Charlotte Water


  1. CONTACT US BY TELEPHONE - (dial 311 or 704-336-7600) and provide
  2. Social Security Number, SSN (preferred); or Employer Tax Identification Number, EIN Note: (this is a business tax identification number, NOT an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN, W-7). Federal rules prohibit accepting ITIN for identity verification outside the tax system.
  3. a fee for new service will be applied to the first bill.

Click here to learn more and how to apply for service in person

Yes, you can add someone to your account so they can inquire about your bill. Call 311 or 704-336-7600.  The customer service representative will ask for your Social Security Number to verify that you are authorized to add someone to the account.

The primary account holder is financially responsible for paying the water bill.

A $40.00 charge will apply to all water turn-ons.

Your first bill could be up to 60 days from the time water is turned on depending on when your bill is mailed during the billing cycle.

Customers will see a $40.00 turn on fee will be part of this first bill. 

If it is a commercial account, a deposit is also charged. Go to New Connections web page for details.

​Ccf if An abbreviation representing 100 cubic feet. This is a unit of measure which equals 748 gallons. 

​A residential customer’s sewer usage is not metered. The sewer charge is based on metered water usage each month. The sewer cap (16 Ccf) is the maximum amount of water usage upon which customers are charged sewer fees. It is assumed that water use in excess of the sewer cap is used primarily for irrigation or other outdoor purposes and does not return to the sewer system. ​

Water usage rates vary based on the amount of water used and are divided into four tiers. Usage is measured in Ccf. Most residential customers use 7 Ccf or less each month on average. Learn more.

If your home is in a geographically low point (near a creek) or near a water pumping facility, you may experience water pressure higher than 80 psi. Charlotte Water can’t alleviate high water pressure, but you may consider having a licensed plumber install a pressure-reducing valve at your home. Learn more.

The Property Owner maintains the water pipe from the end of the meter box to buildings. The property owner is responsible for pipes and fixtures in the buildings and wastewater pipes until the edge of street or street right-of-way. Learn more.

The cost of a PRV assessment, adjustment, and/or installation varies. Remember it's always a good idea to get more than one price quote. Pressure reducing valves, like all plumbing, have a lifespan and will need to be replaced in the future. ​

A licensed plumber should perform the assessment, adjustment, and/or installation. It is always best to check with the Better Business Bureau. 

NOTE: Please be sure your plumber clearly explains any warranty that may apply to the PRV and to the plumber's work. Learn more.

Customers who already have a pressure-reducing valve on their plumbing should have it inspected by a licensed plumber to ensure that it is in proper working condition occasionally. Pressure-reducing valves, like all plumbing, has a lifespan and will need to be replaced in the future. 

Failure to safeguard private plumbing may result in damage to pipes, appliances (hot water heater, dishwasher, refrigerator, etc.) or other private property in and around your home. 

Are you experiencing low water pressure at one faucet? A clogged aerator on a faucet can slow the flow. Remove the aerator from the faucet, clean it, and put back on.

Are you experiencing low water pressure only with hot water? Consult with a plumber.

Are you experiencing low  water pressure throughout the house? Products like water softeners or filters may reduce water pressure if recently added or needs to be serviced.  A water leak in plumbing can also affect pressure.

If you have a pressure reducing valve (PRV) installed to protect your plumbing, it may need adjusting. Most PRVs are installed after the water meter or before the water heater. Talk to a plumber before adjusting it.

If your water pressure suddenly drops to almost nothing, it could be a result of a broken water line. Call 311 to report sudden drops in pressure.

To report a suspected problem, call 311 or 704-336-7600. ​

When you report the problem, please provide as much description as possible about the situation. Charlotte Water will dispatch a service technician to evaluate the problem as soon as possible. If a leak exists on a public water pipe, then a work order will be created and a crew dispatched. Learn more.

​There may be businesses in your area that offer to accept City of Charlotte payments but are doing so without authorization from the City of Charlotte. If payments are made at these unauthorized locations, the City of Charlotte cannot guarantee your payment and cannot validate your receipt number. The City of Charlotte is not responsible for the merchant's timeliness or accuracy in recording your payment. Help protect the security of your payment by using one of the authorized payment locations.

