OWASA provides drinking water to customers in the Carrboro-Chapel Hill community. OWASA also collects, treats and recycles the community's wastewater. Some of our treated wastewater is used for non-drinking purposes through our reclaimed water system.
Our raw water comes from the Cane Creek, University Lake and Quarry Reservoirs. The raw water is pumped from the reservoirs to the Jones Ferry Road Water Treatment Plant in Carrboro, which has the capacity to treat 20 million gallons per day. The treated drinking water is pumped to storage tanks and then to customers through a network of about 380 miles of pipe.
We operate another system of pipes (about 338 miles) and pump stations (21) to collect the community's wastewater (domestic sewage) for treatment at the Mason Farm Wastewater Treatment Plant in southeast Chapel Hill. The plant has the capacity to treat an average peak month flow of 14.5 million gallons per day. The highly treated wastewater is recycled to Morgan Creek, a tributary of Jordan Lake. A portion of the highly treated wastewater (called reclaimed water) is pumped to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where it is used instead of drinking water for certain non-drinking purposes in their central chiller plants and for irrigation. Reclaimed water is also used for irrigation and toilet flushing at one non-UNC location.
A bird's-eye view of OWASA's overall system is provided in our Annual update on Strategic Trends and Utility Planning Issues.