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The majority of street tree plantings will be completed by staff in our General Services Department’s Urban Forestry Division. A few volunteer tree planting events conducted by our non-profit partner, Keep Durham Beautiful, will also contribute to the planting of street trees.
Approximately two weeks before a tree planting occurs, our urban forestry crews will leave informational door hangers on nearby residences to inform them of the tree installations. Additionally, there will be flag and paint markings indicating the approximate locations of the new street trees in the rights-of-way. All planting locations will be inspected for underground utilities prior to planting to ensure that utilities will not be impacted during digging. Most tree planting projects take a few hours to a few days to complete, with minimal impacts to the street during installation. Since these newly planted trees are on City property, it is entirely the City’s responsibility to plant, prune, stake, and maintain the trees. However, it would be helpful if our residents could water the trees nearest to their properties during the hot summer months, although there is no resident obligation to water our street trees. Please note, the tree planting season begins in November and ends in March of the following calendar year.
We chose a large variety of species every year depending on what is available at select nurseries. Traditionally, our staff selects a variety of Oak, Elm, Maple, Redbud, and other species. Most trees planted are one inch in diameter and no taller than seven to eight feet. Our trees come in a variety of sizes and types, such as ball and burlap, bare root, and containerized material. Our goal is to never plant more than ten percent of one species in a given year, to ensure a diverse and resilient urban forest.
Neighborhoods selected to receive trees this year are the Downtown (Old Five Points), Stratford Lakes, and Lyon Park (including Morehead Hill & Lakewood Park) neighborhoods.
The rights-of-way (also referred to as “ROW”) are the areas of land intended to remain open for public or railroad use, upon which railroads and governments (state and local) maintain and exert control. The main use of the right-of-way is for transportation, but room for other government infrastructure exists there: hydrants, streetlights, signs, wires, pipes, sidewalks, etc. We distinguish between “City” and other rights-of-way because we don’t plant trees on state or private railway areas unless agreements are in place.
Right-of-way widths vary drastically. In older residential areas it is typically 40 to 50’ wide reflecting narrow streets, minimal setbacks, lower traffic speeds and volumes, but it can be much wider in more recently developed areas outside of the dense urban core. In virtually all cases the pavement does not take up the full width. The area “left-over” is where we plant trees.
A typical example is where a 30’ wide street sits upon a 50’ wide right-of-way. In this case, there is typically 10’ left over on either side for amenities such as sidewalks and “tree lawns”. In the same scenario without sidewalks, that 10’ of “left-over” area is indistinguishable from a private lawn, except maybe for some buried utilities indicated by objects such as water meters, gas valves, or fire hydrants.
In some cases, the rights-of way may only extend a few feet behind the curb on either side of the roadway, while on some blocks it can be 20+ feet where some future need was anticipated (like a road widening or sewer-line expansion). A good way to determine the city rights-of-way near your home is to identify utilities. For instance, if you see a water meter or utility pole then you are looking at City rights-of-way. This roadside area is where we plant street trees because they provide shade to the sidewalks/roadways and insure that the city will maintain them into the future.
If there is planting space along the City rights-of-way in your neighborhood, then you may be eligible for a new street tree. We have a tree request program where residents can request a street tree be planted in front of their home. Use our “Tree Request Form” if you would like to request a street tree.
The City’s non-profit partner, Keep Durham Beautiful, currently raises funds and coordinates volunteer opportunities to support our tree planting efforts. If you would like to contribute to our goal of maintaining and expanding the urban tree canopy, visit https://keepdurhambeautiful.org/ to make a donation or volunteer.
Another way to support our efforts is to make a donation through your water bill to our Water Into Trees Program. Your donation through this optional program will be used exclusively by our Urban Forestry Division to purchase additional trees for City streets, parks, and green spaces. For more information and to make a donation, visit https://durhamnc.gov/800/Water-Into-Trees.
We are working hard to increase our urban forest and bring the many environmental and economic benefits of street trees in our City rights-of-way to our low tree canopy neighborhoods. If you have any questions or concerns about this five-year project, please contact Urban Forestry Supervisor Dan Hickey at Daniel.firstname.lastname@example.org or (919) 560-4197 ext. 35219.
This project will replace aging and undersized 2-inch water lines in multiple locations throughout the City of Durham with larger diameter lines to improve reliability of water service and fire protection. Construction is anticipated to start early 2018 and continue throughout the year.
Construction will not occur on private properties but only in city right-of-way; however, there will be pedestrian, traffic, and noise impacts throughout the project area during construction. All property owners will be notified in advance of construction near their property. This includes any planned water service disruptions. Sound levels near active construction areas are anticipated to range between 70 and 90 decibels.
Disturbed areas along roadways and sidewalks will be restored, and lawns will be graded and re-seeded at the end of the project. Landscaped areas within the City right-of-way will not be restored to current conditions. Most work will be conducted during daytime hours, however advance notice will be made if off hours work is necessary.
