Public Utilities Department

Last updated Jan. 23, 2018 - 4:14 pm

The City of Raleigh Public Utilities Department provides water and sanitary sewer service to approximately 195,000 metered water and sewer customers and a service population of approximately 570,000 people in Raleigh, Garner, Wake Forest, Rolesville, Knightdale, Wendell, and Zebulon areas.

Mission: To provide safe, sustainable water services for our customers while protecting public health and contributing to the economic, environmental and social vitality of our communities.

Public Utilities Multi-Year Business Plan

Annual Consumer Confidence Report/Water Quality Report [2016]

Annual Wastewater Collection and Treatment System Report [2015-2016]

City Creates Assistance Program for Water and Sewer Utility Customers

The City of Raleigh has established a new pilot program to help economically distressed water and sewer utility customers manage their utility bills. The Utility Customer Assistance Program (UCAP) will be administered in partnership with the Wake County Human Services Department, which will provide eligibility screening services for the program.

Our customers can call 919-996-3245 to speak with a billing specialist to learn more about the program and the eligibility requirements. In order to qualify for assistance, customers must visit the Wake County Human Services staff at the Swinburne Center, located at:

Swinburne Center
220 Swinburne St.
Raleigh, NC 27610

Qualified utility customers are eligible for up to $240 per fiscal year, and the assistance funds will be directly applied to their utility account. The UCAP is only available to utility customers within the City of Raleigh and the Town of Garner until the funds are exhausted.

Raleigh Ranks First in 'Best Tasting Water in the state' at Annual NC AWWA-WEA Conference

The City of Raleigh won first place in the “Best Tasting Water” Contest held at the 97th North Carolina American Water Works Association and Water Environment Association (NC AWWA-WEA) Annual Conference on Tuesday, Nov. 14 in Raleigh. One of the many conference highlights is the Best Tasting Water Contest.

Water samples were submitted from participating water systems from across the state. Individual conference judges ranked the samples and results were combined to establish an overall raking. The Town of Cary and the City of Asheboro finished in second and third place respectively

Hughes Named 2017 Outstanding Operator of the Year

The North Carolina Waterworks Operators Association (NCWOA) has named Mike Hughes as the 2017 Outstanding Operator of the Year.

Hughes has worked with the Public Utilities Department since 2001. He currently serves as a Plant Operations Supervisor at the D.E. Benton Water Treatment Plant.

The North Carolina Waterworks Operators Association has been the premier trainer of waterworks professionals for North Carolina since 1939. Its volunteers are industry leaders who come together to provide certification schools and continuing education opportunities to members and non-members. Annually, NCWOA conducts two regional well and surface schools in Raleigh and Morganton and offers a variety of seminars across the state. These opportunities keep water industry professionals informed about new technology and advances in the water industry.

Customer Notices

Utility Customer Alert: Residents Should Be Aware of Private Solicitations for Water Sampling

There continues to be a number of private companies performing mass mailings and placing water sampling door hangers soliciting residents to purchase water filtration systems. Some of these door hanger solicitations include “water sampling kits” and indicate "Urgent Community Water Test". Please be aware that these mailings and door hangers are not issued by nor endorsed by the City of Raleigh.

Customers should be aware that accurate water quality sampling requires very specific collection and handling protocol, as well as a laboratory certified by North Carolina to run industry accepted test methods.
North Carolina certified laboratories

The City of Raleigh Public Utilities Department conducts thousands of water quality analyses throughout the year to ensure the drinking water you receive meets or exceeds all Federal and State drinking water regulations. It should also be noted that Raleigh’s drinking water is considered “soft” with a measured hardness usually under 30.00 milligrams/liter as CaCO3, and therefore should not require a “water softener” system. In comparison, water with a hardness of 120.00 milligrams/liter as CaCO3 or above is considered “hard”. More information on Raleigh’s drinking water

If you are a City of Raleigh water customer and have concerns regarding your water quality such as discoloration or an unusual taste or odor, please call the Public Utilities Operations Division at 919-996-3245.

New Automated Forms

Customers now have to option to submit forms online for the following services:

Start New Utility Service (for customers moving into the City of Raleigh's service area)

Stop Utility Services and Request Final Bill (for customers moving out of the City of Raleigh service area)

Transfer Utility Services (for customers moving within the City of Raleigh service area)

Customers will experience the same prompt attention, whether the request is received online or via telephone. All requests must be submitted 24 hours prior to the requested service date. Customers will receive a detailed email confirmation when their request has been completed. Customers may still call Customer Care & Billing at 919-996-3245 or email to make these requests.

Odor Associated with Crabtree Creek Wastewater Lift Station Repair

On Aug. 28, the City of Raleigh Public Utilities Department began repairs to the Crabtree Creek Lift Station pumping system located at 2521 Carl Sandburg Court. These repairs include the replacement of essential equipment which requires bypass pumping.

