Wastewater Treatment Plant
The Wastewater Treatment Plant removes nutrients from wastewater, disinfects the water with chlorine, and removes the chlorine before discharging the water into the Eno River.
To schedule a tour, call 919-296-9670.
The plant’s objectives are:
- Providing good stewardship of resources.
- Treating wastewater to a quality that provides a healthy environment for aquatic life and downstream recreational users and drinking supplies.
- Managing the biosolids program to benefit the environment and the local farmers who use the product.
- Proactively working with local and state agencies, organizations and individuals to monitor and protect the region’s water, soil and air.
The plant can treat up to 3 million gallons of wastewater per day. It was built in 1977, with upgrades in 2001 and 2007 to improve solids management, nutrient removal and treatment capabilities. A 2014 expansion and upgrade allowed the plant to meet state requirements to protect Falls Lake, where Hillsborough’s watershed drains.
The plant uses a five-stage enhanced biological nutrient removal process. Naturally occurring nutrients can cause algae growth, depleted oxygen, and fish kills. The nutrients — like nitrogen and phosphorus — must be brought to safe levels before treated wastewater is discharged into the Eno River. The five-stage process includes:
- Filtering, which removes nitrates.
- Disinfecting with chlorine.
- Removing chlorine before the water is discharged.
The 2014 expansion and upgrade made Hillsborough’s discharged water quality among the best in the nation.
The town issues a wastewater quality report each year for the previous fiscal year. The report includes information on the town’s wastewater collection and treatment systems and the performance of these systems.
View the Sanitary Sewer Use Ordinance.
The plant and its staff have won the following awards:
Morgan Operational Solutions Award
- Presented by: Water Environment Federation
- Awarded to: Jeff Mahagan, then Wastewater Treatment Plant superintendent, 2018
William D. Hatfield Award for Outstanding Performance and Professionalism in the Operation of a Wastewater Treatment Plant
- Presented by: Water Environment Federation, North Carolina Section
- Awarded to: Jeff Mahagan, then Wastewater Treatment Plant superintendent, 2013
Exceptionally Performing Facility Designation
- Presented by: N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Division of Water Quality
- Hillsborough Wastewater Treatment Plant, 2012
Wilbur E. Long Jr. Award for Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator of the Year
- Presented by: N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Water Pollution Control System Operators Certification Commission
- Awarded to: Jeff Mahagan, then Wastewater Treatment Plant superintendent, 2011
Wastewater Treatment Plant Operations and Maintenance Award
- Presented by: N.C. American Water Works Association/Water Environment Federation, Central Region
- Awarded to: Hillsborough Wastewater Treatment Plant, 2009
Please see the Water and Sewer Billing and Service 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.
355 Elizabeth Brady Road, Hillsborough, NC 27278
Offices are open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.
Deputy Utilities Director — Water Treatment