About 500 property owners in Ottawa are being asked to run a water tap in their homes around the clock until at least mid April.

The City of Ottawa sent an official notice to the homeowners with instructions to turn on a cold water tap with a steady flow in the size of a drinking straw.

The notices were sent to homes which have a history of frozen pipes.

Homeowners will not be charged for the extra water use.

The city says it will use information on previous billings to determine adjustments.