Should OWASA pursue access to Jordan Lake water?

Despite serious misgivings among some local officials, OWASA is moving forward on discussions with the City of Durham, Chatham County, Orange County, and other neighboring jurisdictions to secure future access to Jordan Lake water.

There is a lot of pressure from Chatham County because they over-built beyond their capacity to provide water during the high growth heyday of the Bunky Morgan era.  OWASA is a valuable ally to these other jurisdictions because it owns a prime piece of land on the west shore of Jordan Lake that is ideal for a water intake.

Public hearing on OWASA rate changes

Press release:



 A public, non-profit agency providing water, sewer and reclaimed water services to the Carrboro-Chapel Hill community.


NEWS RELEASE    April 29, 2009


OWASA Board of Directors calls budget and rate hearings on May 28th;

9.75% increase proposed for monthly water and sewer charges


On Thursday, April 23rd, the OWASA Board of Directors scheduled public hearings for Thursday night, May 28th on the draft budget for July, 2009 through June, 2010 (FY 2010), the Capital Improvements Budget for FY 2010-2014,15-Year Capital Improvements Program (CIP) and proposed rate increases.


The May 28th public hearings will be part of an OWASA business meeting at 7:00 PM in the Chapel Hill Town Hall, 405 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. The meeting will be televised live on local cable channel 18. All customers are invited to attend and speak at the public hearings and to provide comments for the OWASA Board by e-mail to webmaster@owasa.org, or by letter to 400 Jones Ferry Road, Carrboro, NC 27510, at any time.  Additional notices of the public hearings, including a formal notice in a local newspaper, will be distributed in May.


The OWASA Board could take final action on the budget, CIP and proposed rate increases as soon as the Board’s June 11th meeting.


OWASA’s draft FY 2010 budget includes a 9.75% rate increase in monthly water and sewer rates. A 9.75% rate increase would increase a monthly bill by $6.68 (from $68.24 to $74.92) for a typical individually-metered residence using 5,000 gallons per month. (Please see additional examples below.) The normal effective date for changes in OWASA’s rates is October 1st following adoption of an annual budget in June.


OWASA’s draft FY 2010 budget includes expenditures of $18.7 million for operations, $6.8 million for capital improvements and $9.7 million for bond debt payments.  The operating budget includes:


Ø  $1.7 million in cost reductions including elimination of 10 positions and freezing of 8 vacant positions, deferral of a sewer maintenance program and postponement of water meter replacements;

Ø  reduced capital spending including a one-year delay in the next phase of odor elimination improvements at the Mason Farm Wastewater Treatment Plant;

Ø  reducing recreation days at University Lake from Friday through Monday to one day per week (Saturday), and continuing the current Saturday-only schedule at Cane Creek Reservoir; and

Ø  substantial increases in the cost of chemicals used in water and wastewater treatment.


Without the increase in chemical costs, the draft operating budget for FY 2010 would be 6% less than the budget for FY 2009.


The draft budget also reflects continuing low water demand and reduced revenue from new development connections due to the slow economy. Projected water demand in FY 2010 is 16% less than in FY 2001, while the number of customer accounts has increased by 3,100 since then.


For more information:


Kevin M. Ray, Director of Finance and Customer Service, 537-4236 or kray@owasa.org



PHONE: (919) 968-4421;     FAX: (919) 968-4464




Thursday, May 28, 2009 - 3:00pm


Chapel Hill Town Hall, 405 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd

Bacteria in the water at Morris Grove

Why are more folks not talking about the bacteria in the water at Morris Grove Elementary? OWASA submits to test after test with the water bacteria free, so the bacteria is developing after the water leaves OWASA and is piped through the schools system. I cannot find information anywherethat states what is being done to correct this problem. Am I the only oneoutraged at this? These are our children, some getting sick from drinking tainted water.  Is there a plan in place to correct this?   

Community meeting on proposed OWASA conservation rules

Via e-mail:

Orange Water and Sewer Authority

NEWS RELEASE     September 11, 2008

OWASA invites comments on proposed changes to water conservation requirements

on Wednesday, September 24th at 7 PM
Based on customers’ feedback and experience in the drought of 2007-08, OWASA has drafted and will seek public comments on potential changes to its water conservation requirements.