It appears that odors from this bypass pumping process are being noticed at the Barwell Road area located near the Walnut Creek Lift Station. We believe that the combination of the bypass pumping and the change in the flow patterns may be contributing to the odor in that area.

Our goal is to try and reduce these odor spikes immediately. We have begun adding odor combating chemicals to address these odorous conditions as well as minimizing any openings at the pump station that could also be contributing.

We are seeking feedback from those in this area and would like to know if you believe the conditions are improving or worsening. Please forward any information regarding current conditions to and include Barwell Road Odors in the subject line. This will help us identify and track conditions in order to address the odor.

Your patience is greatly appreciated.

Raleigh’s Public Utilities Land Management Program to Sell Hay Bales

The City of Raleigh Land Management Program will begin selling hay bales at the Neuse River Resource Recovery Facility at 8500 Battle Bridge Road (Raleigh), at 7 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 6. The hay is grown at the Neuse River facility and is not intended for human consumption. The hay would be used as animal feed.

Hay bales will be available on a first come-first serve basis and will sell for $15 per round bale. The sale will continue until all bales have been sold. Payment is accepted by check or money order payable to the City of Raleigh and is required at time of pick up. No cash will be accepted.

The Neuse River Wastewater Treatment Plant is located at 8500 Battle Bridge Road, Raleigh. Customers are asked to line their vehicles up at the farm building, gates to the plant open at 7 a.m. Unattended trucks will be moved to the end of the line.

For more information about hay sells please call the Public Utilities Land Management Program at 919-996-3683.

Water and Sewer Rate Increases
Effective July 1, 2017

In response to requests to communicate pending rate increases, the Raleigh City Council and Public Utilities staff share the following water and sewer utility rate changes for the current fiscal year which began July 1, 2017:

1. A 2.8 percent increase in water and sewer base charges and volumetric rates

2. An increase in Sewer Infrastructure Replacement Charge based on meter size

The typical residential customer that utilizes 5CCFs/month would see a $1.65 increase in their utility bill.

Based on customer feedback, the name of one of the fixed charges on the utility bill will change from “Admin” charge to “Base” charge to more accurately reflect the purpose of the charge. The balance between the fixed charges and the volumetric charges on the utility bill is important to promote efficient water use while providing for revenue stability.

The majority of the rate increase would be used to fund replacement of the City’s aging underground infrastructure. Some of the pipes in our system are over 100 years old and are at or approaching the end of their useful life. Your Public Utilities Department is working hard for you to ensure we replace such pipes before they fail; particularly the most critical pipes whose failure would have significant social, environmental and economic impacts.

City officials and Public Utilities' staff are sensitive to the financial and budget challenges facing many customers. I reassure you every effort will continue to be made to maintain and improve your water and sewer system so as to deliver to you--our customers and partners- -the best possible service while being mindful of costs under our control.

If you should have questions regarding pending rate changes, please contact Jennifer Alford, Administration Superintendent at 919-996-3465 or; or Robert Massengill, Public Utilities Director at 919-996-3479 or

Customer Alert regarding Private Company Solicitations for Water and Sewer Line Protection Services

Residents in our service area (Garner, Knightdale, Raleigh, Rolesville, Wake Forest, Wendell, and Zebulon) often receive solicitation letters concerning purchasing protection coverage for water and sewer lines on their property. These mailings are worded in a way that the offer appears to be a collaborated effort between the company and the City of Raleigh and/or other local municipalities. Please be aware that these solicitations are not endorsed, nor are the companies contracted by the City of Raleigh to offer water or sewer service line insurance coverage on the City’s behalf.

If you have further questions regarding the validity of these types of mailings, please contact:

Check out a company with Attorney General Josh Stein's Consumer Protection Division at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM before you do business with them.

City Increases Reward for Reporting Illegal Discharges/Dumping into the Sanitary Sewer System. View Brochure | View Poster | View Video

City of Raleigh Official Utility Payment Locations are the only payment sites authorized to accept your payments. View Official Utility Payment Locations

Color of Publicly Owned Fire Hydrants Changing from Red to Yellow

[Posted June 3, 2016]

In the News - Raleigh's Public Utilities Department

Imagine A Day Without Water | September 11-17, 2016
Mayor McFarlane proclaims Thursday, September 15 "Imagine A Day Without Water" Day in Raleigh.

Could you go a day without water? No water to drink or make coffee. No water to shower, flush the toilet, or do laundry. Join us as we raise awareness about the most essential resource we have: Water. Visit Value of Water Coalition to find out more about Water's Value.

