Water meters are mandatory in Medicine Hat. The City of Medicine Hat Environmental Utilities Department supplies a water meter for all new building starts, however depending on the size of water meter required there may be a fee applied to the Utility account for the asset.
The City repairs and replaces water meters as necessary and will provide accuracy checks and testing of water meters as required. In 2014, the City of Medicine Hat became the first municipality to combine water, gas and electrical metering into one collections system.
Call Environmental Utilities at 403.529.8176 to schedule an appointment for installation or repair on a water meter. Please note that during the winter months, water meters will not be installed unless there is heat in the building. Missed appointments for water meter related services are subject to a fee for “Non attendance after appointment has been schedule” in accordance with Water Service Bylaw #2379.
Service Boxes and Curb Stop Valves
The service box and curb stop valve is a City owned asset located on the main water service line to your property. The curb stop valve is housed inside the service box at the property line. It is most commonly, but not always, located in the front of the property and may be found in a driveway, sidewalk or grass / yard. As this is City property, it should only be operated by Environmental Utilities field operators.
Often times, during the Spring thaw, when the frost heaves in the ground the service box cap can begin to rise up out of the driveway, grass etc. This can become a tripping hazard or cause for concern when driving near the valve. As part of Environmental Utilities’ routine maintenance programs, a field operator can be requested to lower the service box at no charge to the home or property owner.
Environmental Utilities staff also routinely check the operation of the curb stop and raise service boxes, as per request from homeowner or contractor, prior to completing the construction of a driveway or landscaping. It is best to submit this type of request before a driveway – whether it be poured with concrete or built with paving stones - is completed so that if a repair is required, it can be done with no disturbance to the finished product. Once the proper operation of the curb stop is confirmed, the service box can be raised to final elevation so that the cap is flush with the driveway.
Please note that it is important to request locates prior to excavating for a driveway or landscaping to ensure you are aware of the location of the service box. A water service box should never be covered over as this could prevent field operators from operating the valve if required.
Contact Environmental Utilities at 403.529.8176 to submit your request to lower or raise your service box. Please allow a minimum of 5 business days to complete these types of requests and also keep in mind that during the Spring thaw, we may have to wait for the frost to come out of the ground completely before lowering a service box.
Routine or Emergency Water Supply Disconnect or Reconnect
Only Environmental Utilities field operators are authorized to operate the curb stops (water valves) at property line and in the street. If the water needs to be shut off for repairs or for “snowbirds” during the winter months, contact Environmental Utilities at 403.529.8176 to schedule an appointment.
Water emergencies, such as no water or a possible water leak, can be reported to Environmental Utilities staff by calling the 24 hour emergency line at 403.502.8042.
Water Line Locates
If you are planning to dig or excavate the ground in any way, it is your responsibility to submit a locate request through Before You Dig Partners - AB One Call. If you are digging in proximity to City owned water lines, your locate request will be forwarded to Environmental Utilities (MHENVU) to review and attend as required. Contact Alberta One Call by calling 1.800.242.3447 or online at www.albertaonecall.com before you begin to dig. Ensure you allow at minimum, 2 business days for the locate to be completed.
An Environmental Utilities field operator will locate the curb stop (water service valve) which is generally found at the property line. If the work you are performing will not go near the water or sewer services, a clearance may be provided for your reference.
Daily Water Quality Testing
To ensure that the City’s water is safe and meets acceptable standards, our field operators collect drinking water samples throughout each week from approximately 32 locations in the water distribution network. Over the course of a year, approximately 1,664 water samples are collected and tested for micro-biological, organic and inorganic contaminants which may affect the health of water users. Water samples are tested both at the Water Treatment Plant and at the Provincial Lab.
The vast majority of samples that are taken are negative or absent of bacteria, however if there is evidence of bacteria, the system is flushed and re-chlorinated. Further samples are taken to ensure the bacteria have been eliminated and that the water is safe to use.
Water Flushing and Fire Hydrant Inspection Programs
The water distribution system will be flushed in the event of a contamination in the water system; however the City has annual, routine flushing and fire hydrant inspection programs that are completed on a seasonal basis as well.
If you have a fire hydrant at your property line, please ensure that there is safe and clear access by providing 1 metre clearance on all sides of the fire hydrant. Refer to the Water Flushing Programs page for more information.
Water Pressure Problems or Inquiries
If you experience poor or unusual water pressure in your home or business, please:
- Check other faucets to ensure it is not an internal plumbing problem.
- If the problem is isolated to one area of the home or business, this is likely an internal problem and we recommend that you contact a local plumber to assess and repair as necessary.
- Should you require specific pressure information for your home; Environmental Utilities customer service staff can dispatch a field operator to your home to complete a pressure test at your request.
- When you contact Environmental Utilities, please be prepared to provide your address, name, phone number and the details of your inquiry.
Water Pressure Inquiries - Contractors
If you are a contractor inquiring about the water pressure in a particular area of the city for planning or building purposes, please contact Environmental Utilities at 403.529.8176.
- For fire flow pressure inquiries – request to speak with a Compliance Technologist
- For specific location pressure inquiries – request to speak with an Engineering Technologist
Water Quality Concern
Should you experience a water quality concern such as a strange colour, taste or odour, please:
- Check other faucets by running the cold water taps only for 10-20 minutes to flush your system and to ensure it is not an internal problem.
- If the problem is isolated to only one area of the home or business then it is likely an internal problem that we recommend you contact a local plumber to assess and repair as necessary.
- Contact Environmental Utilities at 403.529.8176 to report the problem. Please be prepared to provide your address, name, phone number and the details of your concern.
Bulk Water Station
The City provides a bulk water filling station to customers who obtain a permit through Environmental Utilities. The Bulk Water Fill Station is located at 1257 Brier Park Way NW.
To obtain a permit for use or for more information, contact Environmental Utilities at 403.529.8176. Please be prepared to provide a copy of your current valid business license, company billing information, current fleet information as well as the purpose for water usage.
Hydrant Meter Box Rental
During the warm months from spring through to the fall, Environmental Utilities rents City fire hydrants to construction companies for use on projects that require large amounts of water. To obtain a permit for hydrant rental or for more information please contact Environmental Utilities at 403.529.8176. Please be prepared to provide a valid Driver’s license number, company billing information and the purpose for water usage when completing the application.
An adult over the age of 18 must be in attendance for the entirety of the service being completed for all water related services provided by Environmental Utilities field operators whereby house access is required.