On Monday, May 27, 2024 all City Offices will be closed for the Memorial Day holiday.
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City of The Dalles, OR

Water Leak Information


Water Leak Information

The City owns the lines up to the meter but after the meter is private property.  The City does not determine the location of a leak, fix a leak, or troubleshoot problems on private property.  We recommend if you suspect a problem you start investigating it right away.  If you would like the meter to be shut off please contact the Utility Billing Department at (541) 506-2031, if after hours, and it is an emergency please call (541) 980-7703 for the on-call service person.

Indications of a Leak

High water consumption could be an indication of a leak or it could be attributed to seasonal usage such as pressure washing, reseeding lawn, refilling a pool, etc.  Be sure to turn off all faucets and appliances that use water in the home and then look at the meter.  If the meter is not turning, that means there was no sign of a leak in the main line.  If there is movement (numbers are slowly turning or the low flow indicator is turning) then you have a leak.   If you can’t find the leak, you may have to contact a plumber or leak detection company to assist you.

Shut off Valve

The City building plans do not list where private property shut off valves are located.  If you have a shut off valve this can be used to help pinpoint where a leak maybe occurring.  Irrigation can be shut off at the control panel or on the Backflow Device.

Most common leaks

  • Toilets: Put several drops of food coloring in the back of the tank.  Do not flush the toilet.  If the water in the toilet bowl changes color within 10 minutes then there is a leak.  You can also turn off the valve to the toilet and check if the meter stops moving.
  • Bathtubs & Sinks: Constant drips, Look for an accumulation of water on the surrounding surfaces such as floors, under cabinets, and along the pipes.
  • Appliances: Dishwasher, Refrigerator, Water Tank, Washing Machine, Water softeners, and Ice Maker.
  • Look for an accumulation of water on the surrounding surfaces or warped floorboards.
  • Excessive accumulation of ice in the Freezer.
  • Constant sound of running water.
  • Hose Bibs: Make sure all of them are securely off and that they are not dripping.
  • Irrigation – Sprinkler Systems: During the winter make sure the Backflow Device was properly winterized.  During the summer run the system and check for broken sprinkler heads, soft muddy spots where there is not a sprinkler head, and lack of normal water pressure.
  • Water Features – Fountains & Ponds: Low water levels.  If you notice you are filling the item with water more often or hear the auto fill constantly coming on this could be a sign of a leak.  Be sure the float valve is clear of debris.  Check the liner for any holes or tears.

Read the Meter 

If you need further assistance please contact the Utility Billing Department at (541) 506-2031 or Click Here to submit a request online for Public Works to go out and check your meter at no charge.

  • Location of the Meter: Generally near the property and in a Utility easement.
  • Remove the Lid: We prefer you contact us to check out the meters, but if you

Would like to check it yourself, you may but please be careful when lifting the lid, we have wires attached for the Radio Transmitters for reading your meter.

Request for Leak Adjustment

The City does offer an adjustment to the bill for qualifying leaks.   The City will consider adjusting the customer’s highest bill for up to half of the excess usage for that month’s bill due to a water leak that occurs between the City water meter and the line to the customer’s home.   The general process is as follows:

  • Notify the City of any leak that has been discovered as soon as possible.
  • Repair the leak within 5 working days from the time of discovery. You may ask for an extension based on extenuating circumstances.
  • Submit the completed Leak Adjustment Form, with proof of repair within 30 days.
  • A 2nd leak within a (12) Twelve month period will only be considered if it is unrelated to the first. The customer must provide the Utility Billing Department documentation noting the difference between the 1st and the 2nd
  • The Utility Billing Staff will contact the Customer once the review is completed.