Eno River Sewer Pipe Replacement Project 

​Over the past several months, the City has evaluated numerous choices of materials, locations of proposed pipeline, methods of construction, and provided notification to select property owners, all in conjunction with its consultant, McKim & Creed Inc. The final design plans have been submitted to several review agencies, which have responded with approvals and necessary permits. On March 26, the City formally advertised for bids for construction of the new pipeline and lift station upgrades. Over the next few months, the City will meet with potential bidders for site visits, will receive and analyze bids, provide recommendation of award to City Council, and begin process of formal award and contract execution. Actual construction may start in mid- to late summer, and is expected to take approximately two years to complete.

October 2019 Update

The dry conditions have helped keep the job moving along, as the area in Old Farm neighborhood is about 90% complete, including pavement at Hedgerow Place and the parks’ driveway. Large stones replaced the wooden posts, and final topsoil and fence will be installed soon. 

The third and final crossing of the Eno River was completed, and almost half of the 3000 feet in River Forest neighborhood is in the ground. There has been a lot of rock, but the drilling and blasting done several months ago, broke it up very well.  The contractor hopes to keep up progress and be across Roxboro Road by Thanksgiving. Work in West point park will take about another 2 months.

Cooler temps and a bit of rain will help get the grass growing all along Eno Trace and Old Farm areas. Much of the old sewer and manholes have been abandoned and removed, as the sewage is going thru the new, larger pipe.

In late September, a big milestone was reached at the City’s sewer lift station at the old Teer Quarry site, when all new piping and much of the station work was completed, meaning the temporary pumps could be turned off. Some neighbors noticed a big drop in the noise level. Thanks you again for support of this important upgrade to the City’s infrastructure.

June/July 2019 Update


The summer heat has arrived and made working conditions much better. Behind Eno Trace neighborhood, the dirt has dried out and disturbed areas are being smoothed out, almost ready for seed and straw. Testing of the new sewers is occurring and manhole tops are being installed. Some work remains to connect several small sewer lines to the new larger line. The contractor has installed new pipes across the Eno River in two location, and has one more to go.

The area in northern Old Farm Neighborhood is pretty rough, as pipe is being installed in the park and across two private properties. It will be several weeks before fine grading can be completed - thanks for your continued patience. Hedgerow Place cul-de-sac and the gravel park driveway will be paved later this summer.

Our contractor continues to prepare new pipe path through River Forest neighborhood by drilling and blasting the bedrock. However, this is nearly finished as well. Up near Roxboro Road, a new tunnel was installed and the area has been backfilled. NCDOT was involved with the work and is pleased how well it went, with very limited interruption to traffic.

​March/April 2019 Update

While progress continues, it remains slow going due to very wet conditions. Just getting into spring, we hope rainy season is finishing up! The new pipeline install is almost halfway through the Eno Trace neighborhood. Much drier weather will be necessary to finish grading and cleaning up all the disturbed areas over the new pipeline.

Bedrock drilling and blasting has moved to Old Farm, going along the Old Farm Park driveway, Holt Athletic Association soccer field, and Eno Swim Club properties. The contractor will maintain access as much as possible, but expect some blockages or disruptions to driveways to these sites. Once the new pipe is installed at the park, Hedgerow Place and the park's gravel driveway will both be paved with blacktop.

In order to cross North Roxboro Road with the sewer, a tunnel will be drilled under it. The launch pit, at the northeast corner of the Eno River and North Roxboro, is nearly complete, and actual tunneling should start in April and last nearly three months. No disruption to traffic is expected. The tunnel end point is in West Point on the Eno Park, near the walking path and footbridge over the river. Use caution when walking in these areas. Occasionally, the trails and bridge will be closed.

​January 2019 Update

Happy new year! Our contractor has concentrated on more clearing of trees and brush along the entire 8800-foot length of the project, from Eno Trace neighborhood to West Point on the Eno Park. Piles of mulch grindings can be seen along the new sewer route. Drilling and blasting of bedrock is nearly completed in Eno Trace, and is starting in Old Farm and River Forest neighborhoods. This task will take a few months to complete. Additionally, the first several hundred feet of new 48-inch sewer has been installed, and work slowly continues, dealing with very wet weather!

Even though most of the work is in grass areas, big trucks will continue to deliver pipe and stone and haul out dirt. Residents and travelers in these neighborhoods must be careful and be aware of occasional lane restrictions or short-duration street closures. Northbound travelers on Roxboro Road (15/501) near Eno River bridge may also encounter lane restrictions, as a new construction access is built. Again, please use caution in these areas!