  • Do your part in saving the environment by eliminating the need for paper bills and checks.
  • Save money on the postage required for mailed payments.
  • Save your online City Services bills and view them at your convenience.
  • Never worry about paying your bill on time.

Electronic bill presentment and payments are available through online bill pay services provided by most banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions.  City Services customers who do not currently use online bill pay are encouraged to visit their bank’s website to learn more.

​Yes, you can now view, pay and analyze your City/County services bill at​.  Please note if you are currently signed up to make automatic payments via your bank and want to make automatic payments through this website, you need to discontinue your automatic payment setup with your bank to avoid duplicate payments.

​Call 311 or 704-336-7600 and ask if public water and/or sanitary sewer service is available. If you would like to connect to service (and currently use a well or septic) ask for "Charlotte Water New Tap Request."

​​​​The common residential service is a 3/4-inch water connection (5/8-inch meter) tap and a 4-inch sewer lateral.

​Start with county website about well and septic. ​

The common residential service is a 3/4-inch water tap and a 4-inch sewer. Before work can be scheduled, residential customers must pay the non-refundable water connection and capacity fee for each service needed. Learn more.

​The cleanout is the sewer opening located in the front yard of residential customers. It looks like a white circle PVC pipe sticking out of the ground and helps plumbers and city crews clean sewer laterals and respond to sewer backups in the home.

A connection fee is the cost of installing a tap from the service pipe (under the street) to your property. The connection fee is based on the average cost of installing taps last year.

​A capacity fee is to pay for the new customer impact on the overall public system. The average residential household uses more than 5,000 gallons of water a month. The capacity fee will help provide for the additional improvements necessary to provide water and sewer services for the new customer. Sewer capacity fee is based on water meter size.

​Approximately 6-12 months after receipt of payment. Once you've put in the request for service, it may still be several months before the water or sewer pipe can be extended to your home or business. Crews must investigate property lines, make plans for construction, and obtain the proper permits before construction can even begin. The construction process may also take longer if the project is difficult (requires purchasing easements, topographical challenges) and or impeded by bad weather. It may take approximately six (6) weeks upon approval of the NCDOT encroachment.

​Approximately 6-8 weeks after receipt of payment if water or sanitary sewer pipe already exists at or near property. If pipes must be extended to serve property it may take several months.

The Advisory Committee​ reviews and makes recommendations on the following: all capital improvement programs for water and sewer facilities and changes to such programs; proposed changes in the method for determining water and sewer charges; proposed changes in policy for extending water and sewer services. 

​There are seven members (one appointed by Mayor of Charlotte​; three by Charlotte City Council​; three by Mecklenburg County Commissioners​). 

​The Chairman is Jim Duke and Vice Chairman is Ron Charbonneau.

Other members are:​
Frank McMahan 
James Merrifield 
Barry Webb
Eric Sieckmann
Dorian Carter
William Royal

​Advisory Committee Meetings are typically on the third Thursday of each month between 2:30 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. at 4222 Westmont Drive (Conference Room C), Charlotte NC 28217. 

The Advisory Committee was formed in June 1991. The agreement that formed the group was signed by Mayor Sue Myrick and Board of County Commissioners Chairperson T. Rodney Autrey. 

The agreement requires that three members will be appointed by the County Commission, three by City Council and one by the Charlotte city mayor. With the exception of the town representative, the members of the Committee must be actively involved in one of the following categories: real estate developer, water and/or sewer contractor, civil engineer specializing in water/sewer construction, financial expert and neighborhood leader. This composition of skill sets was suggested by a 13-member citizen committee that reviewed Utilities policies from April to November 1990, which recommended the five-member Community Facilities Committee be transitioned to seven members with these characteristics. 

Members commit approximately 1.5 hours per month. Members are appointed to three-year terms and may be appointed to one additional term to coincide right after first term. 

​Ccf is an abbreviation representing 100 cubic feet. This is a unit of measure which equals 748 gallons. 

​An irrigation meter is a separate meter that supplies water only to an outdoor irrigation system. Water used through an irrigation meter is not subject to sewer usage charges and is billed beginning at the Tier 3 water usage rate. 

