WATCH: Montreal getting new money to fix water mains

Montreal is no stranger to water main breaks, but the provincial and federal governments are hoping to change that.

Both Liberal governments are chipping in to help upgrade the city's aging water infrastructure system, with a total contribution of $84 million. 

The money is music to Mayor Denis Coderre's ears. Spending on water main and sewers repairs jumped from $93 million to more than $260 million in the past three years.

"If we want to reach out and lower the percentage of water leaks, we need to act immediately," Coderre said.

But what is causing all the breaks? Throughout the year crews are often dealing with multiple pipes breaking each day.

The city believes poor maintenance during the 1980s and 90s, coupled with very old pipes in many neighbourhoods have led to a perfect storm that needs to be dealt with.

As it stands, about one-third of Montreal's drinking water is lost.

"It's essential. It's probably one of the most basic infrastructure- that a city has. It's about public health, it's about protecting the environment and so this is fundamental," said Public Security Minister Martin Coiteux.

The new money will not cover all the costs, leaving boroughs to pick up the rest of the tab on the work, which there is plenty of to be done.

Mayor Coderre said 13 per cent of the city's water mains need to be rebuilt from scratch, with about 22 per cent of Montreal sewers needing the same treatment.