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What do I do if there is a water leak on my property?

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How do I detect a water leak?

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Property owner responsibility

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​  What do I do if there is a water leak on my property?

The series of pipes outside and inside your home is complex. Underground pipes carry water from the treatment plant to your home or business.  Over time, corrosion and temperature changes from the freeze/thaw cycle can lead to damage to the underground water system, causing a water leak.

The property owner's responsibility ends at your property line; however, EPCOR owns the water meter.  How do I detect a water leak?

When an underground pipe leaks, it usually leaves a pool of water on the ground. You might notice soppy wet grass or random pools of water on your driveway. It's also possible that a water leak caused by a burst pipe may cause water to shoot out of the ground at high pressure.

If you think there is a water leak under the ground, whether on your property or not, please report it. Call our 24-Hour Water Dispatch line at (780) 412-4500. We'll ask some questions about the location and the appearance of the leak.

You are responsible for any water lines past the property line. The image shows where the property owner's responsibility begins and ends. Read more about property owner responsibilities.

Water Leaks on city property

A leak on city property will look like any other kind of leak. In severe cases, like a water main break, there could be water shooting up from the ground, that could cause flooding.

If you notice  a water leak on city property, please report it. Call Water Dispatch at (780) 412-4500.

Water leaks on residential property

A water leak on residential property can be quite severe if it's not looked after quickly. These leaks may appear as a pooling of water on your lawn or driveway. Soppy wet ground with no clear source can help you detect a water leak. In other cases, you may see water coming into your home, often through basement walls.

What do I do if I suspect a water leak on my property?

  1. Locate and turn off the water shutoff valve. This valve is near the water meter, usually in the basement or utility room. It will stop water from flowing into your home's plumbing system.  
  2. Try to find where the leak is coming from. The source will usually be near where you see the largest force of water coming out of the ground.
  3. Call Water Dispatch at (780) 412-4500 and report the leak.
  4. We'll send an EPCOR field crew to your address and assess the cause of the water leak. They'll tell you what to do and the next steps to take through a letter or notice.
  5. If an EPCOR Water employee tells you that the leak is on private property, a plumbing contractor can help you fix the problem.

Water leaks on commercial, industrial, multi-residential, or institutional properties

Water pipes that supply businesses, schools, multi-family, or large commercial and industrial sites are larger than the water pipes that supply single-family homes. When they fail, water lines can release a significant amount of water. These leaks usually show up in parking lots or near building foundations.

If you detect a water leak on this type of property:

  1. Call Water Dispatch at (780) 412-4500 and report the leak.
  2. We'll send an EPCOR field crew to your address to assess the cause of the water leak.
  3. You can contract our water professionals to inspect, install, repair, or replace private water services.

Water leaks inside your home or a building

Water leaks inside buildings can range from a leaky toilet or leaky faucet to a broken or burst pipe. In severe cases, a burst pipe can cause flooding.

  Property owner responsibility

As a property owner, here are the water fixtures that are your responsibility to maintain and repair:

  • The pipe connected to the water meter
  • Water shutoff valve
  • Waterline on your property
  • Hot water tank
  • Internal plumbing and fixtures

If you detect a water leak or other issues with your home or building's plumbing system, contact a reputable and certified plumber in your area to fix it.

How do I detect a water leak?

In severe cases, a water leak will be obvious. You might find water pooling in the basement or noticeable water damage on the wall or lower-level ceiling from a leaking pipe. There are more subtle signs of water leaks. A minor leak in a pipe can still cause significant problems, so it's essential to detect and fix the leak as soon as possible. Here are some signs something is wrong with the plumbing:

  • A sudden decrease in water pressure
  • Slow drains
  • Signs of calcium or water staining on walls, ceilings, and floors
  • Suddenly high-water bill due to leak

If you suspect a leak inside your building or home:

  1. Locate and turn off the water shutoff valve. This valve is near the water meter, usually in the basement or utility room. It will stop water from flowing into your home's plumbing system.  
  1. Do not force a seized valve. Forcing it can cause the valve itself to leak.
  2. If the valve was closed off, check that the leak has stopped. You might have to open and close the valve manually to make sure it is working right.
  3. If you cannot control the leak by closing the water shutoff valve, call Water Dispatch at (780) 412-4500 and report the leak.
  4. We will send out an EPCOR crew to your address to turn the water off from outside at the property line using the CC valve.
  5. Contact a certified plumber to fix the problem.

