Frequently Asked Questions – Water

Who do I call if I have questions about my drinking water?
Any specific questions or concerns that you may have regarding your drinking water may be directed to the PWC Laboratory at (910) 223-4705.

Why do I have low water pressure?
Temporary low water pressure can be caused by heavy water use in your area, such as a water main break or hydrants being accessed to fight a nearby fire.

Why is my water discolored?
Cloudy water is caused by tiny air bubbles in the water similar to the gas bubbles in carbonated soft drinks. After a while, the bubbles rise to the top and are gone. This type of cloudiness occurs more often in the winter, when the drinking water is cold. Potential Solution: Let the water run for a short period of time and check periodically for water clarity. If the discoloration continues, please call Customer Service at (910) 483-1382.

Rusty brown water may be caused when the water tank is rusting or water pipes in the street leading to your home are rusting. If you are having trouble and your neighbors are not, then your own pipes and water heater are possibly rusting. A licensed plumber may need to correct this problem.

Almost all water pipes have a thin film of rust and harmless sediment on the inside of them. Although this thin film causes no problems, over time it can build up to the point that a slight increase in water velocity can cause it to break loose from the interior pipe wall. This material causes your tap water to appear discolored or dirty. Normally discolored water is the result of high water demands throughout the distribution system. PWC performs flushing of the water mains in your area to remove sediment before it reaches your home or business. To learn more, click here.

Is the discolored water that I am experiencing in my home/office safe to drink?
Even though discolored water is not harmful, we realize it’s not aesthetically pleasing either. Whether or not you feel comfortable drinking the water is a personal decision and an understandable one. If at anytime PWC’s water is deemed unsafe to drink, you will be notified by PWC with guidance from the State of North Carolina’s Division of Environmental Quality immediately through several communications channelsa. During more localized events that may occur, you will possibly be visited by PWC and/or NCDEQ representatives as well.

Although harmless, discolored water may leave stains when washing clothes. If you are experiencing discolored water, you may want to postpone doing laundry for a short time until your water becomes clear.

As with all of your personal and family’s home and health decisions, common sense is always the best approach. Even though discolored water is harmless, if you don’t feel comfortable using it during short periods of discoloration, we certainly understand. As always, you are the best judge of what is best for you and your family.

What should I do if I notice discolored water at my tap?
The first thing you should do is to allow your tap to run a few minutes to see if it clears up. This will help you determine if the discolored water is coming from the distribution system or your home’s plumbing system. If this doesn’t correct the problem within about five (5) minutes, please call (910) 483-1382.

How does flushing the water distribution system work?
PWC has an ongoing program of flushing the distribution pipes to ensure that they are kept clean. Otherwise, rust and sediment would cling to the pipe walls. Flushing is done by opening fire hydrants and letting the water rush through the pipelines at a higher than normal velocity. This water being moved through the pipes at a high velocity breaks loose rust and sediment that may be present. During flushing, the discolored water is allowed to exit the system through an opened fire hydrant. The water is flushed until it becomes clear and there is a sufficient amount of chlorine residual present for disinfection. To view our flushing schedule, click here.

Why are PWC’s sewer charges more than water charges?
Wastewater is collected and then treated in accordance with the sanitary sewer use ordinance of the City of Fayetteville. Sanitary sewer discharge charges are split into two parts-collection and treatment. Billing is made on a monthly basis and sanitary sewer is billed by the metered water service under the customer’s assigned rate. Based on the cost of treating sanitary sewer, the operating expenses of the sewer treatment facility exceed the cost of the water treatment facility, resulting in the higher sewer rate.

Why are irrigation water rates more than other water rates?
PWC follows state guidelines that recommend rate structures that support water conservation. These include tiered rates that have the lowest rates for domestic or essential water use and higher rates for non-essential water use. Irrigation use puts the greatest demand on our water treatment capacity and we have to size our plants and system to meet the peak summertime demand, which is significantly driven by irrigation demands.

Can I fish in lakes or hunt on PWC property?  Can I swim in local lakes?
These restrictions are in place to protect the quality of our drinking water sources.  These areas are protected under the City’s Watershed Ordinance.  They are typically gated and have signage that prohibits these activitities.

  • Hunting is not allowed on any PWC property.
  • Fishing is only allowed in Glenville Lake, but with restrictions. You can fish from the pier at Mazerick Park.  Fishing from the bank is not allowed.
  • Swimming is not allowed in any body of water used as a drinking water source for PWC.  This includes Bonnie Doone Lake, Kornbow Lake, Mintz Pond, Glenville Lake, Mallard Creek Wetland Pond, Bayberry Wetland Pond, and Passerine Wetland Pond.