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.
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. Three weeks later, Governor Roy Cooper issued an Executive Order suspending disconnects by utilities statewide. That Order expired at midnight on July 29, 2020.
Our ability to provide safe drinking water to Durham’s residents and visitors is fully funded by revenue from water bills. This is why all customers have continued to receive their monthly bills showing how much water was used and the amount that is owed, including any past due balance. We want our customers to know that cutoffs for nonpayment resumed on September 16. Other regional water utilities are following a similar timeline. If you fell behind on payments while this Executive Order was in effect, support remains available. We have trained staff in Customer Billing Services who are ready to help.
- You will not face any late fees, interest, or penalties (PDF).
- The Executive Order (PDF) allows up to six months from July 29 to pay outstanding bills.
- You may qualify for a grant from our Water Hardship Fund.
- We are offering customized payment plans.
We don’t want anyone to go without water. For more information about payments, the Water Hardship Fund, or other community resources, please select one of the options below or contact Durham One Call at 919-560-1200.
One of our contractors will conduct smoke testing in a few Durham neighborhoods beginning on Thursday, September 24. These tests will continue for about a week in the following areas. For a closer look, reference the project map (PDF).
- Landon Farms
- Northeast Hills
- Geer Street
- Midland Woods
Smoke testing is used to identify and repair potential problems in the sanitary sewer system. The smoke is nontoxic and does not leave stains or residue. It's similar to fog machines, is white or gray in color, and has a slight fragrance.
Most importantly, it is NOT a fire hazard.
Contact us at (919)560-4381 with any questions. And thank you for your patience while we complete this work!
Get a Free Fat Trapper!
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! 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, just complete the online form!
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.
AUTHORIZED CASH PAYMENT LOCATIONS NEAR YOU
In addition to existing methods of payment online, by phone, and in person, we've teamed with Western Union to set up Authorized Cash Payment Locations near where you live and work. Now you can go any one of Western Union's 40 Durham locations to pay your water bill. They're open seven days a week and in the evenings, which should be more convenient for residents who like to pay with cash but without the trip to City Hall. (You will be asked to provide account details the first time you use this service.)
Each time you pay at an Authorized Payment Location:
- Use "City of Durham Department of Water Management" as the Company name.
- Use the Last Name and Account Number which are printed on your utility bill.
- Bring your bill or payment stub with you.
- Make your payment with cash only.
- You will pay a $1.50 convenience fee.
- The store clerk will receive your funds and enter the payment information, which will post to your account within minutes.
- You will receive a validated payment receipt as proof of payment, keep the receipt for your records.
To ensure your payment is received safely, use only an Authorized Western Union Payment Location.
We offer Educational Resources for teachers and families.
Recreating classroom experiences for students enrolled in virtual school is a new challenge for many parents. Fortunately, water is a safe, affordable, accessible teaching tool that's available any time of day, at the touch of a tap, right in your own home!
We can also recommend these water websites for more opportunities to learn.
Water Rocks.org - An award-winning STEM site all about water
NASA - Offers a set of lesson plans about the water cycle, weather, and technology
Edutopia.com - Tons of engaging video links on water, wetlands, and conservation
DurhamWater - Our very own YouTube channel brimming with locally produced lessons about water
Imagine a Day Without WaterThe City of Durham Department of Water Management invites all area high school students to join us in participating in the Value of Water Campaign’s 2020 Imagine a Day Without Water!
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.