Skip to main content

Epcor issues mandatory ban on non-essential water use


Epcor issued a mandatory ban on non-essential water use for the Edmonton area on Monday as a result of an issue at a treatment plant.

"This morning, Jan. 29, there was a failure of the distribution pumping system at the E.L. Smith water treatment plant that conveys water to the city of Edmonton and regional customers," Craig Bonneville of Epcor told reporters on Monday afternoon. "We've now asked, because of that failure, for all customers in Edmonton and surrounding communities to curtail all non-essential water use."

Bonneville said the Rossdale treatment plant is still online but isn't able to supply the entire Epcor service area with enough water for normal consumption.

The ban impacts residents and businesses in Edmonton, Sherwood Park, St. Albert, Stony Plain, Spruce Grove, Leduc, Beaumont and Fort Saskatchewan.

Businesses that use a large volume of water, such as laundromats and car washes, are being asked to halt water use entirely.

"If you can delay washing your clothes, having a bath, doing all your dishes in the dishwasher, that's best. For our commercial customers, we are asking them to stop their operations until a time when we have our service fully restored."

Epcor is in the process of contacting large-volume customers individually to let them know about the ban, Bonneville said.

"We're going through and contacting all of our customers in the region one by one, with the help of our regional customer group, so that we can have those conversations and see where they can curtail their demand."

Any business that is delivering a product or service that is life-sustaining to people, animals and plants is exempt, as are businesses that must use water to meet health code standards, like health facilities and restaurants.

Bonneville says Edmonton Fire Rescue Services has been asked not to conduct any training exercises, but there is water available for fire fighting.

He could not give a timeline of how long it would take to deplete existing reservoirs but said water levels were at a normal level for this time of year prior to the shut down.

"Right now, we're doing everything we possibly can to restore service so that we can maintain water to all of our customers," Bonneville said.

It's not known when service at the E.L. Smith plant will be restored. Restriction measures will be in place until the repair is finished.

Bonneville says there is no impact to the quality of the drinking water as a result of the shutdown. Top Stories

Stay Connected