A residential customer’s sewer usage is not metered. The sewer charge is based on metered water usage each month. The sewer cap (16 Ccf) is the maximum amount of water usage upon which customers are charged sewer fees. It is assumed that water use in excess of the sewer cap is used primarily for irrigation or other outdoor purposes and does not return to the sewer system. ​

The fixed fees for both water and sewer recover the cost of servicing accounts, such as the cost of meter reading and billing. The fixed fee charges are $4.02  per 30-day billing period for water and $4.02 per 30-day billing period for sewer. These fees are prorated based on the number of days of service on the bill.​

These fees apply to both water and sewer. They help CLTWater pay for water and sewer projects as well as reduce the impact of consumption changes due to weather. The fees vary based on the size of a customer’s meter. These fees are prorated based on the number of days of service on the bill. A standard residential customer has a 5/8-inch meter and will have a fee of $2.47 per 30-day billing period for water and a fee of $4.56 (before July 1, 2015) per 30-day billing period for sewer.

As of July 1, 2015, the fee is $3.03 per 30-day billing period for water and a fee of $5.11 per 30-day billing period for sewer.

Water Availability Fees by meter sizes: July 2013 - June 2015 July 1, 2015
3/4-inch Connection Size (5/8-inch meter)$2.47 $3.03
1-inch Connection Size$6.18$7.58
1 1/2-inch Connection Size$12.35$15.15
2-inch Connection Size$19.76$24.25
3-inch Connection Size$43.23$53.04
4-inch Connection Size $74.10 $90.93
6-inch Connection Size$129.68$159.12
8-inch Connection Size ​​$222.30$272.78
10-inch Connection Size $389.03$477.36
12-inch Connection Size $419.90$515.25
Water Availability Fee, Fire Line$0.00$0.00

Call 311 or 704-336-7600 to learn about availability fees for dual register meters without dedicated fire line service. 
Sewer Availability Fees by meter sizes:  July 2013 - June 2015 July 1, 2015
3/4-inch Connection Size (5/8-inch meter)$4.56 $5.11
1-inch Connection Size $11.41$12.76
1 1/2-inch Connection Size$22.81$25.53
2-inch Connection Size$36.50 $40.84
3-inch Connection Size$79.84$89.35
4-inch Connection Size$136.87$153.17
6-inch Connection Size$239.53$268.04
8-inch Connection Size$410.62$459.50
10-inch Connection Size$718.58$804.13
12-inch Connection Size$775.61 $867.95

Electricity (Duke Energy, Some areas are through ElectriCities​: 704-948-0550 and Energy United​: 704-892-0278

Natural gas (Piedmont Natural Gas)

Garbage / recycling in Charlotte (Solid Waste Services

To protect the public water and sewer system, property owners are not allowed to dig in any Utilities Right-of-Way. Before you start digging along your property borders -- or ANYWHERE NEAR public utilities located on or around your property -- pick up the phone and dial the N.C. One Call number at 1-800-632-4949!​

Generally, a Right-of-Way is a piece of property -- whether publicly or privately owned -- where the City has legal access to perform street maintenance or water and sewer work. To find out whether and where Rights-of-Way are located on your property, check your property deed or visit the Mecklenburg County Geographic Information System. ​

Any digging outside the Right of Way is the responsibility of the property owner and does not require a call to the One Call Center.​

Were lines spray-painted or marked in your neighborhood? ​

RED - Electric Power Lines, Cables, Conduit, and Lighting Cables 

YELLOW - Gas, Oil, Steam, Petroleum or Gaseous Material 

ORANGE - Communication, Cable TV, Alarm or Signal Lines, Cables or Conduit 

BLUE - Potable Water 

GREEN - Sewer or Drain Lines 

WHITE - Proposed Excavation 

PINK - Temporary Survey Markings 

PURPLE - Reclaimed Water, Irrigation or Slurry Lines

Your water and sewer payment will automatically deduct from your checking or savings account each month. There are no checks to write, stamps to purchase, or bills to sort. Best of all, the service is FREE because there are no enrollment or service fees using EZ Pay!

You will receive a monthly statement indicating the amount and date the payment will be drafted. Rest easy that your water and sewer bill will be paid automatically and on time. Want to sign up?

​All leaks are a priority. CLTWater crews maintain more than 8,000-miles water and wastewater pipe and the timing of maintenance is based largely on prioritizing the workload. Learn more.

