Development & Connections

​WSACC Capacity Limited Basins


Customers, who wish to connect to the public water and wastewater systems in Mecklenburg County, must submit construction plans to Charlotte Water for review and approval. Charlotte Water staff review plans for water service availability and wastewater system capacity, in addition to other design standards. Plans cannot be approved if the receiving wastewater plant does not have sufficient available capacity to treat the wastewater according to each plant's permitted allowance.

Charlotte Water owns and operates five wastewater treatment plants which treat wastewater collected through more than 4,400 miles of (mostly) gravity-fed pipes. However, it is cost prohibitive and nearly impossible to collect wastewater hydraulically through gravity-fed pipes in certain Mecklenburg County basins. Charlotte Water has a contract with Water and Sewer Authority of Cabarrus County (WSACC) to receive and treat up to 6 million gallons per day (MGD) of wastewater and to serve some of these hydraulically limited basins.

Please contact the Planning Division of Charlotte Water for further information and to discuss options regarding sanitary sewer system capacity.

Bhavana Swayampakala

Dr. Keri Cantrell

WSACC-Basin Status

As of October 2021, Charlotte Water has nearly reached the maximum limit of permitted sewer flow to the WSACC system and, therefore, has no additional treatment capacity in the WSACC system. The WSACC system also has limited treatment capacity and has commenced construction of an expansion project. Details of their project can be found on the WSACC website:

Short Term Actions

Charlotte Water has requested and received approval of a reduced flow factor from the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ – the State agency regulating wastewater permits). Moving forward for the WSACC Service Area, sewer capacity shall be calculated on a per bedroom basis: 65 GPD per bedroom or minimum of 130 GPD per dwelling unit. 

Mid Term Actions

Charlotte Water continues to conduct a Sanitary Sewer Evaluation Survey of the collection system in the WSACC Service Area. These efforts identify any defects and opportunities to limit infiltration of ground water, rainwater, and illicit stormwater connections into the sanitary sewer system. These waters would increase the monitored flows to WSACC and reduce available capacity for true sanitary sewer. 

Charlotte Water selected a design-build team to design and construct a new pump station and force main to help provide some additional capacity to this service area. The station will pump wastewater to an existing Charlotte Water wastewater treatment plant and would provide more capacity in approximately early to mid 2024.

The team is progressing the overall design and is acquiring easements for the force main. In addition, the design-build team is selecting and procuring critical components such as pumps and generators. Construction will be underway in January 2023 for both the pump station and force main. After site work and erosion control are completed at the pump station site, excavation for the wet well inside the pump station will begin. While this is occurring, installation of the force main will occur simultaneously with work at the pump station site. Updates will be provided regularly as certain construction milestones are achieved: Clarke Creek Pump Station and Force Main Project

Long Term Actions

Charlotte Water has requested additional capacity from WSACC. With the first phase of the WSACC wastewater treatment plant expansion, Charlotte Water will increase their contractual amount by 1.4 MGD; the second phase of the treatment plant expansion will allow an additional increase of 1.6 MGD. At the conclusion of both phases of the treatment plant expansion, Charlotte Water's contract with WSACC will increase from 6 MGD to 9 MGD.  

What Developers And Builders Need To Know

Development requests with WSACC approvals that have not expired can continue. Previously approved capacity shall be reviewed twice annually for progression of construction. Developments with approvals are asked to review their phasing plan and building schedules. Charlotte Water will not reassign or reallocate capacity approvals between projects or parcels.

Single family residential lots (typically serviced by a 5/8" water meter) that are not associated with a subdivision or donated infrastructure may apply for service and are not impacted by this service area restriction.

Development projects and large sewer demand facilities that wish to connect initially to the public system in the capacity-limited basins have options for wastewater treatment. These options may include "package plants" and septic systems that can allow construction to proceed until Charlotte Water is able to offer capacity. Alternative approaches are regulated and permitted by entities external to Charlotte Water (e.g., NCDEQ and Mecklenburg County Environmental Health). Proposed projects close to basin boundaries may also be able to pump to a different basin.

Charlotte Water resumed plan review of proposed infrastructure (donated projects) and new service connections August 1, 2022. NO CAPACITY WILL BE RESERVED AT THE END OF THE DESIGN REVIEW. Please review the next section for details.

Due to the limited treatment capacity with WSACC, Charlotte Water will not accept applications for Capacity Assurance Program review in the capacity-limited basins. This pause on acceptance of new capacity requests is temporary and until more capacity becomes available.

