Before you start OWASA service: some things we want you to know


We recommend that you or someone representing you be at your residence or business when we come to start service.

If you or your representative cannot be present and if water flows through our meter for more than a couple of minutes after we turn on our meter, water is likely running at a faucet or other fixture.

We would therefore turn off the water and leave a notice asking you to call us at 919-968-4421.

Before we turn on the water at your home/business, we recommend that you check with the landlord, property manager or previous owner to determine

  • whether there are any leaks in the plumbing system,
  • whether any faucets, etc. are open and
  • whether there is a water shut-off valve in the plumbing system, and if so, where it is and whether it will open and close correctly.

If we start service and the shut-off valve is closed, water will not flow to toilets, faucets, etc.

If you are present when we start service, we may be able to help you find the shut-off valve (normally installed inside the building) and explain how to open it.

Please give us at least one work day of advance notice

We normally need one work day of advance notice, Monday through Friday, to start service.

We can start service between 8 AM and 5 PM. Connections after 5 PM and on weekends cost $80.

OWASA’s cost for starting service

The normal charge for starting service is $45, and this fee will be on our first bill.

If we start service after normal hours (8 AM to 5 PM on weekdays other than holidays), the charge is $80. 

Before you start OWASA service

You may wish to ask the property owner/manager to check the plumbing system for leaks or allow you to look for leaks.

We recommend that you learn the location of the shut-off valve (if one exists) in the plumbing system and check whether it works properly.  


Above: A valve for shutting off the water in plumbing pipes and fixtures which are "downstream" of the valve. "Upstream" pipes and devices between OWASA’s meter and the shut -off valve will continue to have water flowing and/or be under pressure.

When OWASA turns on the water

If you are present when we arrive to turn on the water and if there is a leak somewhere in your plumbing system, we can leave the water on briefly while you look for leak(s).

If you are not present when we turn on our meter and if water goes through the meter for more than two minutes, we will turn the water off and leave a notice asking you to call us to try again when you are home/at your business. Please arrange to meet us during our regular business hours. 

Where to check for leaks

  • Toilets

Put food dye in the tank and wait 15-20 minutes without flushing. If the dye goes into the bowl, there is a leak, probably at the flapper or possibly in the fill valve.

  • Faucets and spigots, indoor and outdoor
  • Water pipes including the private water supply pipe from our meter to the house/building

(If the supply pipe has a leak, you may see a wet area on the ground in dry weather.)

  • Showerheads
  • Urinals
  • Hoses indoors and outside, including hoses for clothes and dishwashers and the water tube to an ice maker
  • Other water-using devices such as the irrigation system if you have one.  

If you find a leak

We recommend having a licensed plumber or other knowledgeable person repair the leak in accord with plumbing codes.

If you have a water shut-off valve in your plumbing system, you can turn off the water at your shut-off valve while you have repairs made.

If the leak is between our meter and your shut-off valve, it will be necessary to turn the water off at the OWASA meter.

If a toilet or other fixture with a leak has a separate shut-off valve, you can close that valve and keep water on in the rest of the building.

If you replace the flapper in a toilet tank, select a flapper for use in a water system that uses “chloramines” (a compound of chlorine and ammonia used by OWASA and other utilities for disinfection).

After you fix a leak

Please contact OWASA Customer Service at 919-537-4343 or to ask about an account adjustment. Our account adjustments do not cover the full cost of leaked water, so it is to your advantage to fix leaks promptly.