Water & Wastewater
The Water and Wastewater Services department works hard to ensure that safe, potable water is delivered to all locations within its distribution system. We also ensure that wastewater is collected and treated in accordance with provincial safety standards. Use the scrolling menu to navigate for more details.
Forms & Billing
The Town of Cochrane water and sewer billing is handled under Corporate Services and is responsible for the billing and collection of metered water billings in the urban service boundary of the town.
Below are links to appropriate application forms and details connected to available municipal water & wastewater services. All forms can be downloaded to your computer and can be filled, printed and submitted to the Corporation of the Town of Cochrane.
Water & Wastewater Billing Clerk
171 Fourth Avenue
Cochrane, ON P0L 1C0
Tel: 705-272-4361 ext. 232
The following list provides you with downloadable documentation on annual water and wastewater reports by the Town of Cochrane, from 2021 all the way back to 2019.
Emergency Rental Services
Emergency Service Rates
Water and Wastewater Services offers emergency services, should you require them. The Town does not offer these services for cases that are not emergencies. Should an emergency arise, please dial the emergency after-hours number.
Water and Wastewater personnel will be present at all times. Rates include service and personnel unless otherwise stated and apply to Cochrane Water and Wastewater Services’ customers only. If after hours, additional staff wages will also be billed.
Water & Wastewater Services
Bylaws & Policies
The following bylaws and policies are associated with the Water and Wastewater Services department. Simply click on the title links in order to access the specified documentation.
Water Meter Bylaw
A bylaw to enact rules and regulations for the installation, repairs, maintenance and access to water meters and related appurtenances, including penalties for offences.
Water Conservation Tips
A guide on how to save water at home.
Leak Adjustment Policy
If you determine that your water bill has gradually been getting larger and does not decrease throughout several meter reading cycles, you may have a water leak. The Town of Cochrane’s Water & Wastewater Services department has a water leak adjustment policy that may give you a credit on your utility bill, depending upon the nature of the water leak and if no water has flowed into the sanitary sewer system.
Water Quality Policy
View our certificate of water quality policy. Through this policy, the Corporation of the Town of Cochrane commits to:
- The provision of safe drinking water
- Continual improvement of the QMS and the water works
- Complying with relevant legislation and regulations
We strive to achieve these goals and adhere to the commitments above through the implementation of a management system comprised of policies, procedures, instructions, and forms that demonstrate risk-based treatment process evaluation, staff competency, open communications, workplace safety, and appropriate contingency and or incident response measures.
The Town of Cochrane provides clean, safe drinking water that is continuously tested from where the raw water enters our treatment plant to production, distribution and our taps. Standards for drinking water quality are set and legally enforced by the Ontario Drinking Water Standards. The regulation, which focuses on treatment and testing, mandates public access to information and notification of adverse results. So when you turn on your tap for a glass of cold, clean water, be assured that you can do so with complete confidence.
Cochrane Water Supply System – How it Works
The following seven steps best describes the supply and distribution process for the Town of Cochrane’s water treatment system.
- Groundwater is extracted by an intake pipe from three wells (#5, #6 and #7), each with a capacity of 45.3 litres per second.
- The incoming water (influent) is passed through the Head Tank, which allows air and gases to be removed and prevented from entering the treatment system.
- In the Clarifiers the softening process is undertaken. This involves removing the high iron content, manganese and hardness with the use of lime. The lime interacts with the minerals and creates “floc”. Heavy flocs drop out of the water in the Clarifier and collect at the bottom, which is flushed out to holding tanks every hour. Chlorine is also added to kill microorganisms, which may carry harmful bacteria.
- In the Recarbination Tank, carbon dioxide is added to reduce the pH to normal levels.
- The water then passes through the filters to remove any remaining particles and to reduce turbidity (cloudiness of the water). These filters are made of fine sand, activated carbon, gravel and rocks, which form rapid sand filters. The layer of sand removes the fine bits of floc, algae and silt. The layer of activated carbon controls taste and odour.
- The finished water is now stored in the Reservoir that can hold 2,300 cubic metres of water.
- The High Lift Pumps are positive displacement pumps (pumps that “push”) that propel the water into the Distribution System to people’s homes. A safe level of chlorine is added prior to entering the distribution system to check the growth of algae and microorganisms. The High Lift Pumps also send water to the Elevated Storage Tank, which helps supply water at peak times during the day and helps to maintain constant pressure within the distribution system. The Elevated Storage Tank can hold 2,700,000 litres of water.
- The water in the Distribution System is tested on a weekly basis to ensure that your water is safe to drink.
Director of Infrastructure Services
92 Second Street
Cochrane, ON P0L 1C0
Home Treatment Devices
Introducing downloadable fact sheets that detail the available home water treatment services available to town residents.