​Private plumbing systems are designed to prevent wastewater gases from entering residences. Learn more here:

If you see or suspect a sanitary sewer overflow (SSO) or spill, call 311 or 704-336-7600 and report a sewer emergency.​​ Learn more.

Yes. CLTWater started implementing odor control equipment since the mid-1990s. ​​

At each of our five wastewater treatment plants, State-certified wastewater treatment plant operators work 24 hours a day, 365 days per year -- constantly sampling, measuring and testing the wastewater to ensure its safety.

​If drinking water is too acidic, it will begin to dissolve the pipes that bring the water to your house. The pH scale goes from 0-14. If the pH of a solution is less than 7, the solution is an acid. If the pH is greater than 7, the solution is a base. 

  • Examples of acids: lemon juice and vinegar 
  • Examples of bases: baking soda and soapy water. 

The pH of our​ water is maintained between 7.8 and 9.2. It is a base. 

​Dissolved oxygen is important because fish need it to breathe. The water treatment plant monitors the dissolved oxygen level of incoming lake water. 

Chlorine is added to kill bacteria and prevent waterborne illness, and fluoride provides a defense against tooth decay. Both of these substances are added to water during the water treatment process. Our drinking water typically contains 0.2 milligram per liter (mg/l) - 1.6 mg/l of chlorine. ​

Fluoride has been proven to promote oral health. Charlotte Water (CLTWater) has added fluoride to our water since 1949. Fluoride is added to CLTWater tap water at a concentration of approximately 0.7 milligrams per liter or less than 1 part per million, as recommended by the American Dental Association.​​

Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in virtually all waters. It is present in seawater at levels between 1.2 to 1.4 mg/L and in surface waters from 0.1 to over 1.0 mg/L, and can be found in some groundwater over 10 mg/L. ​

On April 15, 2011, CLTWater Officials scaled back fluoride under guidance from Mecklenburg County Health Department. Learn more from Dr. Keener, Director of Mecklenburg County Department of Health.

Other resources:

​Yes. Chlorine dissipates over time so fill a pitcher and place it in your refrigerator. 

Hardness is primarily a measurement of calcium and magnesium concentration. Water is considered hard if it measures more than 125 parts per million or 7.5 grains per gallon of trace minerals. Our water has a hardness measure of 30 parts per million, or 1.8 grains per gallon, which is considered soft.  

While the water delivered to you is normally clear, occasional pressure changes or fire hydrant use can cause discoloration due to mineral sediments in water pipes. If you experience a problem with colored water coming from your tap, first run your COLD water tap (preferably from a bathtub spigot or faucet without an aerator) for up to five minutes. The color will most likely go away. If the water is still discolored, call 311 or 704-336-7600.​

If your HOT water is discolored, you may have a water heater problem. One way to determine whether the problem is in the hot or cold water is to see if the discoloration exists in your toilet bowl.  If the toilet bowl water is not discolored, then the discoloration is likely in the hot water or your home’s plumbing. This is a private plumbing problem and CLTWater recommends that you contact a licensed plumber for advice.

​These pink stains are usually caused by airborne microorganisms which settle and grow where there is moisture. Pink stains are “most likely from the environment and not the water supply” (reference: Water Quality Investigator’s Field Guide (2005) American Water Works Association.)  it is extremely important to regularly clean these areas which should temporarily remove the stains. ​

Taste and odor changes in your water can occur for many reasons. They do not always indicate a change in the safety of your water. Water taste is affected by mineral content as well as the presence of chlorine. Sometimes a metallic flavor can be caused by your plumbing, especially if the water tap has not been turned on for several hours. Newer homes with PVC (plastic) pipes may also experience temporarily altered taste or odor.​

If you experience a problem with the taste or odor of your water, let the COLD water (through bathtub spigot) run for a few minutes to clear the lines, or fill a pitcher and allow it to sit for several hours. If the problem persists, please call 311 or 704-336-7600.​

One of the main causes of taste/odor problems involves garden hoses being attached to external faucets. This can allow tastes/odors from the garden hose to be noticed in the tap water you drink. CLTWater recommends that garden hoses be disconnected when not in use.  If you have a taste/odor problem, please detach your garden hose first. If the taste/odor is still present 24 hours after you detached the garden hose from external faucets, please call 311 or 704-336-7600.

