Providing reliable drinking water to our customers is important to us. When a water main breaks or when water system improvements occur, it can be disruptive and inconvenient to the customers that we serve. We work to minimize impacts to you and we appreciate your patience and understanding. This page details what to expect during repairs or construction improvements. You can also learn more about the system improvements near you on the Construction in My Neighborhood Map.
Contact EBMUD to report a water emergency, such as a broken hydrant or flooding in the street or into local creeks. Maintenance crews are on duty 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Call 1-866-403-2683.
Safety is our priority. Orange cones and barricades keep you out and keep you safe, and protect workers too. You may see EBMUD workers directing traffic, acting as spotters and practicing a variety of safety measures. When driving past a work site, please slow down. You may also notice temporary staging of equipment, excavation work and construction-related noise and dust.
If your water is shut off, while crews work in your neighborhood, use your emergency water supply until service is restored. Our priority is to safely resume service to customers as quickly as we can.
When work is completed, EBMUD paving crews return to replace temporary paving with permanent paving. It may take up to 30 days before final paving is complete.
Learn about why pipeline breaks happen, how EBMUD crews respond to emergencies and our efforts to improve the water system.
Call EBMUD at 1-866-403-2683.
If you have no water, it is advisable that you shut the water supply valves to toilets in your home. Once water is restored, run water through your front hose bib – the outdoor faucet at the front of the house – until the water runs clear. Also run cold water from the faucets inside the home for 1-3 minutes until the water is clear. Then turn your toilets back on.
Once EBMUD receives notice about a leak in the street, we:
It varies depending on where the break is and how it happens. The majority of pipeline repairs can be completed in six hours or less. Larger, more complicated repairs may require more time.
Pipe repair can be complicated; crews sometimes work for hours to locate the origin of a leak and then repair the line. Certain repairs can take longer if special equipment is required, or if there are other utilities in the area that need work first. Our priority is to safely resume service to customers as quickly as we can. Water service is resumed after repairs are complete and EBMUD has tested the line.
Water service is resumed after repairs are complete and EBMUD has tested the line.
EBMUD responds to emergencies and conducts emergency maintenance repairs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including holidays. Non-emergency planned maintenance is typically scheduled during normal business hours. Sometimes, non-emergency work may be done after hours to minimize traffic, business, or other concerns.
EBMUD opens up as many as 5,000 public streets per year to replace miles of pipe, repair broken mains and service lines, and install new services lines, regulators and hydrants. When work is completed, EBMUD Paving Crews will install temporary paving. Within a month crews will come back to permanently pave the street. NOTE: It may take up to 30 days before final paving is complete.
Learn about EBMUD's effort to streamline the paving process.
Yes. EBMUD crews follow rigorous procedures to ensure that pipes are clean when responding to a break.
Some possible causes of problems with water which appears dirty, has an unusual color, or sediment/particles include:
Since there are many causes of dirty water, EBMUD investigates each complaint carefully. Please be prepared to answer the following questions when reporting this problem at 1-866-403-2683.
The answers to these questions will assist us in finding the cause of the dirty water and may also suggest corrective steps to take. EBMUD Water System Inspectors respond to calls regarding water which appears to be dirty, colored or has foreign particles, within one business day.
A common cause for slow water flow from your faucet is a clogged faucet aerator. Fortunately, unclogging it is a simple fix. Sediment that flows in the water supply lines can get trapped in the aerator screen. If your aerator is two years or older, consider replacing it. It is recommended that aerators be changed once every 2-3 years as they get worn, grimy, and/or clogged.
For bathrooms, it is recommended that the flow for that aerator be 1.0 gallon per minute. For kitchen aerators, the recommended flow is 1.5 gallons per minute or less.
To clean the aerator, follow these simple steps:
Your water should flow freely now.
Note: If parts are damaged or get broken in the process, replace the entire aerator. Take the aerator being replaced with you to the hardware store so you can shop for the correct replacement. The two most common aerators are standard-dual thread aerators (fit both male and female threads) and Chicago-style aerators, which are available as either male or female threads.
Pressure in your pipes may create the appearance of cloudy, milky or foamy water. This is air under pressure in your water pipes much like carbon dioxide in a bottle of soda. Turning on the faucet releases the pressure, causing the air bubbles to appear. The water is safe to drink. Run the water at your hose bib first. Once clear, run the cold water at your interior fixtures. If you allow a glass of water to stand for a few moments, the air bubbles will rise to the surface and will clear within minutes.
Discoloration in water, such as a light yellow to dark brown color, may occur when pipeline sediment in the water is stirred during pipeline repair work. The discoloration is caused by dissolved iron which is stirred up by turning valves, flushing hydrants or reversing water in mains that are being returned to service. To remove the discoloration, run your front hose bib first and once clear proceed to run the cold water at your interior fixtures.
If the cloudy, milky, foamy or discolored water persists, please call 1-866-403-2683, and give us your address and a telephone number so we can have an inspector contact you.
Low water pressure may occur as EBMUD restores water service back to customers following a pipeline repair. EBMUD is careful to gradually restore pressure to avoid other potential main breaks.
Call EBMUD at 1-866-40-EBMUD and ask for Risk Management.
EBMUD repairs leaks to its water meters and water mains. Leaks on the customer's side of the meter, including the pipe between the meter and the building, the irrigation system, or indoor plumbing, are the responsibility of the customer.
No, EBMUD only repairs water mains. Cities, counties, and property owners maintain sewer pipelines and are responsible for repairing these leaks.
First contact your neighbor and inform them about their leak. If you are not able to talk with them and feel the leak may cause damage to your property or the property of others, then call EBMUD and ask that your neighbor's meter be turned off. If it is determined that the leak is severe or may cause damage, and your neighbor is unaware of the leak or cannot be contacted, EBMUD will turn off the water and leave a note informing the neighbor of the action taken.
Water leaks can be caused by ground movement, pipe corrosion, soil conditions, age, or damage by contractors working underground.
The exact cause of each break is determined by our investigators and that information is used to prioritize and plan for future pipeline replacement projects.
Leak repairs are prioritized based on many factors including the severity of the leak, public safety and/or the environment, probability of property damage, unsafe traffic conditions, or other issues specific to the situation. Large leaks causing water outages and those that might impact public safety/environment or cause property damage are typically repaired as soon as possible. Staff is available 24 hours a day to make emergency repairs. If the leak is small, the repair order is held to allow for notification of customers and other utilities and to schedule the work. The Underground Service Alert requires 48 hours notice for planned repairs to allow cities and agencies to locate and mark their utilities such as gas, electricity, sewer, etc.
You may see crews working to repair infrastructure that has broken unexpectedly, or crews may be working on scheduled improvements.
EBMUD uses chloramine, a mix of chlorine and ammonia, to disinfect its drinking water. Chloramines are necessary for delivering water that is safe for humans, but they are not good for fish. EBMUD uses fabric mats with treatment tablets to remove chloramine from the water released from pipe breaks and broken hydrants before it reaches storm drains, nearby streams or the Bay.