OWASA staff will host a community meeting on Wednesday, September 24th at 7:00 PM to receive comments and questions from OWASA customers and other interested stakeholders. The meeting will be in the Community Room on the lower floor of the OWASA Administration Building, 400 Jones Ferry Road, Carrboro (near the intersection of Barnes Street and Jones Ferry Road).

“The proposed changes are intended to give customers more flexibility and to put greater reliance on our water rates to encourage conservation,” said Ed Holland, OWASA’s Planning Director.

“One of the frequent comments we received during the drought and various stages of water use restrictions was ‘Don’t tell us how to use OWASA water. Just tell us how much it’s going to cost, and let us decide how to use it,’” Holland said.

Key proposals:

Some of the key changes under consideration are:

ü  Greater flexibility for irrigation of “Public Purpose Athletic and Recreational Fields” and “Public Purpose Botanical Sites” for which OWASA approves a watering plan. Public facilities are now subject to the same irrigation restrictions as private properties.

ü  Spray irrigation restrictions would be relaxed for non-turf vegetation such as trees, shrubs and gardens, which are now subject to limits on days of week, hours, etc.  The current spray irrigation limit of 1 inch per week would continue to apply to grass (turf).


ü  Drip irrigation, underground hose emitters, soaker hose, hand watering, and other non-spray irrigation would be allowed at any time, duration, and frequency except during a Water Supply Emergency, when all irrigation would be prohibited.  Greater flexibility is proposed because it is impractical to know when non-spray irrigation meets or exceeds the current limit of 1 inch per week (1/2 inch per week under certain shortage conditions).


ü  Spray irrigation of turf would be allowed during normal water supply conditions before 10:00 AM and after 6:00 PM three days per week (depending on odd or even address). Spray irrigation is now permitted before 9:00 AM and after 8:00 PM three days a week under normal conditions.


ü  Swimming pools could be filled, refilled, or topped off at any time except during a Water Supply Emergency regardless of whether the pool is public or private. OWASA has determined that swimming pools account for a small fraction of outdoor water use. Under current standards, restrictions for pools begin in a Stage 2 water shortage.


For more detailed information, including the specific wording of proposed changes, please visit http://www.owasa.org/agenda/UploadedFiles/2008/Parts_08-28-2008/Item11.pdf on the OWASA website to read a report to the OWASA Board of Directors on August 28th, or contact OWASA at 968-4421 or webmaster@owasa.org.


Citizens who wish to receive electronic updates on the consideration of changes to the conservation standards and related items are invited to send a short note to webmaster@owasa.org to be added to OWASA’s electronic news list.


Process for consideration and action on OWASA’s water conservation standards


Sometime after the Sept. 24th community meeting (date still to be determined), the OWASA Board of Directors will make decisions on changes to the utility’s conservation standards and will make recommendations to the Towns of Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Orange County for changes in their water conservation ordinances.


OWASA will publicize the dates of future OWASA Board meetings when the proposed changes in conservation standards will be scheduled for discussion.


For more Information:


Ed Holland, AICP, Planning Director, 537-4215; e-mail: eholland@owasa.org


Patrick Davis, Utility Manager Generalist, 537-4210; e-mail: pdavis@owasa.org


Greg Feller, Public Affairs, 537-4267; e-mail: gfeller@owasa.org
OWASA is the community-owned, non-profit public water and sewer agency serving the Carrboro-Chapel Hill community.



PHONE: (919) 968-4421; FAX: (919) 968-4464




Wednesday, September 24, 2008 - 3:00pm


Community Room, OWASA Administration Building, 400 Jones Ferry Road, Carrboro

OWASA eyeing Jordan Lake water

Having just read this article (http://www.newsobserver.com/news/orange/story/1103191.html) I do not know how I feel about this issue. On one and Jordan Lake seems to be a rather large body of water. So, why not tap into it?

On the other hand, it is a fixed source of water and as I look around I see many people and institutions waste this precious resource (water). Let's use the water that we have responsibly first. Then, when we need more, tap into other sources. I am leaning towards this idea.



Community Guidelines

By using this site, you agree to our community guidelines. Inappropriate or disruptive behavior will result in moderation or eviction.


Content license

By contributing to OrangePolitics, you agree to license your contributions under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.

Creative Commons License

Zircon - This is a contributing Drupal Theme
Design by WeebPal.