencil lead). The cost of doing so is expected to be not overly significant and will be the responsibility of the property owner.

 Showcasing Water Innovation 

Showcasing Water Innovation (SWI) is the province's program to demonstrate leading edge, innovative and cost-effective solutions for managing drinking water, stormwater and wastewater systems in Ontario communities.

In 2011, the province put out the call for funding applications for projects that communities across Ontario and beyond could learn from and be inspired by. Thirty-two projects were chosen to receive funding.

For more information, visit the Showcasing Water Innovation (SWI) website.

Case study

The City of Port Colborne's case studies are available in English and French.

See the Case Study in English for the English version

See the Case Study in French for the French version

Well Water Testing
Do you have a well or a cistern? Did you know that you should test your private drinking water at least seasonally?
The City of Port Colborne is offering FREE Drinking Water Test Kits. Residents of Niagara can pick-up well water/cistern testing kits and drop-off samples at City Hall, 66 Charlotte St., Port Colborne. 
Sample kits can be picked up and dropped off:
Monday - Thursday
8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Sample kits are located in the front foyer of City Hall. 
For more information visit Niagara Region's website. 
Door-to-Door Water Filtration Sales
NOTE: The City of Port Colborne does not conduct door-to-door sales and does not sell, partner with or endorse any products or services. This includes:

• companies that offer testing of Port Colborne's drinking water

• companies that claim to be working on behalf of the City of Port Colborne

• notices saying mandatory City programs require the purchase of services or equipment

As of March 1, 2018, the Government of Ontario also banned unsolicited, door-to-door sales of certain products and services. The ban includes any company selling water treatment devices, purifiers, filters or softeners. See Consumer Protection Ontario to learn more about the ban.

Residents are advised to be cautious when solicited for any service and when sharing personal information with people unknown to them.

More about door-to-door water tests

No one coming door-to-door is authorized to test your drinking water. In Ontario, only licensed laboratories perform tests on drinking water and results take approximately 24 to 48 hours to process.

Port Colborne's municipal tap water is tested several times a day to ensure it meets or exceeds the Ontario Drinking Water Quality Standards set by the province. See Ontario Drinking Water Quality Standards to learn more.

If you suspect fraud or are concerned

Anyone suspecting fraud should call the Niagara Regional Police or Consumer Protection Ontario to learn more.


 Sewer back up

Sewer responsibility

Residential and commercial properties have private sewer services, which connect to the City-owned main sewers.

Property owners are responsible for the private sewer service from the property line to their building. The City is responsible for all services and mains on public property.

To ensure the sanitary sewers are in proper working order, City staff perform routine camera inspections and cleaning of the main sewers.

Sewer back-ups

If you experience water coming up through your floor drain either during or following a rain storm, or while using large amounts of water (i.e. laundry) you may have a blocked sewer service.

You can call a private contractor or plumber to undertake the repair.

  • If it is determined that the blockage is located in the city portion of the sewer, you can contact the City of Port Colborne and Operations staff will advise on next steps to remove the blockage by whatever means is determined to best suit the conditions.
  • If it is determined that the blockage is located in the private portion of the sewer, the property owner can have the blockage removed by a private contractor or plumber.

Please consider the following prior to a City crew arriving:

  • If the sewer service clean out is at the property line, there must be clear access to it. City staff cannot move personal property. If no cleanout exists at the property line, a plumber or private contractor must undertake the repair, as city staff will not enter the home to resolve this issue;
  • The City will take all reasonable precautions not to damage any property during the maintenance operations. The City will not assume any responsibility or liability for any damages.

Please refer to the City's Sewer Rodding Policy (bylaw 6143/109/14) for additional information.

 Sewer use program

Sewer use by-law

There are two Sewer Use By-laws that apply in Port Colborne; The City of Port Colborne's Sewer Use By-law, and the Region of Niagara's Sewer-use By-law.

Both by-laws protect the sanitary and storm sewer infrastructure that service Port Colborne's urban area. This infrastructure includes the sewer pipes, pumping stations and the wastewater treatment plant.

 Tips to dispose of waste properly

Did you know?

Flushing paper towels and other garbage down the toilet can create sewer backups and overflows in your home or in your neighbourhood.

Pouring fats, oils and grease down the drain can cause problems for your home's plumbing as well as the City's sewer system. Blockages due to grease can cause damage to homes including basement flooding, create health hazards and degrade our environment. Pour excess cooking fats and oils in an empty can and store in the fridge. The liquid will harden to form a solid and can be disposed of in the compost bin. 

Visit Niagara Region's Acceptable Waste for Toilets webpage for more information.

Properly dispose of all plastics, rubber and paper products by placing them in a recycling or garbage can.

Never flush medication, sharps, syringes or hypodermic needles down the toilet. Please dispose of items properly by returning them to the pharmacy. Note that approved yellow sharps containers are available FREE of charge from your pharmacist. Visit the Health Products Stewardship Association website for more information.

