Welcome to the Department of Water Management
The Department of Water Management maintains the City’s pipes, plants, and facilities and provides essential services. Our more than 350 water professionals deliver pure, clean drinking water to the people of Durham 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Quick response teams fix water main breaks, sewer overflows, and other emergencies. We also treat used water at reclamation facilities before safely returning it to the environment.
New report highlights $100 million update for Durham’s two water treatment plants; millions of gallons of water saved by helping customers diagnose leaky plumbing; and honors for the best-tasting water in North Carolina for the second year in a row. Read on...
Are you are struggling to pay your water bill? The City would like to help through the Water Hardship Fund. The Fund is part of a program administered by the Durham County Department of Social Services to help residents pay their past-due water bills. It cannot be used for penalties and fees.
Through a simple online process, you can apply for up to $240 in assistance per year if you are having a documented hardship, have past-due bills, and are in danger of having your water cut off. If you think you might qualify, please complete the Water Hardship Fund application form. If contacted, you may be asked to provide identification, proof of income, a copy of your water bill, and other information.
In light of the public health threat posed by COVID-19, on Monday, March 9th, the City’s Department of Water Management suspended the disconnection of residential water services for nonpayment. Residential Water and Sewer customers who are experiencing hardship and are not able to pay their past-due balances will continue to receive uninterrupted service.
Governor Roy Cooper’s Executive Order 124, which prevents utilities across the state from disconnecting people who are unable to pay their bills, is now extended through July 29. This Order also prohibits penalties, interest, or late fees during this time and requires utilities to give residential customers up to 6 months from July 29 to pay outstanding bills. This Order means Durham’s Department of Water Management, along with utilities across North Carolina, will continue to suspend disconnection for nonpayment through that date.
We encourage on-time payment when possible. Customers facing financial difficulty should try to continue keeping up with charges to avoid large balances and collections procedures later. We are happy to help you arrange a payment plan or apply for our Water Hardship Fund.
Guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that frequent hand washing is one of the best ways to avoid exposure to illness and stay healthy. Providing uninterrupted water service is an essential step in the City’s effort to fight the spread of the Coronavirus.
What Our Workers Do for the Community
YOU’LL FIND US IN THE FIELD
We’re out repairing pipes, operating vehicles, and installing water meters. We’re the ones who rush to the scene of a water main break or sewer overflow and stay on the job until it’s fixed. Our goal is to provide affordable water and sewer service, create a quality customer experience, and meet all legal and regulatory requirements to keep our people and environment healthy, thriving, and strong.
WE PROMOTE WATER CONSERVATION
We offer an active water conservation and public education program. The following resources (PDF) are available for schools, civic groups, and interested residents in our service area. Call Conservation Program staff in the Department of Water Management at 919-560-4381 to borrow videos, schedule presentations or request additional information. Presentations can be also be requested using our online request form.
WE REACH OUT TO SAVE WATER
That’s a top priority, so we work with customers to reduce water demand and maximize efficiency. We are a proud EPA WaterSense® Partner, and in 2019 Durham was once again recognized by the EPA for our commitment with a WaterSense Excellence Award. Two popular initiatives that help our customers to improve their water efficiency are the Toilet Rebate Program and our Save Water Kits.
WE HELP YOU SAVE WATER AND MONEY
Our WaterSense High Efficiency Toilet (HET) Rebate Program can help residents and property owners save water and lower their water bills. Purchase a High Efficiency Toilet (HETs use an average of 1.28 gallons per flush) that’s on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) WaterSense list to qualify.
WE WORK TO PREVENT PROBLEMS
Fats, oils, and grease (FOG) can block wastewater pipes and cause plumbing problems or sewer overflows. The same goes for "flushable" wipes. Blockages can have a serious impact on the environment. The easiest way to help prevent overflows is to keep FOG and wipes out of the system.
WE SUPPORT AND PROTECT PUBLIC HEALTH
We test for lead in drinking water and announce results in our annual Water Quality Report (pdf). Lead is a common, natural metal that is found throughout the environment; however it rarely occurs naturally in surface water supplies such as lakes and rivers. Lead mainly enters drinking water when older household plumbing corrodes.