Common causes of water leaks

Your business or home's plumbing system is complex and always moving water. Many things can cause water leaks.

  • Tree roots, extreme temperatures, corrosion, and age can cause water leaks in underground pipes.
  • Corrosion, harsh chemicals, frozen pipes, faulty appliances, and worn out plumbing fixtures can be the reason for a leak in interior plumbing.
  • Accidentally striking a water line during construction can cause leaks. 
  • Leaky toilets are caused by a broken, warped, or sticking flapper or the float being in the wrong position. If a toilet keeps running it could be a faulty fill valve.   

Small leaks can waste a lot of water

Small leaks like a leaking toilet tank or dripping faucet can waste a substantial amount of water. The average Edmonton household uses about 15,400 litres of water each day. Any leaks or changes in your regular water use can increase water consumption more than you think. Increased water use means a higher utility bill.

How much water does a leaky toilet waste? Compared to other fixtures and appliances in the home, toilets consume the most water each day. A leaky toilet can waste tens of thousands of litres of water a month.

How much water does a leaky faucet waste? If your tap is dripping one drop per second, it could waste about 19 litres a day and 5,678 litres a month!

It's important to fix water leaks in your home as soon as possible. Doing so will avoid getting a high-water bill due to leaks. Contact a reputable and certified plumber in your area to fix it.

  Report a leak

Call our Water Dispatch to report a leak.

Ph:(780) 412-4500

​The underground pipes that carry water from our facility to local homes and businesses can face environmental stresses like temperature and corrosion, causing them to break.

The property owner's responsibility ends at your property line; however, EPCOR owns the water meter. Always report broken and leaking water pipes, whether on your property or on public property. This illustration explains where the property owner's responsibility begins and ends.

Water leaks on public property

In severe cases, a water leak caused by a burst pipe may cause water to shoot from the ground at very high pressure. In other cases, you may notice pooling on the road or ground from an unknown source.

If you suspect or see a water leak, call EPCOR and provide a full description of location and leak appearance.

Water leaks on commercial, industrial, multi-residential or institutional properties

Water pipes that supply businesses, schools, multi-family or large commercial and industrial sites are larger than the water pipes that supply single family homes. When they fail, a significant amount of water can be released, typically in parking lots or near building foundations.

In this type of situation, call EPCOR to report the leak. We'll dispatch an EPCOR field crew to assess the cause of the water distribution leak.

Water leaks on residential property

A water leak on residential property can be quite severe if it's not looked after quickly. These leaks may appear as pooling of water on your lawn or driveway, or soppy wet ground with no apparent source. In other cases, you may see water coming into your home, often through basement walls.

 If you suspect a water leak on your property:

  1. Locate your stop and waste valve (usually in the basement near the water pipe that comes into your home).
  2. Try to identify the location of the leak (usually near where you see the largest force or pressure of water coming out of the ground).
  3. Call EPCOR to report the leak.
  4. We'll dispatch an EPCOR field crew to assess the cause of the leak and to inform you of what needs to be done and the next steps to take.

  5. If you're advised by an EPCOR Water employee that the leak is located on private property, a plumbing contractor can help you fix the problem.

Water leaks inside your building or home

Water leaks inside your building or home will appear as bursts or breaks in exposed pipes. In severe cases, you may also notice flooding near the affected pipe.

If you suspect a water leak inside your building or home:

  1. Locate your stop and waste valve (usually in the basement or mechanical room on the water pipe that supplies the premises).
  2. Attempt to turn the valve to the off position. If the valve is seized, don't force it closed as you may break it, causing the valve itself to leak.
  3. If you were able to close the valve, confirm that the leak has stopped (open and close the valve annually to ensure it remains operable).
  4. If you were unable to control the leak using your stop and waste valve, call EPCOR to report the leak.
  5. We'll dispatch an EPCOR Field crew to isolate the leak from outside.
  6. Contact a Certified Plumber.

Property owner responsibility

As a homeowner, here are the water fixtures you need to maintain and repair:

  • Pipe connected to the water meter
  • Stop and waste valve
  • Water line
  • Hot water tank
  • Internal plumbing

Certified contractors and plumbers

Refer to a local directory, search online or consult the BBB to find a list of certified contractors and plumbers in your area.