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The Information on this Page Applies to:
Water service lines deliver water to your tap by connecting the water main in the street or alley to your home's plumbing system. We own the section of the service line from the water main to the property line ("utility service line"), and the property owner owns the section from the property line to the water meter in the home or building ("private service line"). This split ownership is common to most cities in North America.
All homes can
follow these simple steps to maintain good water quality.
Prior to 1960, copper was predominantly used for water service lines, but lead was one of the options homebuilders had available to them. Today, the preferred materials are copper and certain polyethylene pipes. Less than 2 per cent of utility service lines to homes and small businesses in Edmonton, most of which were built before 1960, are still lead.
When drinking water leaves our treatment plants, it contains no measurable level of lead. Lead at the tap comes mainly from lead service lines, but private plumbing components can also contribute, potentially increasing the concentration of lead above Health Canada's drinking water maximum acceptable concentrations.
We started our Lead Service Pipe Replacement Program to ensure that homes receiving water through a lead service line receive good quality water. Since proactively launching our program in 2008, the number of lead utility service lines in Edmonton continues to decrease each year.
We have records for only the utility service lines and replace only this section. The property owner is responsible for replacing lead pipes on their private service line. We do not replace private service lines.
Our program takes into consideration a series of factors to schedule our replacements. For instance, if a homeowner is proactive and invests in the replacement of their private service line, we will assist by prioritizing the replacement of the lead utility service line leading to their property.
If you are interested in learning more about our Lead Service Replacement Program and the options available to you, please contact our Lead Program Representative at (780) 412-6858.
Health Canada: Reducing your exposure to lead from drinking water
Alberta Health: Common questions about lead and drinking water
EPCOR's Priority Lead Service Line Replacement Application
Click on the image for a larger diagram explaining service pipes to your home.
Click on the links to view the images.
A copper pipe emerging from basement floor before the water meter (also shown is the emergency water shut off valve).
Here's another example.
A stub of lead pipe emerging from basement floor before the emergency water shut off valve (not shown).
A protected lead pipe emerging from basement floor before the emergency water shut off valve (water meter not pictured). Notice the compression fitting used to attach it to a copper fitting.
A lead pipe, galvanized iron pipe and a copper pipe. The lead pipe is emerging from basement floor before the emergency water shut off valve. Notice the compression fitting used to attach the lead material to a threaded galvanized iron fitting. Even if going through this checklist doesn't indicate you have a lead service line, a small chance still exists that a section of lead piping is present underground. To inquire about your property or learn more about our program, please call our Lead Program Representative at
In cases of property redevelopment, where a development permit is in place, the property owner is responsible for upgrading the full service line, from the water main to the building, to current standards. We do not support the reuse of lead water service pipe for redeveloped properties. Residents or property developers involved in property redevelopment should contact the City of Edmonton at (780) 496-5444 to confirm the water line service meets current standards.
Studies have shown that replacing only one section of a lead service line is not effective in reducing lead levels at the tap and may result in temporarily increased lead levels. We avoid partial lead service line replacements, where only the utility service line is replaced, when possible. When partial service line replacements are required, due to water main repairs and renewals, we notify residents about the work we're doing, provide advice for maintaining water quality and encourage them to replace their private service lines as the best long-term solution.