Never pour solvents, paint, gasoline, used motor oil or house cleaners down the drains, sewers or onto the ground outside. Please bring these liquids to one of the Region's household hazardous waste drop off locations. Visit the Region's Household Hazardous Waste page for more information.


 About Stormwater 

Stormwater is the water from rain or melting snow that is not absorbed into the ground. In urban areas (in the city), stormwater goes into storm sewers (the grated drains found on streets), which empty directly into streams, the Canal or Lake Erie. Managing stormwater and drainage is key to preserving the health of our water.

The challenge of urban areas

In nature, trees and earth help absorb rain slowly, breaking down pollutants, refilling groundwater and keeping waterways healthy. Maintaining this cycle is a challenge in urban areas that are covered in buildings, roads and other surfaces that don't allow rainwater to soak into the ground.

How stormwater affects our water

As it travels to storm sewers, stormwater picks up pollution along the way. Stormwater may look clean, but it can contain motor oil, gasoline, dog poo, garbage, fertilizer and other contaminants. These materials go directly into the nearest body of water, where they can be harmful to plants and wildlife.

Heavy rains can also put high volumes of stormwater into streams and creeks in a short period of time. This can cause erosion and stir up sediment, making it hard for fish to breathe.

Managing stormwater

The traditional approach to stormwater management was to drain stormwater as quickly as possible into the nearest waterway. Modern approaches try to mimic natural processes and allow stormwater to soak into the ground or be released more slowly into local waters.

The storm drains on driveways and streets collect rain, melting snow and other water and channel it into stormwater sewers. These sewers empty directly into the nearest stream, the Canal or Lake Erie.

You can help protect local waters by keeping harmful materials out of storm drains.

What you can do at home

Never dump anything down a storm drain

  • Anything that goes into a storm drain goes directly into the nearest body of water.
  • Recycle used motor oil and antifreeze.
  • Take paints, solvents, and other household chemicals to one of the Region's household hazardous waste drop off locations. Visit the Region's Household Hazardous Waste page for more information.
  • Wash your car at a commercial car wash, where soaps will be collected and channeled into the treatment system.

In your yard:

  • Cutting down the amount of chemicals and other materials in your yard means less will be carried into storm drains and end up in our local waters.
  • Have a drug-free lawn: cut down on fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides. 
  • Keep clippings and other yard waste out of creeks, streams and other waterways (compost them if you can). 
  • Pick up after your pet.

Increase water absorption on your property

  • Increasing the amount of surfaces on your property that can absorb water and lets water soak into the ground instead of going into storm drains.
  • Use alternative materials for your driveway/sidewalk, like grass pavers, mulch, gravel or pervious concrete. 
  • Reduce the surface area of your driveway or sidewalk. 
  • Ensure that your lawn and garden has enough top soil.

Current Water/Wastewater Projects

 Davis Street Watermain

Davis Street from Durham Road to Rodney Street will undergo reconstruction in 2023 in order to replace the watermain along the project length. The detailed design of the road is currently underway, with construction expecting to begin in summer of 2023. 


Estimated project cost $1,800,000.00

 Berkley Avenue Watermain 

Berkley Avenue from Chippawa Road to the east limit will undergo reconstruction in 2024 in order to replace the watermain along the project length. This project is currently in the preliminary design phase. 


Estimated project cost $1,000,000.00

 Homewood Avenue Watermain 

Homewood Avenue from Clarence street to Sugarloaf street will undergo reconstruction in 2024 in order to replace the watermain along the project length. This project is currently in the preliminary design phase. 


Estimated project cost $1,500,000.00

AMI Meter Reading

Estimated Completion Date: December, 2023

Total value: $150,000


AMI stands for “Advanced Metering Infrastructure”, and switching to AMI meter reading will eliminate the need for a staff person to drive around the entire City for one day each month to collect the meter reads.  One or two antennas would be installed around the City that would continuously monitor and read the meters in the City.   This will also allow customers to access their water usage in real-time, and would send alerts almost immediately when leaks are detected.


The key benefits of implementing AMI in our City include:

  • Enhanced Customer Service – Customers will have access to hourly water usage leading to early detection of leaks and unexpected high water usage 
  • Reduced Costs – Customers can save through reduced water usage and timely maintenance of plumbing fixtures.
  • Billing Efficiency – Reduces the need for estimated billing and improves billing accuracy leading to better customer satisfaction. There will be savings by eliminating manual water meter reading. The Water Clerk will be able to download all of the reads in the City with the push of a button.  The Clerk will also be able to obtain the "final reads" directly from the cloud when properties change hands. No more submitting work orders requiring the Technician to drive to the different addresses to obtain the final reads.
  • Distribution System Management – improved accuracy of consumption data and detection of backflow issues will lead to more efficient operation and maintenance of the water distribution system
  • Reduce Water Loss – monitoring water usage pattern will reduce water theft, tampering and leaks
  • Alleviate Climate Change Impact – Reduction in Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions by eliminating driving vehicles for meter reading, reduction in energy use at the Region’s water treatment facility by reducing water loss and modifying pumping strategy based on customer demand patterns