Crabtree Pipeline Project
Construction Global Magazine | September 2015 | Pages 96-105
The City of Raleigh Public Utilities Department Undermining Overflow | August 11, 2015
Crabtree Creek Project Will Ease Flooding but Cause Street Closures

Crabtree Pipeline Project

City of Raleigh Partners With Conservancy to Protect Lands in Falls Lake Watershed
July, 2014
The City of Raleigh has contributed towards protecting a critical tract of land in the Falls Lake Watershed.

What's Inside This House?, January 16, 2014
The ordinary-looking house on Wade Ave actually disguises a pump station for the City of Raleigh Public Utilities.

How to Transfer Ownership of Private Water Systems

The City of Raleigh Public Utilities Department maintains the water distribution and sewer collection systems in Raleigh, Garner, Knightdale, Rolesville, Wake Forest, Wendell, and Zebulon. However, privately owned water distribution and sewer collection mains exist inside the service area. These mains connect single family residential properties to the publicly owned system. Any repair and maintenance needed is the responsibility of the property owner.

If you would like more information about system requirements, please refer to the Public Utilities Handbook.

If you believe your system meets the qualifications and would like to request that the City of Raleigh consider taking ownership of your private water and/or sanitary sewer system, please contact Dale Utley at 919-996-5925 prior to submitting the application. The application can be submitted to:

City of Raleigh Public Utilities Water Distribution
Attn: Dale Utley
3304 Terminal Drive, Suite 300
Raleigh, N.C. 27604

Notification Letter to Private Water System Owners

Public Utilities Mascots

In 2014, the City of Raleigh Public Utilities Department acquired two new mascots, Johnny the Running Toilet and Sir Water Raleigh to help with our outreach efforts.

Learn more about the Public Utilities Mascots

Utility Customer Care and Billing

Washing sponge

Depending on whether you live in Raleigh, Garner, Knightdale, Wake Forest, or another area, find out who you need to call for a new water account and meter.

Learn more about Utility Customer Care and Billing

Treatment Plants and Other Facilities

Treatment Plant

The City of Raleigh owns and operates three wastewater treatment plants and two drinking water treatment plants in the City's utility service area which provide services to a population of approximately 500,000.

View Plant Information

Cross Connection Control Program

Cross Connection Control

Protecting the City's water supply by overseeing the installation, regulation, and testing of backflow assemblies installed between cross connections, backflow assemblies prevent contaminants from the consumer's property entering the water supply which could pose a health hazard or pollution of the water.

Learn more about Cross Connection Control Program

Industrial Pretreatment Program

The City of Raleigh Industrial Pretreatment Program permits, inspects, and surveys customers who may be discharging industrial wastewater. Pretreatment refers to the treatment of non-domestic wastewater before it is discharged to the wastewater treatment plant, also known as a POTW, or publicly-owned treatment works.

Learn more about the Industrial Pretreatment Program

Environmental Services Program

The Environmental Services program works to protect and restore natural resources, by keeping our city clean, safe and livable through water and wastewater treatment, promoting proper disposal of used cooking grease, helping to protect our watershed and drinking water supply from pollution...and much more.

Read More About...

Lead in Drinking Water From Household Plumbing

Water Conservation and Efficiency

Water Conservation

The City of Raleigh has initiated several programs to help educate our customers about the most water efficient technologies and to understand the City's mandatory conservation measures.

View water supply status and conservation stages

Learn more about water efficiency and conservation programs

Reuse Water System

Reuse Map

Reuse water (also known as reclaimed water, recycled water, or non-potable water) is highly treated wastewater that can be re-used for irrigation, pressure washing, vehicle washing, toilet flushing, or cooling towers, instead of being discharged into a waterway.


Learn more about Reuse Water System

Hydrant Meter Program


Hydrant Meter Rentals provide temporary potable water services to customers within the City’s service area through connection to fire hydrants.

Commercial and Residential customers must apply for a hydrant meter before using water from a fire hydrant for construction, landscaping, demolition, street cleaning, drinking fountains for public events and other approved uses.

Fees are based on the length of use, and billing for the hydrant meter(s) will occur one time per month.

Policy | Application

Business Planning

Strategic Planning is an organization's process of defining its strategy, or direction, and making decisions on allocating its resources to pursue this strategy.

In this section you will find several plans and presentations that will help you better understand our department's mission and vision. Through the various tasks and initiatives outlined in these plans, we venture towards our goal of becoming a world-class utility service provider.

Learn more about the department's Multi-Year Business Plan

Public Utilities Handbook

The City of Raleigh Public Utilities Department has prepared this handbook to summarize the policies, standards, and specifications of the Department.

The Raleigh Public Utilities Department has the responsibility for operating, maintaining, repairing, replacing and expanding the water, sewer, and reuse systems of the City of Raleigh and the towns of Garner, Rolesville, Knightdale, Wendell, Zebulon and Wake Forest.

2014 Public Utilities Handbook


Material and Construction Standards

Product Review Committee

Product Review Application

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