COVID-19 | Operations Department - Service Delivery Changes

Posted by Corporate Communications on Monday, March 23rd, 2020

The Operations Department is continuing to do its best to maintain services during the COVID-19 pandemic. The health and safety of our staff, and you our residents are equally important so we have initiated some measures in order to maintain services.

Until further notice, Operations staff, including utilities staff, will not be entering any non-city dwellings unless there is a situation that is deemed an emergency, for example, a threat to human safety, or a significant threat to public or private property.

Operations are also staggering shifts to practice social distancing and to reduce the risk of a staff shortage. Therefore, staffing levels will be reduced on any given shift and staff will only be performing priority work. Operational staff will continue to fulfill all regulatory requirements legislated by the province and will utilize contracted services as required to ensure business continuity for you, our residents.

We have staff available to assist by phone to answer any questions related to water, wastewater or operational tasks. For assistance, Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. call 905-835-2900, or, for an after-hours emergency, call 905-835-5079.

How can residents help the Operations Department during COVID-19?

The services utilities staff in the operations department provide are essential to Port Colborne residents and include providing safe drinking water and responding to water/wastewater-related emergencies. Here are a few ways residents can help the operations department during COVID-19:

· If homeowners observe discoloured water at their home, rather than calling the City immediately for services of an operator, we are asking you to first flush from a cold water tap for 15-20 minutes. Any issue related to the discolouration of water from the City’s distribution system would be consistent throughout each fixture in the house. Performing this flush is to ensure the issue is not isolated within the property’s system. This will reduce the need for an operator to make an on-site visit.

· Furthermore, during COVID-19 many residents will be using a variety of disinfectant wipes and other wipe products. Unfortunately, several wipes on the market are labelled as “flushable”, when in fact they cause problems with our sanitary collection system and sewage plumbing stations. Wipes of any kind should not go down the toilet as they do not break down in the sewer system and can cause blockages in sewer mains, manholes, and pumping stations. More importantly for homeowners, flushing wipes down the toilet can cause blockages within your internal plumbing system.

For City updates regarding COVID-19, including City facility closures and City service disruptions, visit


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