Officer Wilkinson, Durham Police Department, 919-560-4322, ext 29173 or Andrew.Wilkinson@durhamnc.gov
One can be obtained from the North Carolina Alcohol & Beverage Commission website; http://abc.nc.gov/Permit/Apply
Officer Wilkinson will take care of that for you. All you need to do is turn in your application.
Subcontractors for the City of Durham will be performing subsurface investigations throughout the project area to locate existing buried utilities and determine soil properties. This information will be used to avoid conflicts with existing utilities during the design and construction phases, in addition to allowing the contractor to prepare for anticipated soil conditions during construction. Lane closures lasting several hours will be used at each of the subsurface investigation locations throughout the project area. Small amounts of soil will be removed via an auger or vacuum to complete the investigation, followed by repairing the excavation.
The City will provide status updates via the City website on its page for current projects. You may also contact the project contacts listed above. Public Meetings will be scheduled to discuss the project in more detail, address transportation or other impacts, and answer any other questions regarding the project.
The malware virus attack happened Friday (3/6) evening after an attachment was opened that contained the virus. The virus infected up to 1,000 computers connected to the City network before the network was shutdown by Technology Solutions. That is why it is very important for employees not to click on any attachment or link sent by a stranger or unknown source. Durham City and County are not unique in attacks such as this, as numerous malware attacks have happened in cities throughout the nation. Fortunately, the City of Durham was prepared for a situation such as this one and had backed up much of the City’s data.
Due to the type of virus used, technology professionals have assured the City that neither employee nor resident data or information was compromised.
Recovering all City systems, including some specific departmental applications, is still in progress. However, most major systems and network drives are back online. For more details, please visit our Work from Home page.
K Drive, H Drive, and One Drive data are intact and up and running. The last systems backup for the OneDrive was Thursday, March 5, and the backups for the K and H drives were completed Friday, March 6, which was prior to the attack. These drives were restored to those points in time. All cloud storage is intact. Unfortunately, files saved on desktops are gone.
Phone service has been back in all City facilities since March, and Wi-Fi has been turned on in all City facilities as of May 11. Employees can also activate Wi-Fi hotspots on all City-issued mobile phones under Settings. These provide Wi-Fi access for mobile devices only.
Please contact TS if you still need your email restored. The TS Service Desk can be reached by email at SupportDesk@DurhamNC.gov or by phone at 919-560-4122, Option 1.
Please contact TS if you still need your workstation/laptop re-imaged. The TS Service Desk can be reached by email at SupportDesk@DurhamNC.gov or by phone at 919-560-4122, Option 1.
Any laptop or computer that’s part of the City network and has not been re-imaged is considered contaminated. This is true even for laptops and desktop computers that were powered off at the time of the attack and still appear functional. Additionally, any USB or storage device that has been used with a City computer over the past several months is considered contaminated. This is because it’s not known how long the malware was present in the system prior to March’s attack. We can assume it was a latent presence in the system for a long time. Do not plug anything into a City computer that has not been cleaned and re-imaged. USBs will be collected and, as time allows, will be scanned with information downloaded onto approved devices.
Any non-Windows device is not affected. Other personal equipment may have been exposed if USB or similar storage devices used with City work stations or laptops were plugged into computers at home.
The McAfee Security software previously used by the City failed to detect the presence of this virus. The City has now switched to a new anti-malware software that will detect and eradicate the type of malware that was used.
Here is some recommended verbiage to include in your email auto-response addressing the malware attack:
“Due to a recent cyber malware attack on the City of Durham’s networks, many City departments are operating in a limited capacity while systems and employee workstations are restored in the coming days and weeks. Please note that some delays in employee responses should be expected as email accounts and phone systems are restored throughout the organization. For the latest information on our recovery efforts, please visit https://DurhamNC.gov or follow @CityofDurhamNC on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Thank you in advance for your patience as we navigate this situation and return to normal operations.”
Anyone may make a proclamation request. However, proclamations must have a direct relationship to Durham City/County citizens, events, achievements, services or noteworthy causes. The decision to issue a proclamation is done completely at the discretion of the Mayor, and he reserves the right to deny requests for proclamations at any time.
Submit a , including a working telephone number where you can be reached for possible questions or clarification regarding the information you have provided.
Requests can also be mailed or hand-delivered to:
101 City Hall Plaza, Suite 2400
Durham, NC 27701
NOTE: Because of the large volume of requests, we cannot honor phone requests.
To follow up on a proclamation request, you can reach us at 919-560-4333.
Absolutely not. General Statue, NC Plumbing Code, and City of Durham Code of Ordinance do not allow this type of connection. See Non-Compliant Hose Bibb Irrigation Systems (PDF) for more information.
