Public Utilities Department

Last updated Jul. 22, 2019 - 9:22 am

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 [2017]

Annual Wastewater Collection and Treatment System Report [2016-2017]

Water and Wastewater Rate Increase Effective July 1, 2018

Current Public Utilities Improvement Projects

Traffic Alert Update: 2500-2800 Blocks of Wake Forest Road for Sewer Line Installation

Nighttime Road Closure Through Late Summer

Beginning on Friday, May 17, the City of Raleigh will detour southbound lanes of traffic within the 2500 to 2800 block of Wake Forest Road, between East Six Forks Road and Hodges Street, for a sewer line installation.

Work is expected to be completed by late summer.

Click here for more information.

2019 Water & Wastewater Services Rate Changes

On March 6, 2019, the Raleigh City Council provided preliminary approval for 2019 Water and Wastewater Services Rate Changes. Rate changes will be approved upon final adoption of the FY2020 budget which will take effect on July 1, 2019.

Click here for detailed information.

Raleigh Launches Project Share Contribution Program

The City is aware that some customers may be experiencing financial hardships. Fortunately, by contributing to the City of Raleigh 'Project Share Contribution Program', you can help those in need.

This program is designed to provide emergency assistance funds to utility residents in a crisis, who are unable to pay their utility bill, and is funded by customer and corporate contributions.

Learn more about Project Share

Customer Notices

Boil Water Advisory Now Referred to as System Pressure Advisory (SPA)
Please be advised that the City of Raleigh will now be referring to water service interruptions caused by loss or low water system pressure as a System Pressure Advisory (SPA). This terminology change became effective June 1, 2018.

A System Pressure Advisory is a public statement advising people to boil their tap water before using it, typically in response to an event that increases the potential for backsiphonage in the water distribution system. Such events would include a water main break or small or widespread loss of system pressure. In some cases, staff can make repairs to a water main while under pressure. When this process is used there will be no system pressure advisory issued.

When the City does issue a System Pressure Advisory, we will notify only the customers affected or served by the water main being repaired. Customers will be notified by phone message, text, or email utilizing the customer’s contact information provided to Customer Care and Billing, or by a door hanger. If the SPA is widespread, the City will utilize available media, radio and other appropriate notification measures to assist with informing the public of the system pressure advisory.

The City of Raleigh Water Distribution Division works tirelessly to provide sustainable water service to customers and will continue to do so. We pride ourselves in the provision of water service and our repair crews work around the clock 24/7, 365 days a year to address any issues of service delivery that may need attention.

Thank you for partnering with us! We work to provide our communities and businesses with a quality product that we all can be proud of. For more information, visit our System Pressure Advisory page.

Assistance Program for Water and Sewer Utility Customers
The City of Raleigh has established a 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, the Towns of Garner and Rolesville until the funds are exhausted.

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)

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

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.

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.

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.

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

In the News - Raleigh's Public Utilities Department

Raleigh Public Utilities Department Receives Recognition for Leadership in Clean Water Advocacy

The City of Raleigh Public Utilities Department has received national recognition for Leadership and Advocacy for responsible national policies that advance a sustainable approach to clean water from the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA).

NACWA’s new Advocacy Recognition Program honors outstanding advocacy work undertaken by NACWA Member Agencies to further municipal clean water priorities. The annual recognition publicly acknowledges direct actions taken by member agencies to help advance the Association’s interests—along with the larger clean water sectors—in the public affairs and public policy arenas, furthering the collective mission to build a strong and sustainable clean water future.

After a comprehensive nominating and vetting process, Advocacy Recognition honorees were officially acknowledged during awards ceremonies at NACWA’s Utility Leadership Conference & Annual Meeting held in July 2018.

Special appreciation was reserved for the services of Associate City Attorney Daniel F. McLawhorn, who is a nationally recognized leader in Environmental Law and its application in North Carolina. Mr. McLawhorn, who was present to receive the award on behalf of the department, has served the City of Raleigh for 15 years, advising City departments upon issues large and small. Before joining the City, Dan served approximately 27 years with the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, representing North Carolina in a wide range environmental issues.

As an advocacy organization, NACWA is pleased to honor the City of Raleigh Public Utilities Department in this discipline. [July 2018]

Raleigh Public Utilities Water Distribution Division Receives
Prestigious Partnership for Safe Water Directors Award

The Partnership for Safe Water has granted the Raleigh’s Water Distribution Division the Directors Award for performance within the Partnership’s Distribution System Optimization Program.

The Partnership for Safe Water is an unprecedented alliance of six prestigious drinking water organizations. The Partnership's mission is to improve the quality of water delivered to customers by optimizing water system operations. To receive the Director’s Award, the utility was required to undergo a rigorous self-assessment method and peer review process. The report submitted was evaluated by a Program Effectiveness Assessment Committee team which consisted of utility peers. The review team was particularly impressed with the following areas:

  • Identify Performance Limiting Factors
  • Development of Action Plans to achieve distribution system optimization
  • Submission of Annual Reports and data
  • Demonstrate an ongoing commitment to superior quality water and protecting public health

This award presentation was a notable highlight at the American Water Works Association’s ACE18 Conference held June 2018 in Las Vegas, NV. Congratulations to the Public Utilities Department and Water Distribution Division staff on this great accomplishment.

To learn more, visit and search ‘Partnership for Safe Water’.

State Honors Raleigh's Water Treatment Plants with Award for Meeting Stringent Voluntary Goals | June 12, 2018

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

Water and Sewer Project Inspection and Acceptance Requirements

Public water and sewer infrastructure development projects in Garner, Knightdale, Rolesville, Wake Forest, Wendell, and Zebulon are inspected and accepted through the City of Raleigh Public Utilities Department.

Learn more about inspection and acceptance for these communities.

Current Public Utilities Improvement Projects

The City of Raleigh's Capital Improvement Program (CIP) is one element in the City's long-term planning process. The Public Utilities department houses an internal CIP division.

Learn more about the Capital Improvement Program Division

Public Utilities Mascots

The City of Raleigh Public Utilities Department has three mascots, Neusie, 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 Program

The Public Utilities Water Distribution Division provides maintenance and repair services on over 2,300 miles of water mains, 22,000 fire hydrants and 70,000 valves within the service area. Staff performs emergency repair and replacement of public hydrants and annual flushing of the water distribution system.

By following the recommendations of the American Water Works Association (AWWA) and the Insurance Service Office (ISO), with regular maintenance, fire hydrants can have a service life of 50 to 75 years.

An 'Old Friend' Gets a Makeover:
Color of Publicly Owned Fire Hydrants Changing from Red to Yellow

Phase one of the painting project begins August 1 and continues through November, 30, 2018.

DMD Consultant Crews will start in zone 1, just north east of downtown, moving into the downtown area. The contractor will be working on 20 hydrants at a time. After finishing the eastern area (Raleigh) and downtown, crews will move to the southern service area (Garner). This should occur around the end of November. The contractor will break and start back March-April in the western portion of Raleigh. The service area is broken down into 29 work zones.

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 | Hydrant Meter Charges

Valve Exercising Program

Hydromax, USA, the City’s designated contractor, will begin their large valve-exercising project on Monday, Oct. 29, and will progress in phases throughout the service area over the next five years. Contractor crews will begin working in Raleigh, Garner, Knightdale, Wendell, and Zebulon communities over the next two months, exercising approximately 290 valves. The City expects the second phase to include the Wake Forest and Rolesville communities and will begin in the Fall of 2019.

Visit the Large Valve-Exercising Program page for more information.

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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