​If you only notice an odor in hot water, your water heater may need to be checked by a plumber. Some water heaters have magnesium anodes to prevent corrosion that can cause an odor in tap water. Other odor sources may include food or a blockage in the garbage disposal or a drain. Learn more.

Several private companies hang surveys and small sample bottles on residential doors with the offer to conduct water quality tests.  ​

These tests are not associated with CLTWater or any other City or County Department. If you have any questions about, or issues with, your tap water quality, please contact 311 or 704-336-7600. You may also look at the Water Quality Report for more information. ​  

A yellowish tint is possible if the water is sitting in the pipe for a long time (i.e. winter or a long vacation).  While the water is waiting to be used, it can collect dissolved iron sediment from older pipes. 

An increase in this mineral causes water to change color but doesn’t affect the safety of the water. Run COLD water (through bathtub spout) for several minutes to clear.  

Over several years, minerals and sediment can build up inside water pipes. Reddish water can occur, for example, when a fire hydrant is quickly turned on and off. Run COLD water (through bathtub spout) for several minutes to clear.  

Every year, CLTWater invests millions of dollars to replace or reline pipes in the oldest parts of Mecklenburg County.

Sometimes water appears cloudy or milky because air is trapped inside the water pipe, causing excess bubbles. You should let the water sit in a container, the bubbles will dissipate over time. If it continues, run your COLD water (through bathtub spout) for several minutes. ​

​CLTWater treats water with chlorine to kill any harmful bacteria.    

Lead is not in the water supplied by CLTWater.  ​

The plumbing inside some older homes may contain lead which can cause lead to be present in tap water at those locations. ​

Concentrations may be elevated particularly after the water is unused for an extended period of time. Allowing the faucet to run for a few minutes before using the water should reduce lead levels.

​Sometimes crews flush water to maintain water quality or test the hydrants. While the hydrants are flushing you may see lower than usual water pressure, but it will be restored when flushing ends. 

​Your water is safe to drink and all reasonable steps are in place to protect the public water system. Water quality control has been an everyday part of our mission long before 9/11/2001. ​

While security details aren’t something we discuss publicly, they are a vital part of our operating procedure. CLTWater continually enhances security measures and participates in emergency preparedness exercises with state and federal agencies. We will take all appropriate steps to ensure continued delivery of safe and sufficient drinking water.

Cryptosporidium and Giardia are microscopic parasites sometimes found in untreated surface waters. If ingested, either can cause gastrointestinal illness. CLTWater tests for these parasites. 

Keep your pipes clear, and our water safe. When cleaning out your unused medications, be sure to properly dispose of them and protect our water supply.

  • Prescription and over-the-counter medications should be disposed of in the trash.
  • Dissolve pills in water and mix with kitty litter.  Put this in a secure lidded container in your trash.
  • Never flush medicines, grease, oils, diapers, wipes, or other objects.

Pharmaceuticals are an emerging concern that the water industry has been researching for several years, but one that is not yet well understood. We know the human body often only absorbs small amounts of the various prescription and over the counter medicines and dietary supplements that are widely used. ​

The parts of these medications and supplements that are not absorbed naturally pass through the body and flow into wastewater treatment plants. While some of the pharmaceutical compounds may be removed or reduced by the wastewater treatment processes, at least some of them may pass through the plant and are discharged into streams, rivers, and groundwater (via septic systems) across the country. Those streams and rivers are used as water supply sources by other communities downstream. The drinking water treatment process may remove or reduce some pharmaceutical related contaminants, but not necessarily all of them. ​

The US EPA has not established standards to regulate the amount of pharmaceuticals in drinking water, at least in part because the effects of low dosages over time are not yet known. Neither the EPA nor state drinking water regulators have established requirements for testing drinking water for these types of contaminants. ​

There are very few laboratories in the country that are capable of analyzing water samples for a full spectrum of pharmaceutical compounds. Research supports that the concentrations found in those few samples that have been tested are very, very low - far below prescribed medical dosages. ​

CLTWater runs more than 150,000 water quality tests per year for more than 100 substances in accordance with state and EPA regulations. We have not tested Charlotte's water supply for pharmaceuticals, but we support professional research in that area through our membership in the American Water Works Association Research Foundation and the Water Environment Research Foundation. If Charlotte were to test for pharmaceuticals, it is likely some types would be detected at very low concentrations, simply because they seem to be pervasive in the environment and because today's sophisticated laboratory processes can detect tiny quantities. ​

Charlotte will continue to follow the research and to work with N.C. drinking water regulators and health officials to be sure that our drinking water is safe for our customers. Customers who have questions about what is in their tap water are encouraged to visit the water quality report section of or call the EPA safe drinking water hotline at 1-800-426-4791. 

