In Case of Emergency

Links to the topics below:  

To report a leak, line rupture, loss of service, sewer backup or overflow, or other water or sewer emergency:

  • During Normal Busines Hours
    From 8 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday, call 919-968-4421.
  • After Hours
    Please call 919-968-4421 and follow the directions in our recorded message.
  • 911
    For emergencies such as a crime or fire, or to request an ambulance, dial 911.

OC Alerts – Keeping Citizens Informed

OC Alerts sends critical communications by telephone land line, text to a mobile phone and/or e-mail to citizens who have a listed land line phone number or register their mobile phone/e-mail information with OC Alerts. (It is necessary for a citizen to have e-mail or texting service to receive alerts through those means.) The OC Alerts system distributes emergency information such as evacuation notices and missing child alerts.

Please click here to register with OC Alerts, provide your contact information, etc. Your contact information remains private and will only be used for community notifications.

Water-related reminders for emergency preparedness

Be prepared in advance for a water service interruption:

  • Store one gallon of drinking water per person per day for a potential 3 to 7 days without normal water service. Save drinking water in clean containers or get bottled water for washing hands, personal consumption, brushing teeth, cooking, etc. To have a 7-day supply, a family of three would generally have 21 gallons, but extra water may be needed for people with special needs, such as infants and seniors.
  • Please also save drinking water for pets. 
  • Save water in bathtubs or containers for flushing toilets. If water service is interrupted, a toilet with a tank can be flushed once with the water left in the tank. Then use water saved in a container or bathtub to refill the toilet tank before flushing again. 

If water pressure is reduced, reduce water use by flushing toilets less often, taking short showers, stopping outdoor water use and other conservation methods. (Please click here for more information on how to conserve.)

(If service has been interrupted) when water service is restored, please check our water for discoloration and air bubbles. If there is discoloration or air in the water, run cold water in a bathtub for a few minutes until the water and/or air bubbles clear up. If the water is not clear within about 5 minutes, please contact OWASA at 919-968-4421.  

Please contact OWASA at 919-968-4421 if you see damage to water or sewer facilities, leaks in water pipes or sewer back-ups or overflows.

Because of the possibility of damage to fixtures or pipes in a home, business, etc., make sure you know and mark the location of the emergency shut-off valve in your plumbing system. The shut-off valve may be in a closet near the front of the house/building, or in the crawlspace if there is one. If you vacate your home or business, turn off the water using the shut-off valve.

In the unlikely event that drinking water quality is affected or if it becomes necessary to boil water as a precaution, OWASA would advise customers through the news media; the automated telephone notice program (if conditions permit), e-mails (if conditions permit) to citizens who have shared their addresses with OWASA; and the OWASA website. Listed landline phone numbers are normally already in the database for the automated telephone alert program. If you are not sure that your number is included in this program or if you wish to add your cell phone numbers, please click here.

Avoid flood waters including water that is rising or moving fast, and avoid areas where flooding has occurred in the past.

For more information about emergency preparations, please see the Orange County webpage at  

For more information from OWASA: Public Affairs, 919-537-4267 or