Responsibility for fixing burst pipes
The Portland Water Bureau owns and maintains all the pipes up to and including the water meter. Repairing broken pipes on the customer’s side of the meter is the property owner’s responsibility.
To report damage to pipes owned by the Portland Water Bureau, contact our 24-hour Emergency Line by calling 503-823-4874, option 1.
Request an adjustment on your bill to avoid higher sewer charges all year
Your winter water use impacts your sewer charges all year. To determine water use, we measure how much water flows through your water meter. Single-family homes don’t have a sewer meter that measures the amount of sewage each home sends into the sewer system. Instead, we base your sewer charge on how much water you use during the winter months. Learn more about how your winter water use affects your sewer charges in our winter newsletter
A leak during the winter could increase your year-round sewer charges. If you qualify for a leak adjustment, your sewer charges will also be considered for a credit. If you do not qualify for a leak adjustment, we can still review your account and potentially lower your sewer charges on future bills.
How to get your bill adjusted after a water leak
Water leaks can use hundreds or thousands of gallons of water. If you don’t request a bill adjustment from us, you will be charged at the normal water rate for the water used due to a leak.
Things to know:
- We can’t adjust an account until we have read the meter and recorded the increased usage on a bill. Most single-family residential customers have their meters read once every three months. After you receive your bill showing the increased usage, you must repair the leak and apply for a leak adjustment within 90 days.
- To extend the due date on your higher bill, you can request a payment arrangement. Setting up a payment arrangement and paying it on time will keep you from getting late fees or having your water shut off for nonpayment.
- Bills can only be adjusted due to water leaks. If you left faucets running to protect your pipes during the cold weather, that increased use is not eligible for a leak adjustment. Water use from letting faucets drip would not significantly impact your bill.
To get your bill adjusted:
- Find and fix your leak. Bill adjustments can be granted only after leaks have been repaired.
- Contact our Customer Service team by phone at 503-823-7770 or email at PWBCustomerService@portlandoregon.gov to submit your request. Be prepared to share:
- Today’s date
- Customer name
- Account number
- Customer address, including city, state, and ZIP
- Home phone
- Work phone
- Date leak was discovered
- Date leak was repaired
- Description of the leak (faucet, toilet, underground, etc.)
- Explanation of how the leak was repaired
How else can I get help?
- Visit our local home repair resources page for a list of organizations that may be able to help you get your leak repaired. Basic program overviews and eligibility requirements are listed, but for the most up-to-date information or to apply for services, contact the organizations directly.
- Trouble locating your leak? Not sure if you have one? Learn how to use your water meter to check for leaks or to determine if a leak is indoors or outdoors.
- Visit the Bureau of Development Service’s website for more information on repairing all types of storm damage.
- For help paying your other utilities (natural gas, electricity), contact 211.
What can I do to prevent my pipes from bursting again during future cold weather?
You can take steps to protect your plumbing from winter weather before and during cold weather events.
To be prepared for any potential interruption to your water service, start building your emergency water supply.