Customers can sign up a to be notified of service updates.

Resuming Plan Review

Charlotte Water resumed early-stage land development services in these areas while balancing the need to observe regulated capacity limitations.  To accomplish this, CLTWater established the process of plan review for developer-donated projects and service connections through the normal processes up to the point of issuing plan approval or permits.  Charlotte Water will not issue capacity, in any form, for new services or donated projects at this time.  Meanwhile, both CLTWater and WSACC will work on capital projects that will provide future capacity. When additional capacity is available and able to be issued to development projects, CLTWater will notify customers. As of November 15, 2022, approximately 35 projects are under review with a projected range of 800,000 to 1,000,000 GPD to be requested.

Process For Plan Review In The WSACC Basins

​Step Number
1.Plans submitted

  • Plans must be submitted through ACCELA for donated and new service projects.
  • Plans previously submitted will need to be resubmitted.

2.Pre-Submittal meeting
  • Meeting with Charlotte Water staff to review plans and verify the inclusion of all required components.

3.Acknowledgement Form received & plan review fees paid
  • Applicants in the WSACC capacity limited basins are required to sign and submit a form acknowledging that the plan review process is only to assist early-stage land development services and does not provide, reserve, or guarantee sewer capacity allocation.

  • Fees will only be collected for actual services rendered, in this case, plan review fees for Donated Projects.  There is no charge for review of applicants through New Service Requests.

  • Fees will not be collected for inspection, connection, and system development before capacity is allocated.
4.Plans reviewed

  • Approved plans from pre-submittal step have an assignment of reviewer for formal plan review. The date of this assignment will indicate that all pre-submittal requirements have been met. This date will establish a queue for later capacity allocation.
  • Plan review process will continue as normal up to the point the plans are deemed approved for design conformance. Plans will not be permitted, nor will a contract be created for donated projects at this point. Service fee quotes will not be generated for New Service site plan reviews. 

5.Letter of completed review issued
  • This letter will include the date the plans were formally assigned for review. This date will be used to prioritize allocations when capacity becomes available. 

*Charlotte Water reserves the right to modify this process as new information becomes available.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • When will this process to resume plan review in the WSACC basins begin?
    • Plans can be submitted on or after August 1, 2022 for donated projects and new service utility site plan reviews.
  • What does it mean a project is under formal plan review?
    • Plans have completed their pre-submittal meeting, paid the quote for plan review services (if a donated project), and submitted the acknowledgement letter. If required, updated plans will need to be uploaded for consideration of a formal plan review.
  • Where can I find the plan review standards to make sure plans have all the required information?
    • The plan review checklist is available on under Development & Connections/Land Development Services.
  • When will Pre-CAP (formerly Willingness to Serve) reviews resume?
    • The Pre-CAP reviews will remain on hold.
  • When will CAP reviews for reservation of flow resume?
    • Formal CAP reviews and associated capacity reservations without utility site plan design review will remain on hold.
  • Does this process apply to areas outside of the WSACC capacity limited basins?
    • For areas outside of the WSACC capacity limited basins, the normal plan review and capacity allocation process applies. This process described above is only for capacity limited basins discharging to WSACC. Please visit to view a map of the capacity limited basin or contact the Capacity Assurance Program at 704-432-2854.
  • Do projects that received partial capacity in January 2022 have to submit plans? 
    • Projects that received partial capacity through the CLTWater allocation plan developed in January 2022 are subject to the review process, but these projects are able to skip the pre-submittal meeting requirement. 
  • Can I submit my new service site plan to the Customer Service - New Services email?
    • No; the ACCELA portal has been updated for new service site plan submission. Only this submission workflow will be considered for the review queue. Email is not considered an acceptable form for submission.
  • How will I know when capacity is available?
    •  When additional capacity is available and able to be issued to development projects, CLTWater will notify customers.
  • What will be my place in line for allocation?
    • CLTWater will use the plan review assignment date as the order for allocations when capacity is available.

Capacity-Limited Basins

The capacity-limited basins are within Charlotte, Davidson, Cornelius, and Huntersville and their ETJ: Rocky River North, Clarke Creek, small portion of Back Creek (Fuda Creek), Reedy Creek and McKee Creek. The following map shows the locations of basins. 

Currently, wastewater treatment capacity is available in other areas of Mecklenburg County, and applications for capacity in areas outside of the capacity-limited basin served by WSACC are unaffected.

Charlotte Water Flow Area Map Related to WSACC Treatment