To become a certified backflow tester in Durham you first need to be employed by a properly licensed contractor (with proof of employment) or be a property licensed contractor yourself. A Fire, Utility, or Plumbing Contractors license is required. Next, visit our website and print the course packet. When ready, fill out , sign, and return the class application and testers check list.
Please visit our CCC Online One Time Payment website at https://ipn2.paymentus.com/rotp/dhcc. Select the payment you would like to make and then enter either your permit number or student name. Once payment has been approved, you will receive a confirmation email and a copy will be sent to CCCProgram@durhamnc.gov. Your payment will be applied appropriately.
There are three different classes an enclosure can be placed in, depending upon the amount of protection it provides. If the enclosure is in a climate where winters are long and temperatures are cold, the ASSE 1060 Class 1 will provide the freeze protection needed.
All property owners will be notified in advance of construction near their property; this includes any planned water service disruptions. Sound levels near active construction areas are anticipated to range between 70 and 90 decibels. Due to traffic control constraints, it will be necessary to conduct some work in high-traffic areas during weekend hours.
No, it is unlawful to do any open burning of trash or debris inside the city limits of Durham. In addition, burning permits are NOT issued to City of Durham residents.
The City Solid Waste Management Department does offer curbside collection of yard waste. The Solid Waste Department can be contacted at 919-560-4186 for information on this service.
No, it is unlawful to do any open burning of trash or debris inside of the city limits of Durham. In addition, burning permits are NOT issued to City of Durham residents.
Yes. Details can be found at Recreational Burning. As a reminder, these regulations pertain to burning within the City limits. Durham County has specific regulations.
Enter your address in Insurance Rating
Firefighters are certified emergency medical technicians and they respond to a variety of medical emergencies within the City. Firefighters supplement services provided by ambulances by arriving quickly and providing additional skilled manpower. The fire trucks carry medical supplies and equipment to stabilize and/or resuscitate patients. Please call 919-560-4242 for more information and as always, call 911 if you have an emergency.
The Fire Department requires firefighters to undergo mandatory annual fitness testing. They are strongly encouraged to take one hour per day for strength training and cardiovascular fitness to maintain their health and meet the requirements of their annual fitness test.
Firefighters work a 24 hour shift for five days on a rotating schedule. During their off time, some firefighters have opted to purchase their own gym memberships to have access to equipment and facilities in their assigned service area. Please call 919-560-4242 for more information.
Firefighters work a 24 hour shift. Fire stations are equipped with full kitchens to allow firefighters to prepare meals for themselves during their shift. As required by policy, the crew will go to a grocery store in their assigned service area to purchase food items for meals. Firefighters buy their own food items, as the fire department does not supplement food purchases. Please call 919-560-4242 for more information.
We are a paid fire department and do not have volunteer firefighters. The departments below are volunteer fire departments in our area:
Bahama Fire Department
Lebanon Fire Department
Redwood Volunteer Fire Department
The crew is out of the station. They may be on a call for emergency service, attending a training session, or participating in a community event. If you do not get an answer, please leave a message.
If your fire alarm is chirping like a bird, it may be time to change your battery. Smoke alarm batteries should be changed twice a year and should be checked monthly. Please call 919-560-4242 and request extension 19223 or 19242 for more information.
The Fire Department will not leave a hydrant running, and if the hydrant is in use by the Fire Department, a department member should be nearby. Other city departments, such as Public Works or Water Management, may leave hydrants running for extended periods of time for a variety of reasons. If you see a hydrant running and there is no sign or labeled piece of equipment indicating that a City agency is at work, call Durham One Call at 919-560-1200 to make a report.
Visit our Becoming a Durham Firefighter-Hiring Process page.
To find the closest fire station to your home address, enter your address at Find my Fire Station
Requests for property condition assessments should be requested using the following link: Fire Report
ABC Permit Questions
Routinely flushing water mains through hydrants is a necessary and important part of maintaining Durham's water distribution system. Hydrant flushing removes sediments that build up in the mains, keeps water flowing and prevents stagnation, and ensures proper chlorine levels and high water quality throughout the system. Flushing also helps us ensure the City's fire hydrants are working properly.
The City of Durham offers two different Fire Hydrant Assemblies:
You can expect approximately 8 - 435 gallons per minute (gpm).
The assembly is attached to a fire hydrant via a fire hose provided by the City of Durham. Discharge hoses are not provided and are the responsibility of the customer.
No. Fire hydrant meter customers or their representatives are not authorized to operate City of Durham fire hydrants or any fire hydrant that has a fire hydrant meter assembly installed on it. The fire hydrant assembly is secured in an insulated box and includes thermostatic freeze protection.
Rental periods may vary from one day to one year or more. Rental fees and consumption charges are paid monthly. As long as the account remains current you can remain in possession of the fire hydrant meter assembly.
