Wastewater Collection Systems

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2013 & 2014







The NCAWWA-WEA Collection System of The Year Award recognizes utilities that protect the public health and the natural beauty of the environment through pro-active practices of management, operations and maintenance beyond what is required of its North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources collection system permit. Award recipients have demonstrated that they have performed quality collections system maintenance procedures and innovative methods to keep its collection system in good working condition. Examples of the innovative collection system methods used by Durham County include a Geographical Information System based asset management system and a comprehensive analysis of all manhole top elevations and their respective flood elevations.

Maintenance on Sanitary Sewer Main Lines

The County maintains over 90 miles of collection system sewers & force mains, and has programs to ensure our customers can “flush with confidence”. To accomplish this, the County routinely cleans sewer lines and performs preventive maintenance and repairs. The County also maintains an active sewer rehabilitation program that refurbishes, or replaces, aged pipes and manholes. One such example of these programs is the County’s membership in NC 811. NC 811 is a utility location service, run state-wide to identify the presence of underground utilities. This service is routinely used by contractors to locate utilities before construction projects begin, so unnecessary damage to the underground utilities does not occur.

If you experience a sewer system backup, or observe a clean out or sewer manhole overflowing; please contact the County as soon as possible by calling the Utility Division at (919) 560-9033.

Sewer Stoppages

When a stoppage occurs, contact the Utility Division at (919) 560-9033, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including holidays to determine if you are one of our customers. If you are one of our customers, the County will assess the stoppage to determine if the blockage is on the County's side of the sewer line or the homeowner's side of the sewer line.

Durham County will clear blockages that occur in the main sewer line or in the sewer lateral, from the main line to the clean out pipe at the edge of the property or right-of-way. The sewer clean out is a vertical, capped, 4" pipe that provides direct access to the sewer system.

Homeowners are responsible for blockages that occur in the sewer lateral, located between the clean out pipe and the dwelling. If there is no clean out pipe at the edge of the property, the homeowner is responsible for blockages that occur anywhere in the sewer lateral.