Preventing Frozen Water Pipes
A set of frequently asked questions, as well as tips and tricks on how to deal with frozen water pipes.
Being prepared and informed may help you to avoid the messy and often expensive issue of frozen pipes. The Water & Wastewater department of the Town of Cochrane provides information and suggestions around how to prevent water pipes in the home from freezing, and how to thaw them if they do freeze.
Water has a unique property in that it expands as it freezes. This expansion puts tremendous pressure on whatever is containing it, including metal or plastic pipes. No matter the “strength” of a container, expanding water can cause pipes to break. Pipes that freeze most frequently are those that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, water sprinkler lines, and water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets. Pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation are also subject to freezing.
Before the onset of cold weather, prevent freezing of these water supply lines and pipes by following these recommendations:
- Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.
- Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the basement, crawl space, attic, garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated.
- Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a “pipe sleeve” or installing UL-listed “heat tape,” “heat cable,” or similar materials on exposed water pipes. Newspaper can provide some degree of insulation and protection to exposed pipes – even ¼” of newspaper can provide significant protection in areas that usually do not have frequent or prolonged temperatures below freezing.
- Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
- When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe – even at a trickle – helps prevent pipes from freezing.
- Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
- If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe. Likely places for frozen pipes include against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.
- Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipe will help melt ice in the pipe.
- Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water
- Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame device.
- Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you cannot thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.
- Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze too.
- Consider relocating exposed pipes to provide increased protection from freezing.
- Pipes can be relocated by a professional if the home is remodeled.
- Add insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces. Insulation will maintain higher temperatures in these areas.
- For more information, please contact a licensed plumber or building professional.
Wastewater Sanitary System
Wastewater is the mixture of liquid and solid materials that residents and businesses flush down toilets and empty down sink and drains every day. This material then travels through the Town’s sanitary sewer system to our wastewater treatment plant. Cochrane’s Wastewater Treatment Plant is designed to remove solids, chemicals and other undesirable materials in a reliable, cost-effective and environmentally sound way. Our treatment process ensures that it meets or exceeds all provincial and federal standards.
Cochrane Wastewater Treatment – How it Works
The following ten steps best describes the sanitary sewer to wastewater plant process for the Town of Cochrane’s wastewater treatment system.
- Wastewater is collected and enters the treatment facility through the sewer system.
- Metal bars collect large debris such as rags, wood, plastics, etc.
- In the Comminution process, a large grinder further breaks up debris into small pieces.
- The Grit Removal chamber slows down the incoming wastewater (influent) to allow dense, inorganic material to settle on the bottom. Grit is removed on a scheduled basis.
- Wastewater is drawn from the top of the Grit Removal chamber and sent to the large Aeration tanks. These tanks mix the wastewater with oxygen (which causes bubbles) to support bacteria that devour organic waste. When the bacteria interact with waste, it creates a slimy residue (sludge).
- The wastewater is drawn from the top of the Aeration tanks to the Clarifier or Final Settling tank. By this point the water is already quite clear.
- In the Clarifier, suspended particles and any remaining sludge (clumped sewage) settle to the bottom. The sludge is then drawn from the bottom of the tank and part of it is sent to Dewatering tanks while the other part is returned to the Aeration tank. The sludge that is returned to the Aeration tank is called Activated Sludge as it contains the bacteria that devour organic waste.
- The cleanest water is drawn from the surface of the Clarifier and is disinfected in the Chlorination Chamber prior to being returned to the environment.
- A further separation of water and sludge occurs in the Dewatering Tanks. Clear water, which is drawn from the surface, is returned to the Aeration tank. The sludge becomes more and more dense and is then sent to the Holding tank until disposal.
- The concentrated sludge, or bio-solid waste in the Holding tank is taken away for disposal.
The Town of Cochrane takes care to ensure that it is compliant with all provincial and federal regulatory guidelines when it comes to its services. For more information regarding compliance and regulations, visit the Ministry of the Environment’s website.
Ministry of the Environment
The Operational Plan outlines the Quality Management System for the water treatment and distribution systems. It is a requirement that was implement by Justice O’Connor with the DWQMS (Drinking Water Quality Management Standards) as a result of the Walkerton inquiry.
Permit to Take Water
The province’s water taking rules have been overhauled to ensure tough reviews of water taking permits and stronger conservation measures. New or expanded takings that would remove water from watersheds that already have a high level of use will no longer be allowed.
Drinking Water Permit
Permits are required for facilities that release emissions to the atmosphere, discharge contaminants to ground and surface water, provide potable water supplies, or store, transport, process or dispose of waste. Proponents of these types of activities are required to obtain Certificates of Approval to ensure that the environment will not be adversely affected.
Municipal Drinking Water Licence
The license report outlines regulatory requirements.