The Utilities Department provides water and sewer service to Hillsborough residents and out-of-town customers.
The department oversees the town's water and wastewater treatment plants and its water distribution and wastewater collection divisions.
Staff also provide support to the Water and Sewer Advisory Committee, an appointed board responsible for making recommendations related to management of the Water and Sewer Fund.
Visit the water and sewer services page for details on billing; bulk water and hydrant meter rentals; and starting or stopping service.
The Water Treatment Plant takes water from the Eno River, cleans and disinfects it, then pumps it to residents. For more information, see the Water Treatment Plant page on this website.
The Wastewater Treatment Plant was built in 1977, with upgrades in 2001 and 2007 to improve solids management, nutrient removal and treatment capabilties. A 2014 expansion and upgrade allowed the plant to meet recent state requirements to protect Falls Lake, resulting in discharged water quality among the best in the nation. For more information, see the Wastewater Treatment Plant page on this website.
The Water Distribution and Wastewater Collection Division is responsible for repairing water line leaks, cleaning and repairing sewer lines, and maintaining booster pump stations and sewage lift stations. For more information, see the Water Distribution and Wastewater Collection Division page on this website.
The Eno River is the water source for the Hillsborough community. Water from the Eno River is drawn from three sites, which are located in the Upper Neuse River watershed. The Eno and these three sites are considered surface water, natural water that has not penetrated much below the ground.
Lake Ben Johnston
This lake on the Eno River is Hillsborough's intake location for water from the Eno. Seven Mile Creek enters the Eno River upstream of this area.
This lake on the east fork of the Eno River is located within Orange County and is a secondary source for water from the Eno.
West Fork Eno Reservoir
This reservoir on the west fork of the Eno River is owned by the Town of Hillsborough and is located outside town limits in nearby Cedar Grove. It is a secondary source for water from the Eno. Construction of the reservoir began in 1998, with the first phase opening in 2000. Work on the reservoir’s second phase began in 2018 and was completed in 2021.
Recreation ― including boating, hunting and fishing ― is not permitted at the reservoir or the surrounding town-owned property. The federal and state permits under which the town was allowed to build and expand the reservoir require that a 100-foot buffer around the reservoir be placed into a conservation easement. Because the town purchased the properties surrounding the reservoir, it is working with the state to put this land under deed restrictions to satisfy the requirement. The easement requires the land be kept in a natural state with no development, recreation or access other than to maintain the reservoir. The purpose of the easement is to protect the source of the town’s drinking water and to allow mitigation of the effects of the reservoir’s construction and expansion.
Were the town able to allow recreation at the reservoir, risks would include the introduction of invasive animals and plants, including hydrilla, which can cause damage to the environment and utility equipment. The town also does not have the resources to oversee public activities at the reservoir and cannot assume the risk or liability of allowing recreational activities.
At times, the town may issue an advisory or notice about its water. See the FAQ: Water Advisories and Notices. Customers are encouraged to:
If you see a person or business taking water from a water hydrant without an orange meter box, please call 911 to report it.
If it’s safe for you to do so discreetly, also take a photo and note some information to help the town prosecute the case. Details are helpful, including the time, date, location, name on the truck, truck number and license plate.
Please do not directly confront any person taking water. Individuals or businesses who are paying the Town of Hillsborough for water from a hydrant use an orange meter box like the one pictured.
Water theft can cause safety and operational concerns for the public water system including:
- Water hammer (form of hydraulic shock) in the system that breaks pipes and damages equipment.
- Lowered water pressure for customers during the time of theft.
- Contaminants entering the public water system, causing a public health issue.
- Costs associated with repairing damage to the system.
Photos and information can be submitted to the Hillsborough Police Department, Orange County Sheriff’s Office or Hillsborough Utilities Director Marie Strandwitz.
If you are not comfortable calling law enforcement about suspected water theft, you may call the Water Treatment Plant day or night at 919-732-3621.
The town has a backflow prevention program to manage cross-connections with the town's water supply and to protect the water supply. The program requires backflow prevention devices and the regular testing of these devices at a number of facilities For more information, see the following pages on this website:
The Utilities Department maintains several educational outreach programs. For more information, see the Utilities Educational Outreach page on this website.
Additional customer documents are available on the pages of each utilities division and on the Utilities Educational Outreach page.
As-Built Digital Submission Requirements Appendix B of Technical Specifications and Design Standards for Water and Sewer Systems
Pre-Acceptance and End of Warranty Sewer Video Inspection Specifications Appendix A of Technical Specifications and Design Standards for Water and Sewer Systems
Standard Utilities Details Appendix D of Technical Specifications and Design Standards for Water and Sewer Systems
Please see the Water and Sewer Services page for information on bill payment, meter readings, routine checks for leaks or malfunctioning meters or connections for new customers.
Report water line breaks, sewer spills and other water-related emergencies immediately by calling 919-732-3621.
105 E. Corbin St., Hillsborough, NC 27278
Offices are open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday.
Water Treatment Plant Superintendent
Utility System Superintendent
Deputy Utilities Director — Water Treatment
Utilities Infrastructure Protection Supervisor