Replacement of Four Deficient Watermains

Estimated Completion Date: March, 2026

Total value: $5,000,000


In late 2021, the City applied for funding through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program: Green Stream Stage II program to replace four watermains: Davis Street – full length south of Durham Street; Homewood Avenue – full length; Berkley Avenue – full length and Sugarloaf Street between King Street and West Street and south down West Street to the dead end. The City successfully received $1,999,200 in funding from the Federal Government and $1,665,833.40 in funding from the Provincial Government.  Davis Street is currently in the design stage and is scheduled for construction in the spring of 2023, followed by construction on Berkley and Homewood in 2024.

Omer Area Inflow and Infiltration Door-to-door survey and remediation

Estimated Completion Date: September, 2023

Total value: $298,000


This project started in April 2022.  Door-to-door surveys at approximately 190 homes, looking for sump pumps, roof leaders and foundation drains that were incorrectly connected to the sanitary sewer were completed.  Smoke and/or dye testing will be completed on approximately 80 homes in the spring of 2023 to confirm where sump pumps are connected, and remediation of known incorrect connections will be completed by the fall of 2023.  This will reduce the amount of inflow into the sewer system.

Investigation of Innovative Stormwater Management Strategies in the Omer Area

Estimated Completion Date: September, 2023

Total value: $200,000


This project will investigate alternatives to traditional storm sewer pipes to manage storm water. Pilot studies will be conducted and if successful, rolled out across the City as cost effective alternatives to installing more pipes.

Pollution Prevention and Control Plan

Estimated Completion Date: June, 2024

Total value: $200,000


Together with the Region, this project will assess the function of the City’s and Region’s sanitary sewers and pumping stations.  A map of the City and Region’s sewer system will be provided and development capacities will be assessed. This study will identify sources of pollution (due to overflows and or bypasses) and make recommendations on upgrades and/or remediation activities.

Sanitary Sewer Lining

Estimated Completion Date: October, 2023

Total value: $500,000


This project will utilize cured in place pipe (CIPP) lining technology to remediate approximately 700m of sanitary sewer pipe where pipe defects have been identified.  This will help reduce inflow and infiltration in vulnerable areas of the sewer system. Relining a sewer with CIPP is not a temporary repair, it extends the life of the asset by 50 years.  It is more cost effective and less disruptive than digging up a road and replacing the pipes, and is a greener option as the work is completed in days rather than weeks, so there is less greenhouse gas emissions created.  

Clarke Area Inflow and Infiltration Investigation and Remediation

Estimated Completion Date: December, 2023

Total value: $640,000


Door-to-door surveys will be completed at approximately 700 homes, looking for sump pumps, roof leaders and foundation drains that are incorrectly connected to the sanitary sewer.  Smoke and/or dye testing will be completed as needed to confirm where the sump pump is connected and remediation of known incorrect connections will be completed.  This will reduce the amount of inflow into the sewer system.

Omer Sanitary Pipe Capacity Investigation

Estimated Completion Date: November, 2023

Total Value: $150,000


The sanitary sewers on Bartok connect to the sewers on Elm Street and run south on Elm to Omer Avenue which eventually empties into the Region’s Omer Sewage Pumping Station (SPS).  This station has a history of not being able to handle increased flows during high rainfall events. The functional investigation, which may include reviewing information such as Closed Caption Television (CCTV) inspections, flow monitoring, INS results, rainfall events, back up events, pipe material and geometry etc.  This investigation will produce a comprehensive evaluation of this specific area of the sewer shed. 


If that evaluation determines there is an engineering solution, a design proposal will be provided for upgrades and provide capacity for future growth in this area, and that will be put forward for future budget consideration.  Niagara Region staff will be involved in this project to ensure that the Region’s SPS is also considered as part of the evaluation.

Completed Water/Wastewater Projects 

 Carter Street 
 A portion of the existing watermain servicing Carter Street was located on the rail line property behind the homes, and had reached the end of it’s lifespan. The City relocated 135m of watermain to the Carter Street Right of Way and relocated the water services of 9 residents to the front of their homes. As a result of relocating the water services, each home required additional plumbing to bring the water meters to the front of the homes.

This project was made possible by the Clean Water and Wastewater Grant, in sponsorship with the provincial and federal government. 

 Janet Street 
 In January 2020, substantial completion was achieved for the Janet Street watermain infrastructure update. More than 340 meters of existing watermain and 290 meters of sanitary sewer and storm sewer repairs were needed, with 150mm PVC watermain and 200mm PVC sewermain. 

This project was made possible by the Clean Water and Wastewater Grant, in sponsorship with the provincial and federal government.