You may contact the Hydrant Meter Coordinator at 919-560-4344, option 4.
If you know your Fire Inspector or Assistant Fire Marshal’s name, the contact information is listed here.
A Fire Report or an Environmental Survey Assessment (ESA-1) may be requested in either of the following ways:
City of Durham Fire Department
Fire Report Request
2008 E Club Boulevard
Durham, NC 27704
You can request that the fire department participate in your community event by calling 919-560-4242, ext. 19242 or 19223, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., or by completing our online Event Request Form. Please know that we do not participate in birthday parties.
Ride-Alongs can last up to 12 hours long and must be scheduled after completion of the items listed below:
A partnership between the Durham Fire Department and California-based Fire Recovery USA (FRUSA) allows fire inspectors to utilize an automated inspection program. The invoices and receipts for these inspections will be emailed from the Fire Recovery USA Inspections Department.
You may mail your payment or pay for the fire inspections online. For online payments, call Fire Recovery USA at 888-640-7222, ext. 112.
If you still believe that you have received a bill in error, have your account number available and contact the Fire Prevention Division at 919-560-4242, ext. 19247.
Complete a Community Event Request Form
Please review the Alarm for Life Program on the Fire Education Request
Complete a Fire Inspection Request Form. You will receive a response within 24-48 hours, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, or City holidays. If you do not receive a response within 48 hours, please contact Deputy Fire Marshal Joel Gullie.
Except in cases where drivers have been cited for improper child restraint, if you would like to learn how to install your car seat for free, our trained technicians will teach you everything you need to know to make sure your car seat is fitted and installed correctly.
Car seats are checked by appointment only on Thursdays from 1:00 pm - 5 pm at City of Durham Fire Station 9 located at 1648 Midland Terrace
For any questions call – 919-560-4242 extension 19242 or 19223.
Click HERE to schedule an appointment.
For additional information about child passenger safety, please visit: www.SafeKids.org and www.BuckleUpNC.org
The following Durham agencies may also be able to assist you:
•NC State Highway Patrol at 101 S. Miami Blvd - 919-560-6868
•Durham County EMS by appointment ONLY at 226 Milton Road - 919- 560-8287
You can find more information about Durham’s most recent water quality testing results in the Annual Water Quality Report.
Never cook with or drink water from the hot water tap. Hot water dissolves lead faster than cold water. If you need hot water, draw cold water from the tap and heat it on the stove or in the microwave. Never use hot tap water to make baby formula or cereal. Periodically remove loose debris from plumbing materials by removing faucet strainers/aerators from all taps and running the water for three to five minutes.
After completing the necessary request form, you may then pick up your sample kit (available three business days after completing the form) at one of two locations: our South Durham Water Reclamation Facility (WRF) at 6605 Farrington Road, or our North Durham WRF at 1900 East Club Blvd. Kits will be available for pick-up Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Customers should complete a request form and provide the required information so that appropriate labels and associated paperwork can be prepared and made ready. After collecting samples, customers should return them to either WRF as soon as possible for analysis.For more information on lead in drinking water, visit the EPA’s Ground Water and Drinking Water website.
This project will replace deteriorating water lines that were installed in the 1930s and 1940s. Approximately 7,400 feet of water lines and 6,400 feet of sewers within the North Elizabeth Street area will be replaced. Also, existing water meter boxes will be upgraded to current standards. The project will be paid for by previously authorized capital improvement program (CIP) funds. Water line and sewer construction is anticipated to last approximately 18 months.
Construction will not occur on private properties; however, there will be pedestrian, traffic, and noise impacts throughout the North Elizabeth Street area during construction. The city’s contractor will be required to maintain access to residences and businesses at all times, though on-street parking and pedestrian access may be obstructed due to the work area or traffic detours during construction.
All property owners will be notified in advance of construction near their property; this includes any planned water service disruptions. Sound levels near active construction areas are anticipated to range between 70 and 90 decibels. Due to traffic control constraints, it may be necessary to conduct some work in high-traffic areas during weekend hours.
Due to the many existing utilities located beneath the roads in the project area, the installation of the proposed waterline will require lane and/or road closures to expedite construction. In some portions of the project area, construction will take place during weekend hours in order to minimize traffic, pedestrian, and bus impacts. Weekend work will allow the contractor to complete work that requires road closures while minimizing the impacts to traffic and nearby businesses. Sound levels near active construction areas are anticipated to range between 70 and 90 decibels.
In addition to other notifications, signage will inform and direct property owners, residents, and visitors in the North Elizabeth Street area regarding detours, changes in traffic patterns, and access issues throughout construction. Disturbed areas along roadways and sidewalks will be repaved, and lawns will be graded and reseeded at the end of the project.