CLTWater disagrees with any group's subjective analysis no matter if it ranks us favorably or not. Public water providers are not easily compared or ranked since water supply and other factors can vary greatly. ​Key Facts about CLTWater water quality​: 
  • Our drinking water meets and exceeds all state and federal drinking water standards. 
  • More than 150,000 water quality tests each year (including in public areas like restaurants and stores) 
  • More than 150 different substances tested (most occur naturally) 
  • 100 million gallons of water delivered each day 
  • Expertly trained lab analysts and state-certified water treatment operators 
  • CLTWater had a monitoring error and a testing error that lead to a notice of violation in 2004 and 2005 respectively.
  • CLTWater has not had any violations that would impact water quality or customers. 

Customers who are interested in the facts about our drinking water should click here to view past water quality reports

* CLTWater encourages customer to research and verify before purchasing products that claim to reduce water bills or remove 'impurities.' 

* Customers can find general tips and alerts at the Better Business Bureau website ( 
Beware of false or misleading information about Charlotte-Mecklenburg's water quality: 

* No City or County staff goes door-to-door to sell anything. If a CMUD employee comes to your door for water testing purposes, he/she should be wearing identification and driving a white, marked City vehicle. 

* Individual tastes will vary and some customers choose to install filters for that reason. However, tap water delivered to customers meets and often exceeds all health and safety standards and does not require additional filtration at home. CMUD conducts more than 150,000 water quality tests annually to monitor the safety of our community's drinking water. It's conceivable - but not often - that private plumbing issues could impact a customer's tap water quality. 

* Tap water is not acidic. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14. A reading of 7 is neutral, with acids falling below 7 and bases above 7. CMUD adjusts the pH of tap water to slightly above 7 to reduce corrosion in water pipes. 

* Chlorine is used in the treatment process to prevent waterborne illness, while fluoride provides a defense against tooth decay. The Environmental Protection Agency regulates drinking water and has set a safety limit of 4 parts per million (proportional to $0.04 in $10,000). In Charlotte, chlorine and fluoride levels in drinking water are well below that safety limit at about 1 ppm. 

* Water hardness is defined by the amount of trace minerals present, such as calcium and magnesium. Water is considered 'hard' if it has more than 125 parts per million of trace minerals. Charlotte's tap water has an average of 34 ppm or 1.8 grains per gallon of trace minerals, so it is considered 'soft' water. 

The safety of our customers' drinking water is the top priority for your clean water professionals at CLTWater. Customers can dial 311 or 704-336-7600 if they have a water quality concern.

Sewer lines can become blocked due to grease buildup in the pipes or debris such as rags, paper towels, and diapers that become trapped in the pipe and create a blockage. When this occurs, wastewater is stopped by the blockage and wastewater flows backwards toward the first possible outlet. Most of the time that is a manhole. However, sometimes that outlet point is a drain in a customer's home or business. Learn more.


Turn off any water appliances (washing machine, dish washer) that are on. If this stops the backup, contact a plumber.

If the backup continues, please call 311 or 704-336-7600. Learn more.

People often think water travels in only one direction through the distribution system, but under certain pressure conditions, water can actually travel backwards. If a customer's water supply line is connected to a substance not fit for drinking and the line is unprotected, then the unfit substance could travel backwards through the water distribution system.​

This is known as backflow. Consider a hose submerged in a bucket of garden chemicals. If the water pressure in your area becomes lower than normal, the chemicals in the bucket can flow backwards through the hose and into your drinking water supply.​

Backflow prevention devices are attached to irrigation systems and some industrial and commercial connections. You may see them covered by a green plastic cover near the street or building.​

All backflow prevention devices must be tested once a year. 

No. Sec. 23-79 list ground water, storm water and other prohibitive discharges. Learn more here.


Complete a wastewater survey and application, then System Protection staff will do an on-site evaluation of the physical address to verify reported information and determine needs. Learn more here.

