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. 2021 WaterSense Partner of the Year logo

    Durham Department of Water Management Named WaterSense Partner of the Year

    Durham’s Department of Water Management (DWM) has been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with the 2021 WaterSense Partner of the Year Award! Read on...
  2. Graphic for Newman Street Water Line Project that announces construction begins October 11, 2021

    Newman Street Water Main Installation Project Begins October 11, 2021

    The Department of Water Management announces October 11, 2021 as the start date for the Newman Street Water Main Installation project. Read on...
  3. Photo of a Durham Collections Personnel using a vac-truck to clean the sewer.

    Annual Sanitary Sewer System Report - FY 2020-2021

    Do you ever wonder what happens once you flush the toilet? Each year, the City of Durham prepares a report outlining wastewater treatment processes, compliance with permit conditions, and maintenance activities in the collection system. Read on...
  4. Water flowing from a bathroom faucet.

    2020 Water Quality Report

    Durham’s 2020 Water Quality Report shows 100% compliance with all drinking water standards and zero water quality violations, and Durham's Water Management team delivered safe drinking water to more than 301,000 residents. Read on...
  5. Photo of Williams Water Treatment Plant

    City of Durham Announces Completion of Water Treatment Plant Upgrades

    The Department of Water Management announces the completion of a multi-year process to upgrade two water treatment plants. These $110 million multi-year projects were necessary to expand plant capacities and make improvements for regulatory compliance. Read on...
  6. 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...
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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 2021.

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.