Once the project enters the construction phase, existing water meters in the project area will be reconnected to the newly installed waterlines. It is possible that customers will be without water for a short duration (typically a few hours) while this transition takes place. Property owners will be notified in advance regarding any planned service disruptions.
A pink film or residue on bathroom and kitchen surfaces generally does not indicate a problem with water quality. In fact, the pink residue is likely a result of airborne bacteria present in the home that produce a pinkish or dark gray film on surfaces that are routinely moist such as toilet bowls, showerheads, sink drains, and tiles. Some people have reported that the pink residue appears in their pet’s water bowl and fortunately it has not caused harm to the pet and is easily cleaned off.
Many experts agree that the bacteria that causes this pink film is most likely Serratia marcesens, a bacteria which is found naturally in soil, food, and in animals. Serratia, which produce a characteristic red pigment, thrive on moisture, dust, and phosphates and need almost nothing to survive. Generally thought to be harmless, recently Serratia marcesens has been tied to urinary tract infections, wound infections, and pneumonia in some people.
The pinkish film often appears during or after construction or remodeling, when dust and dirt containing Serratia bacteria are stirred up. Once the bacteria are airborne, they will seek a moist location where it can proliferate. Some people have reported that the pink residue only appears during certain times of the year, especially when their windows are left open for most of the day. This type of bacteria is present in a number of environments and wind can carry the airborne bacteria or stir up dust in which the bacteria are present.
The appearance of the pink residue can be intensified by the use of activated carbon filters, which remove chlorine from the water. The absence of the normal levels of chlorine in tap water allows Serratia to thrive. Because chlorine naturally dissipates from water that is allowed to collect on surfaces, Serratia may proliferate in these areas.
A local historic district is a type of zoning applied by the City Council or Board of County Commissioners to an area of special significance in terms of its history, prehistory, architecture, and/or culture, that possesses integrity of design, setting, materials, feeling, and association (as per NCGS 160A-400.3). Local historic districts can be located using the City’s DurhamMaps mapping program.
A local historic district is applied through the same procedure used to change the zoning of a parcel or parcels. Prior to the district’s adoption by the governing body, an investigation and report (Preservation Plan) must be developed, describing the boundaries of the district as well as the significance of structures, features, and sites within. After a district is established, a certificate of appropriateness (COA) is required before any exterior changes to the property may be made. Local historic districts can be located using the City’s iMaps mapping program. Regulations must be consistent with North Carolina General Statute 160A- 400.4.
A local historic landmark is a property designated by the City Council or the Board of County Commissioners for its special significance in terms of its historical, pre-historical, architectural, or cultural importance, and which possesses integrity of design, setting, workmanship, materials, feeling, and association.
A property owner may apply for historic landmark designation. A historic properties survey serves as a guide for determining eligible properties for designation. The staff prepares a report attesting to the significance of the structure, which is reviewed by the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), the Historic Preservation Commission, and the governing body, the latter of which makes the final determination. The landmark is adopted by an Ordinance of Designation which must describe the property, list its owners, name key elements of its historical significance, affirm the waiting period required (up to 365 days) prior to a demolition, and note that a COA is required for any exterior changes to the property.
Before making any changes to a property in a local historic district or that is a local historic landmark, a COA is required even if no other permit is required. Local historic districts and local landmarks can be found using the City’s DurhamMaps program. A property that is only listed on the National Register but not designated as a local historic landmark or in a local historic district does not need a COA. If you are uncertain, please contact the Planning Department at Preservation@DurhamNC.gov.
For some applications, staff review of the COA is permitted. These Minor COA applications are reviewed and approved by Planning Department staff. Minor COA applications cannot be denied by Planning staff, so occasionally a Minor COA will be forwarded to the Historic Preservation Commission for review as a Major COA. The remainder of COA applications are reviewed and acted upon by the Historic Preservation Commission as Major COAs. Applications must be acted upon within 180 days of their being submitted and deemed complete. Detailed information regarding the level of review required for a particular scope of work can be found on the Development Services Center page at https://dsc.durhamnc.gov/174.
Contact the Planning Department at email@example.com or call 919-560-4137 or view the Map at
Look up the property and recent plans for development at https://maps.durhamnc.gov/.
The Durham Police Department has 548 sworn positions and 124 civilian positions.
You must come to the Records Unit at Police Headquarters at 602 East Main Street. Reports are available on weekdays between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. You can also call the Records Unit at 919-560-4423 to get a copy of a report faxed to you.
If your vehicle has been towed, call the Durham Police Department front desk officer at 919-560-4427. If we towed your vehicle, we can look it up in the tow log and give you the tow business information. You will need a current registration and photo ID to show proof of ownership. Vehicles will only be released to registered owners unless circumstances prevent this, at which time you need to contact the towing inspector to make other arrangements. If you have a towing complaint, contact the towing inspector, Officer Wilkinson, at 919-560-4322, ext. 29173. For more information, view our
Contact Durham Police Officer Wilkinson at 919-560-4322, ext. 29173. For information, please view our
The Durham Police Department holds an annual bilingual (English/Spanish) Citizens Police Academy. For more information, please visit the citizens police academy page.