No. Any non-domestic discharge to the sanitary sewer must be approved by System Protection. Learn more here.

Pollutant limitations are first assigned according to federal categorical criteria (if applicable), then an allocation of pollutants at the wastewater treatment facility are taken into consideration, and the actual pollutant discharge need of the company is factored in where possible. Learn more here.

Color-coding hydrants is how the Charlotte Fire Department and CLTWater identify information about hydrants. Each color has a specific meaning and that is why painting hydrants is prohibited.

Any hydrant with a device already on it should not be used. Hydrants that are painted other than all yellow should never be used. Some hydrants may be restricted during freezing temperatures as well.​

Call Charlotte Fire Department (CFD) at 704-336-2441 or Mecklenburg County Fire Marshal at 704-336-2155.

​Biosolids are the nutrient-rich organic materials resulting from the treatment of domestic sewage at a wastewater treatment facility. Through biosolids management, solid residue from wastewater treatment is processed to reduce or eliminate pathogens and minimize odors, forming a safe, beneficial agricultural product. Farmers and gardeners have been recycling biosolids for ages. Biosolids can be applied as fertilizer to improve and maintain productive soils and stimulate plant growth. They also are used to fertilize gardens and parks and reclaim mining sites. Biosolids are carefully monitored and must be used in accordance with regulatory requirements.​ 

We have biosolids as a result of treating sewage sludge (which refers to the solids generated during the treatment of domestic sewage in a treatment plant) in order to meet the land application regulatory requirements. Wastewater treatment technology has made our water safer than ever for recreation and seafood harvesting. Thirty years ago, thousands of American cities dumped their raw sewage directly into the nation's rivers, lakes and bays. Through regulation of this dumping, local governments are now required to treat domestic sewage and to make the decision whether to recycle the solids generated as fertilizer, to incinerate them or to bury them in a landfill. If the solids meet the regulatory requirements for land application and are recycled, they are biosolids. 

Biosolids are generated when solids produced during the treatment of domestic sewage are treated further to meet regulatory requirements. The wastewater treatment can actually begin before the wastewater reaches the treatment plant. In many larger wastewater treatment systems, pre-treatment regulations require that industrial facilities pre-treat their wastewater to remove many hazardous contaminants before it is sent to a wastewater treatment plant. Wastewater treatment facilities monitor incoming wastewater streams to ensure their recyclability and compatibility with the treatment plant process. 

Sewage sludge is not generated until domestic sewage is treated in a treatment plant, and biosolids are not produced until the sewage sludge meets the land application Part 503 requirements. For these reasons, the treatment of biosolids cannot occur before the domestic sewage reaches the wastewater treatment plant. 

Once the wastewater reaches the plant, domestic sewage goes through physical, chemical and biological processes that clean the domestic sewage and remove the solids. If necessary, some of the solids are then treated with lime to raise the pH level to eliminate objectionable odors. Pathogen reduction (reduction of disease-causing organisms, such as bacteria, viruses, and parasites) and reduction of other organisms capable of transporting disease for the solids usually occurs in a different process (e.g., a digester).

After treatment and processing, biosolids can be recycled and applied as fertilizer to improve and maintain productive soils and stimulate plant growth. The controlled land application of biosolids completes a natural cycle in the environment. By treating sewage sludge, we create biosolids that can be used as valuable fertilizer instead of taking up space in a landfill or other disposal facility. 
If you have a farm and would like free biosolids to fertilize land, please click here to contact us.

Biosolids may have their own distinctive odor depending on the type of treatment it has been through. Some biosolids may have only a slightly musty, ammonia odor. Others have a stronger odor that may be offensive to some people. Compounds that contain sulfur and ammonia, which are both plant nutrients, cause most odors. Once applied to land, the odor typically dissipates after a short time, depending on weather conditions.

Recycling biosolids is good for the environment. Organic matter has been recycled for centuries to improve soil fertility and productivity. When properly applied and managed, biosolids can provide essential plant nutrients, improve soil structure and tilth, add organic matter, enhance moisture retention and reduce soil erosion. 

Biosolids recycling is regulated and encouraged by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and state and local authorities. Research and years of recycling experience have demonstrated that properly managed land application of biosolids is environmentally safe.