The first sanitary sewer mains in Fayetteville were installed in 1906. The Public Works Commission completed the Cross Creek Water Reclamation Facility in 1959, at a cost of $2,250,000. It provided primary and secondary wastewater treatment removing approximately 85% of impurities before the effluent was discharged into the Cape Fear River. The original plant, designed to treat 9 million gallons per day (MGD), was expanded to treat 16 MGD in 1976, and a further expansion to 22 MGD was completed in 1992. Since this upgrade the facility has the ability to remove more pollutants than ever. The facility was re-rated to 25 MGD in 2002 after several process improvements. Additional process improvements and reliability (backup power) were completed in 2007. Additional storage of biosolids (1.8 MG tank) was added in 2010 to handle the extra water plant residuals generated by supplying potable water to Ft. Bragg.
A second 6 MGD plant known as the Rockfish Creek Water Reclamation Facility (WRF) was completed in 1985. The Rockfish Plant was then expanded to treat 12 MGD in 1994 and re-rated to 14 MGD in 1996. In 2002, the plant completed the first phase of three expansions, increasing its treatment capacity to 16 MGD. In May 2007, the Rockfish Creek WRF completed the second phase of its three phase expansion for a new treatment capacity of 21 MGD along with more reliability.
Both Cross Creek and Rockfish Creek Water Reclamation Facilities have been honored with the national EPA Operations and Maintenance Award, in 1994 and 1988, respectively.