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
Did you know that nearly 1,000,000,000,000 gallons of water are wasted due to leaks in American homes each year?* That’s right, nearly one trillion gallons. 12 zeros. That’s the amount of water 11 million homes use! Read on...
City of Durham to Perform Temporary Water Disinfection Changeover. Federal and State-Mandated Annual Month-Long Process Begins February 25; Will Not Impact Safety or Quality of Drinking Water. Read on...
The public is invited to attend a public meeting for the East Durham Waterline Replacement Phase 1A Project on Tuesday, January 11, 2022 at 6 p.m. Read on...
The results are in! Durham’s tap water—specifically water treated at the Daniel M. Williams Water Treatment Plant—has been named Best Tasting Water in North Carolina! This marks the third consecutive award for the City’s Department of Water Management. Read on...
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...
The Department of Water Management announces October 11, 2021 as the start date for the Newman Street Water Main Installation project. Read on...
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...
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...
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 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.
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. The payment is visible to staff within minutes and applied to your account the next business day.
- 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, families and the community.
There are a variety of ways to learn about water. We've adapted most of our activities for a virtual audience and would be happy to adapt our programs to your needs. Teachers, parents, civic groups, local clubs and neighborhood associations are encouraged to utilize these resources. Check out Educational Programs and Resources for more information.
Stormwater Utility Fee
A bump in your water bill this month may be your Stormwater Utility Fee. There are three tiers ($42.00, $87.00, or $174.24) which appear in October, November, or December if you're getting billed annually. (Some residents have monthly installments, instead.)
Our creeks, rivers, and lakes are cleaner thanks to Durham’s Stormwater Management Program! Visit the interactive map for more!
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. 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.
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.
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.