The water distribution system roughly covers the entire county with the exception of the northeastern portion. The distribution system consists of approximately 2,266 miles of water mains (July 2014). Staff maintains the water distribution system including mains, valves, hydrants, and connections. Staff also installs water connections at the request of customers in addition to managing the backflow prevention program.
This area provides wastewater collection to residential, commercial, and industrial customers. The sewer system serves approximately 64% of the occupied dwellings/businesses within the county. The wastewater collection system consists of approximately 1,781 miles of sewer mains (July 2014). The Construction & Maintenance staff maintain the collection system including the mains, manholes, sewer connections, and force mains. The staff also installs sewer connections at the request of the customers.
Overflow Reduction Efforts
Since the passage of the North Carolina Clean Water Act in 1999, the total volume of annual Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSOs) has been tracked against the baseline year of FY99. For FY14, the total volume of sewer overflows represents a 92.6 percent decrease from the volume reported for the baseline year. There were a total of 82 sewer overflows during FY14, a 27 percent decrease compared with 111 overflows reported in FY13. This decrease in SSOs is directly related to proactive measures our field maintenance staff and Capital Project Engineers have executed.
The accumulation of fats, oils, and grease in sewer lines can cause blockages in the collection system. Of the 82 sanitary sewer overflows in the collection system during FY14, 26 were attributed to grease accumulation. This is the largest reduction in grease-caused overflows over previous years and reflects the continued effectiveness of the Grease Interceptor Ordinance (in place since 2003) and public education efforts. As a result of these efforts, a "Can the Grease" campaign was launched. This campaign included a brochure and associated educational materials. This information is routinely provided to the public at functions throughout the year. The reduction also reflects the proactive approach to cleaning sewer main lines and the publicly maintained portion of sewer connections. Sewer-line maintenance also prevents overflows due to the intrusion of tree roots and debris, which are the other major contributors to line blockages.
Can the Grease (English) Brochure [pdf]
Can the Grease (Spanish) Brochure [pdf]
Reads and maintains all residential and commercial water meters in the system. Staff services and changes water meters, and performs cut-ons and cut-offs at the request of the customer and/or the Billing Office. The Meter Shop ensures that meters work effectively and are read properly in order that water consumption is accounted for and billed accurately. Maintenance includes replacing meters ranging from 3/4” to 2” and rebuilding meters.
Assists in maintaining water quality by flushing specified areas of the system, overseeing the Cross-Connection Control program which includes the testing and rebuilding the backflow assemblies as well as performing inspections of large meter (3"+) and fire service (private hydrant and sprinkler systems) connections through our permitting process.
Cross-Connection Control and Backflow Prevention
Cross-Connection Control is the prevention of actual or potential connections between the public water supply and a source of contamination or pollution. Backflow prevention is a means to prevent the unwanted reversal of flow from an end user's water system back into the public water supply through the installation of a backflow prevention device.
The Technical Services section provides expert consultation for installation of backflow prevention devices of industrial, commercial, and residential applications for domestic, fire protection, and irrigation systems. Water connections are assessed for the degree of hazard they present and backflow preventer requirements are determined by city staff.
The owner is responsible for the installation, operation, testing, and maintenance of required backflow prevention devices.
The Cross-Connection Control Program serves as a technical reference to policy requirements and industry standards. For more information, please call the Cross Connection Control section at
Cross-Connection Control Program [pdf/533kb/8p]
Registered Testing Companies [pdf/46kb/1p]
Test and Maintenance Report [pdf/361kb/1p]
Testing Company Application [pdf/258kb/1p]
BFP Installation Detail (3/4" through 2") [pdf/133kb/1p]
Test Report Submittal
Test reports are submitted by registered testing companies through Utilities online Backflow Inspection reporting application. To register as a testing company, submit a completed Testing Company Application with tester certifications and test kit calibrations by fax or email to:
Bill Shookman, ORC, Utilities Services Coordinator
Fax: (336) 747-9342
Test Report Submittal Login
Test Report Submittal Instructions [pdf/265kb/1p]
If you are having any difficulty with finding backflow preventer locations or need technical assistance, please contact the Cross-Connection Control Section at (336) 771-5130 and ask for assistance with submitting backflow preventer test reports.