Manager of Water Operations
705-739-4220 ext. 6145
Barrie is fortunate to have a large supply of high-quality water available in underground aquifers within the city, but this supply has a limited capacity to meet demands of a very rapidly growing population. The following tips will help you save money while contributing to the preservation of Barrie's water supply.
In the summer, water use in Barrie increases by as much as 40%. Most of this increase is from outdoor water uses, especially lawn watering, and much of this water is wasted. The following tips will help you maintain a green lawn with relatively low effort and only moderate watering.
Muskoka Gardens is the term the City uses to promote the use of native and low-water use plants that thrive in our climate. Visit our Boulevard Gardens page to learn more and check out our suggested plant list.
Rain gardens are a beautiful way to use excess rainwater that would otherwise cause flooding, and are very easy to maintain.
Rain gardens are a beautiful, way to use excess rainwater that would otherwise cause flooding, are very easy to maintain, and help reduce inflow and infiltration. Strategically placed, these gardens intercept and collect water that runs off roofs, driveways and yards and allow it to infiltrate the soil rather than to run off into storm sewers.
A water audit helps you track water usage by particular appliances and can also help identify leaks. Use the Water Audit Worksheet to keep track of your water consumption for at least a week under typical conditions (not with company, or people away). After completing your water audit consider areas where you use the most water, then use the tips provided below to improve your water efficiency and start saving money!
The homeowner is responsible for all plumbing repairs and maintenance. The City is not responsible for internal plumbing leaks.
To check for leaks, locate the “trickle indicator’ – a small red or black triangle on your water meter. Ensure water is not running in the house or building, and then check to see if the trickle indicator is turning, moving or shaking. If it is, water is flowing through the meter indication a leak somewhere.
To check if your toilet seeps, lift the lid off of the water tank, drop in some food colouring or brewed tea or coffee and come back in 20 minutes. (Don't flush the toilet while you are waiting). If colour appears in the toilet bowl, the rod-and-ball assembly or flapper needs adjustment or replacement. The homeowner is responsible for all plumbing repairs and maintenance and the City is not responsible for internal plumbing leaks.
Leaks can end up causing extremely high bills. If you are aware of any type of water leak in your house you should repair it immediately because it could save you money.
Water conservation is most important in the bathroom. Up to 35% of water used in the house could be through the toilet, depending on its size, and another 25% through the shower. Quick tips to help save water in the bathroom:
Quick tips to help save water in the kitchen:
Quick tips to help save water in the laundry room:
In Barrie, hard water is a fact of life. Water softeners operate by substituting sodium or potassium (salt) for calcium, magnesium or iron minerals that can cause hard water. Water softeners can waste large amounts of water and have other negative impacts. Consider purchasing a water softener with a hardness sensor control. The sensor control monitors the hardness of the water and activates the softening system only when needed. These units save money in the long run by reducing the amount of salt and water used by the system.
Toilet Rebate Program
The City offers a $50 rebate to residents who replace high-flow fixtures (greater than 6 litres per flush) with low flow fixtures (6 litres or less). The rebate program began October 17, 2005, and is available to Barrie residents who own homes built before 1996. Please read complete Toilet-Rebate-Guidelines 2019.
Disconnect to Protect Rebate Program
Each year, thousands of litres of clean water enter the City's Wastewater Treatment Facility and it's costing residents money! A large amount of this water is from illegal sump pump and downspout connections. The Disconnect to Protect program provides rebates to qualifying Barrie residents for disconnecting illegal downspout and sump pump/foundation drain connections to the sanitary sewer system Learn more.
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