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.

Latest news from water management

  1. Red Fire Hydrant

    City to Perform Temporary Water Disinfection Changeover

    Durham water customers may notice a slight change in the taste and smell of their tap water beginning Feb. 26 and continuing through Apr. 12 as the Department of Water Management performs its annual water treatment disinfection changeover process. Read on...
  2. Cybersecurity images showing a digital lock over binary numbering

    Water Management Statement on System Security

    Water Management (DWM) wants to reassure Durham water customers that the City’s drinking water is safe and that our water system controls are secure. This announcement follows a recent cyberattack on a water treatment facility in Oldsmar, Florida. Read on...
  3. hands meeting over a drop of water. Text reads, &#34Water Fund.&#34

    The Water Hardship Fund

    Are you are struggling to pay your water bill? The City would like to help through the Water Hardship Fund. Read on...
  4. WaterSense Winner 2020

    Water Management Wins 2020 WaterSense® Excellence Award

    For the fifth year in a row, the U.S. EPA recognized the Department of Water Management with a WaterSense Excellence Award. This particular award honors the department’s Water Efficiency team for Excellence in Outreach and Promoting Labeled Products. Read on...
  5. Person looking at bill and cell phone.

    Durham Water Has Returned to Regular Billing Practices

    We know that many in our community have lost their jobs, businesses, and healthcare coverage in this pandemic. To provide support, we decided in early March to stop disconnecting residential water customers for nonpayment. Read on...
  6. COVID-19 and Drinking Water

    The COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking-water supplies. Based on current evidence, the risk to water supplies is low. Durham customers can continue to use and drink water from their tap as usual. Read on for information from EPA and the CDC...
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  1. Get a Free Fat Trapper!
  2. Pay at Western Union
  3. Educational Activities
  4. Stormwater Utility Fee

Get a Free Fat Trapper!

Collection of items that come in the fat trapper kit.

Pouring fats, oils or grease (FOG) down the drain can lead to blocked pipes, household plumbing problems, and sewer overflows. And overflows can have potentially serious environmental health impacts. The easiest way to help prevent overflows is to keep grease out of the sink.

That's why we're happy to provide free Fat Trappers for Durham residents! These small grease collection units are convenient to keep in your kitchen and simple to use at home. To request a complimentary Fat Trapper or refill bags (Durham residents only), just complete the online form! (Please note, due to overwhelming response, delivery of new Fat Trappers may delayed by several weeks. We are working as quickly as possible to fulfill all requests!)

And if you'd like to learn more about how FOG and wipes clog pipes, check out this year’s sewer report. It covers the first three months of the pandemic, and we encourage you to take a look at the full document, which includes information on spills and overflows that occurred in FY 2020.

What Our Workers Do for the Community

Two water workers with cones alongside a large work truck on a city residential street.


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.

Wayne Drop mascot with a group of happy elementary school students.WE PROMOTE WATER CONSERVATION

We offer an active water conservation and public education program. We have resources 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 request materials, schedule presentations or request additional information. Presentations can be also be requested using our online request form.

Spanish language educator working with children at a community event to promote games about water.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 2020 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.


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.

Tangle of rags being lifted out of wastewater by a filter at the plant.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.

Old sink with separate hot and cold water faucets.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.