North Carolina General Statute (NCGS) 132-1(a) defines public record(s) as “all documents, papers, letters, maps, books, photographs, films, sound recordings, magnetic or other tapes, electronic data-processing records, artifacts, or other documentary material, regardless of physical form or characteristics, made or received pursuant to law or ordinance in connection with the transaction of public business by any agency of North Carolina government or its subdivisions. Agency of North Carolina government or its subdivisions shall mean and include every public office, public officer or official state or local, elected or appointed) institution, board commission, bureau, council, department, authority or other unit of government of the state or of any country, unit special district, or other political subdivision of government.”
All records maintained by the City of Durham are public unless they are exempt from disclosure under the NC Public Records Law. If a records request is denied, the City will cite the appropriate law that allows the City to withhold the record.
Exempted records include but are not limited to:
A requestor may ask to inspect City records. The City will notify the requestor once the records are available for inspection, and make them available at a date and time mutually agreed upon by the requestor and the City. The appointment to inspect the record may need to be broken into intervals, as not to interfere with daily operations of a department.
All requests for public records should contain the following information:
Most records are provided free of charge. However, requester's will be notified in advance of any charges. The City of Durham may make reasonable charges not to exceed its actual cost incurred in accessing, duplicating, supplying, or searching for the requested records.
The City of Durham is committed to an open and transparent government. As a rule, we respond to all requests for information as quickly as possible and strive to communicate a realistic time frame. It may not always be possible to fill requests right away if the requests span various departments and/or if they need to be reviewed to see if they contain confidential or restricted information.
Questions, please contact the Communications Department at (919) 560-4123 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reclaimed water is highly treated wastewater produced through advanced treatment processes that removes solids and disinfect potential pathogens. The City of Durham’s reclaimed water meets all state requirements for use of reclaimed water for beneficial uses as outlined in our permit.
Reclaimed water provides a safe alternate water source for many non-domestic uses such as irrigation and reduces demand on the City’s drinking or “potable” water sources.
The wastewater treatment and disinfection process requires four steps:
YES. Durham meets the highest standards set by the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Neighboring systems in Town of Cary, City of Raleigh and Orange Water and Sewer Authority have safely operated reclaimed water systems for several years with no documented public health issues.
The level of treatment of reclaimed water makes it acceptable for the following uses:
Yes, the degree of treatment required for the use of reclaimed water makes it unsuitable for the following purposes:
Reclaimed water is available from the Bulk Fill station at the North Durham Water Reclamation Facility at 1900 E. Club Blvd. Please note that only individuals who are certified to receive and haul reclaimed water use reclaimed water. Please contact the North Durham Water Reclamation Facility at 919-560-4384 or go to the City’s reclaimed water web page for more information on becoming certified.
The City of Durham provides reclaimed water from the bulk fill station at the North Durham Water Reclamation facility at NO cost to certified users.
Smoke testing is a routinely used procedure during which smoke is forced into a gravity sewer line using a fan or blower at low pressure. If there are any holes, cracks or other defects in the sewer line, smoke will seep through and visually identify the problem area.
The smoke that is introduced is non-toxic to humans and animals. It does have a slight odor and is white to gray in color but it will not create stains. Smoke used in smoke testing is not a fire hazard. If you do come into contact with the smoke, please wash affected areas with soap and water.
Requests to have a sidewalk repaired may be
Please use Durham One Call to report basin obstruction, ditches in need of cleaning or maintenance, or drainage problems on private property: Durham One Call.
Stormwater is rain or melted snow that does not soak into the ground. This water flows over the ground into storm drains, ditches, and other channels that flow directly into creeks, rivers, and lakes. Stormwater is not treated to remove pollution.
An impervious surface is a hard surface that does not let water soak into the ground or greatly reduces the amount of water that soaks into the ground. For more information, please visit our Impervious Surface page.
Annual fees are charged based on the 12-month fiscal year, between July 1st and June 30th of the following year. Monthly fees are charged at the end of the month for which the bill is generated or following the water/sewer billing cycle. To have your billing frequency changed contact Durham One Call at 919-560-1200.
Please view the Bill Detail information for your parcel on the Stormwater Utility Fee Map.
Visit the Stormwater & GIS Services section.
Stormwater is rain or melted snow that does not soak into the ground. This water flows over the ground into storm drains, ditches, and other channels that flow directly into creeks, rivers, and lakes. Stormwater is not treated to remove pollution.
Contact Durham One Call at 919-560-1200 to have your billing frequency changed to either monthly or annual.