For questions or concerns, you can email project coordinators here.

September 2018 Update

After several weeks of preparation, construction has begun! Several signs have been put up, and an Eno Trace Neighborhood meeting was held on August 29 with good interaction with residents. Additionally, the construction entrance road from Lazyriver Drive is nearly complete. A short section of the Mountain-to-Sea Trail will be rerouted for several months; signs indicating reroute will be installed and the information will be passed to MTS trailkeepers for a trail website update.

Over the next few weeks, clearing of trees and brush will begin and equipment for drilling and blasting bedrock will arrive soon after.

Hurricane Florence had no immediate affects on the project. The storm rolled through Durham just before the backhoe was delivered! A minor impact to the project may be the washed out NCDOT drainage pipe on Infinity Road, near Windermere Drive. NCDOT estimates it may be several weeks before the road is reopened. In the meantime, contractor J.F. Wilkerson is using the posted detour.

July 2018 Update

On May 9, 2018, the City opened four bids for the construction of this new pipeline and upgrades to the existing lift station. After careful evaluation, the City has awarded the construction to J.F. Wilkerson Contracting, of Morrisville, NC, for approximately $14.2 million dollars. The contractor is beginning to order materials, assemble needed crews and will soon start surveying, silt fence installation and tree/brush removal. Following close behind will be drilling and blasting to break up the bedrock along new pipelines locations.

Also over the next few weeks, some residents will see construction entrance roads and storage yards being setup. Affected neighborhoods will be contacted by various methods including direct mailings, HOA notifications and door-hangers, all to help them better understand impacts of the project. Most of the actual work site is behind the rear yards of the properties, but truck traffic along city streets will be seen. No interruption of water or sewer services or street closures are expected.

Project Facts

  • The City of Durham Department of Water Management provides sanitary sewer service to the Eno River sewer basin in Durham County, as well as limited portions of Orange County.
  • The sewershed drains to an outfall which follows a portion of the Eno River and its tributary streams (see Project Aerial Map). 
  • The outfall is nearing the end of its service life, and requires replacement to address wet weather and future flows, while minimizing the potential for sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs).
  • Upgrades to the Eno River Lift Station are also needed.
  • Nearly four miles (20,400 feet) of outfall length will be studied.
  • Old outfall pipes will be replaced with newer, larger pipes:
    • Existing 24" pipe will be replaced with 48" pipe.
    • New pipe diameters range from 15 inches to 48 inches, and increase the capacity of existing 15" to 24" pipes.
  • The Eno River Lift Station currently features four pumps:
    • Two pumps are rated at 4,200 gallons per minute (GPM).
    • Two pumps are rated at 11,000 GPM.
  • Upgrades and improvements are needed to handle a peak hourly flow of approximately 40 million gallons per day (MGD)! These upgrades may include additional pumps, new bar screens, and enhanced electrical and ventilation systems.
If you have any questions related to this project, please email our team. The City and its contractors appreciate your patience during these inconveniences, as we continue to improve the delivery and reliability of Durham's water infrastructure.

Common Project Terms

Please refer to the glossary below for explanations of terms commonly associated with this project.

  • OutfallA large pipe that collects wastewater flow from other smaller wastewater pipelines and transports it further downstream.
  • Lift Station: A facility that pumps wastewater from the lower end of an outfall to the wastewater treatment facility or a downstream collection system.
  • Sewer basin: A geographical area defined by topography and sanitary sewer infrastructure emptying into a common outlet.
  • Peak hourly flow: The highest flow in a one-hour period within a 24-hour period.
  • Sanitary sewer overflow (SSO): A situation in which wastewater is discharged into the environment before it reaches the wastewater treatment facility. The discharge usually occurs from manholes, plumbing fixtures or service cleanouts. Most SSOs are caused by grease and debris (rags, sticks, rocks, personal hygiene products, etc.) being flushed into the sewer system via private sewer services. Only water, human waste, and toilet paper are permitted to be discharged into the sewer system.
  • Sanitary sewer system: An underground system of pipes that commonly uses gravity to transport wastewater from homes and businesses to a treatment facility, where the water is treated and released into natural water bodies like lakes and streams.
  • Sewer manhole: A structure through which a person can gain access to the underground wastewater collection system. In paved areas, manholes are flush with the pavement. In unpaved areas, they are often raised several feet above the ground and are sometimes higher due to flood plain conditions.
  • Wet-weather flow: Any storm-generated flow, mostly in the form of heavy rains or melting snow and ice, that enters the wastewater collection system.