View your property on the Stormwater Utility Fee Map online. If there are significant differences between the impervious area recorded online and what is actually on your property, please contact Durham One Call at 919-560-1200 or submit a Stormwater Appeal form online.
Contact the Development Services Center at 919-560-4137, option 3 or at email@example.com.
The stormwater utility fee is not changed by the amount of rain that falls or property tax value. The fee is based on the amount of runoff potentially created by impervious surface on the property. It is similar to fees paid for water/sewer service, trash collection, or electricity.
Annual stormwater utility fees are generated once per fiscal year between July 1st and June 30th the following year. Monthly stormwater utility fees are billed along with your water and/or sewer charges once per month. For stormwater only accounts, monthly bills are generated on the last workday of that month.
The property owner is ultimately responsible for paying the fee. Property sales and stormwater billing accounts are reviewed and updated on a regular basis. Please contact Durham One Call at 919-560-1200 if responsibility has not been updated after four weeks following a change in ownership.
Tax exempt organizations still have to pay the stormwater utility fee. The stormwater utility fee is similar to fees paid for water and sewer service, trash collection, or electricity. All developed land in the city, whether public or private, is billed based on the impervious area on the property. The City of Durham even pays a stormwater utility fee for the impervious area at its facilities.
Properties outside of Durham city limits are billed under the County's requirements and are not billed by the City of Durham. For more information about stormwater utility fees for properties in Durham County and outside Durham city limits, contact Durham County Tax Administration at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-560-0300.
The amount of impervious surface on a property is the single most important factor affecting the amount of water flowing off a property, how quickly that water flows off a property, and the amount of pollution picked up by the water from that property. Because of this, basing stormwater utility fees on the impervious area on a property is one of the most common methods used to determine stormwater utility fees.
The amount of impervious area on your property is determined through the use of a geographic information system (GIS), aerial photos, and satellite imagery. Images are taken of Durham that show the impervious surfaces on each property. A computer program is then used to calculate the amount of impervious area on each parcel. To view impervious area on your property visit the Stormwater Utility Fee Map.
Some older cities have a combined sewer system that treats rainwater with their sewage. The problem with sending rainwater to a treatment plant is that that there is just so much of it. For example, if one inch of rain falls on Durham that is almost 2 billion gallons of water. Durham has 2 wastewater treatment plants that are each permitted to treat 20 million gallons of wastewater per day. At that capacity the city would need 90 treatment plants to handle 1 inch of rain. Cities with combined sewer systems often have sewer system overflows with heavy rains. This releases bacteria, pathogens, toxic chemicals, and debris into the environment.
Currently the city uses other methods to treat stormwater that include practices such as stormwater wetlands, bioretention areas, and vegetated buffers. The cost of adding such items to a site after it is developed is about $50,000/acre of impervious area. These high costs to remove pollution from our stormwater are why it is so important to prevent the pollution in the first place. For more information, visit the
Call Durham One Call (919-560-1200) and report the problem, or
The permit application form can be found at the City of Durham Public Works website under Forms and Applications or you may pick up a paper copy at the Development Services Center (DSC) on the basement floor of City Hall – 101 City Hall Plaza. Complete the application and email it, along with any attachments to PWPermit@durhamnc.gov or drop it off at the Public Works Desk in the DSC. After the permit application has been reviewed and the permit is ready for payment and pick up, a notification email will be sent to the applicant. The permit can then be picked up and paid for at the Public Works desk in the Development Services Center (DSC). The permit fee is payable by check made out to the City of Durham or by credit card. A permit is required for all construction in the Right-of-Way (ROW) and in some cases for construction on private property. These permits will expire 90 days after issuance if an inspection has not been requested. If you have additional questions, email PWPermit@DurhamNC.gov.
When you see a pothole report it to the City of Durham Public Works’ new hotline, 919-560-1177 or you may request it online.
Curb cuts may be requested online.
For dumpster permits, please visit this link for the closure process: https://www.lucidchart.com/documents/view/e8ce5490-2613-42a0-886f-57b67c2c9ab8/0
No, there is no specific store that is necessary for the rebate. As long as the toilet is an HET on the EPA’s WaterSense list, a customer can buy it from any retailer, even online, but we do need the original invoice(s) or sales receipt(s) sent in with the application. The Department of Water Management advises customers to keep a copy of the sales invoice(s) or receipt(s) for their records.
In addition to a completed and signed application form (PDF), residential customers must submit:
Non-residential customer may become eligible if they receive an evaluation through our partnership with Waste Reduction Partners. The evaluation must recommend replacement of toilets as an efficiency measure and must occur before the replacement is performed. Please contact Water Efficiency staff for more information.
Contact the Towing Inspector, Officer Wilkinson at Andrew.Wilkinson@durhamnc.gov or 919-560-4322, ext. 29173.
A bill is estimated when we are not able to get an actual meter reading. This could be due to a meter that’s damaged, isn’t transmitting data, or is inaccessible due to surrounding debris or vegetation. An estimated bill is based on the most recent water-use records for your account. However, if you had a leak or used more water during the summer months, that would not be reflected in the estimated bill you receive. This is what occurred in 2019, when a number of accounts were estimated for an extended period of time.
Your bill will say “this is an estimated reading” right below the amount due on the left hand side. If your bill is marked estimated for more than two months in a row, please consider contacting the Department of Water Management through Durham One Call at (919) 560-1200.
Staff generally review six prior months’ usage to determine the estimated usage for your account and then apply the established water and sewer rates.
You are responsible for paying your bill every month whether it’s based on an actual meter reading or an estimate. The Department of Water Management has more than 95,000 customers. With that many meters to read, a small number each month may have issues. Rather than hold the bill for the next cycle, we send an estimated bill until the issue is resolved. This way, your estimated bill reflects your normal usage and you are not caught off-guard the following month with a double bill.
If your estimated bills exceeded your actual water use, we will credit your account. No further action on your part is required.
Sometimes a customer uses more water than estimated, sometimes less. Even when we can’t access your meter, it keeps recording water use. At this point, we have reviewed the meter readings and your actual records and verified that you used more water than we estimated. What you see on your bill is a charge for that water. Yes, you are required to make payment in full.
Based on City Council’s recommendation in response to this event, you will not be retroactively billed beyond a six-month period. This recommendation applies only to cases when the City is considered responsible.
Your water meter measures how much water you use. Even if the readings aren’t being transmitted properly, the meter continues to measure usage. We review those measurements, compare the actual water used to the amount paid for through estimated billing, and charge the difference.
You can submit a service request through our online portal via the Durham One Call Page on the City’s website at https://durhamnc.gov/1439/Durham-One-Call. Click on the “Place a Request” button; scroll down to “Water Management” on the left hand box and click; then select the “Miscellaneous Water Billing Questions” option, complete the form with your address, account number, and question; hit “Submit.” You can expect to hear back within 3 business days.
Contact Public Works Water and Sewer Engineering Services 919-560-4326.
Contact the Engineering Services workgroup at 919-560-4326.
Please submit your questions and/or feedback through the ’Website Feedback’ form.
Note: A link to the form is available in the footer section at the bottom of every webpage.
This project will evaluate and replace aging water mains and other utility infrastructure that was installed in the 1920s in the project area.
Approximately 12,000 linear feet of water mains will be replaced within West Club Boulevard, 9th Street, Carolina Avenue, Oakland Avenue, Oval Drive, and Englewood Avenue. The project may also include storm drainage rehabilitation and sanitary sewer main rehabilitation following field investigations.
The project will be paid for by previously authorized Capital Improvement Program (CIP) funds.
The field investigation portion of the project will take approximately six months.
Field investigation personnel will work primarily within the existing public right-of-way, but will also access front yards to survey the location of water meters, sewer cleanouts, sidewalks, trees, etc. The City’s contractor is required to maintain access to residences and businesses at all times, though some on-street parking may be temporarily obstructed during field investigations.
This project will replace deteriorating waterlines that were installed in the 1930s and 1940s. Approximately 5,600 feet of waterlines within the West Main Street area will be replaced. Also, existing water meter boxes will be upgraded to current standards. The project will be paid for by previously authorized capital improvement program (CIP) funds. Anticipated waterline construction duration will be updated following completion of the site review phase of the project.
Construction will not occur on private properties; however, there will be pedestrian, traffic, and noise impacts throughout the West Main Street area during construction. The city’s contractor will be required to maintain access to residences and businesses at all times, though on-street parking and pedestrian access may be obstructed due to the work area or traffic detours.
In addition to other notifications, signage will inform and direct property owners, residents, and visitors in the West Main Street area regarding detours, changes in traffic patterns, and access issues throughout construction. Disturbed areas along roadways and sidewalks will be repaved, and lawns will be graded and reseeded at the end of the project.
The Department of Water Management is responsible for operation, maintenance, evaluation, rehabilitation, and improvement of the sanitary sewer system throughout the City of Durham. As part of Water Management's ongoing efforts, this area was identified as warranting evaluation and design work for the improvement of the system. The sanitary sewer mains in this area are either along a streambank or traverse private property which makes them challenging to maintain.
Approximately 1,800 linear feet of sanitary sewer outfall will be either replaced or rehabilitated within the Watts Hospital-Hillandale Neighborhood
The field investigation and Preliminary Engineering Report (PER) are expected to be completed in late 2018, with detailed design to follow.
Field investigation personnel will work within the existing public right-of-way, but will also access front yards to survey. The City’s contractor is required to maintain access to residences and businesses at all times, though some on-street parking may be temporarily obstructed during field investigations.