OWASA 2020 Wastewater Report Card Released

Orange Water and Sewer Authority treats roughly 7.5 million gallons of the community’s wastewater every day; that translates to about 3 billion gallons per year.

OWASA’s annual wastewater report card shows that for the 2020 calendar year we met or surpassed all State and Federal wastewater regulations.

The community’s infrastructure consists of roughly 350 miles of pipes bringing wastewater to the Mason Farm Wastewater Treatment Plant, where OWASA treats the wastewater before it is discharged into Morgan Creek and eventually makes its way to Jordan Lake or is used as reclaimed water, mainly going back to UNC’s campus for non-potable reuse.

The treatment process brings biology and technology together to test and monitor what is in the wastewater so that it can be treated before it is discharged.

Maintaining the community’s wastewater infrastructure is a major priority for OWASA. Roughly half of every dollar OWASA receives through rates and fees is put back into the system. These investments help maintain the system’s reliability and resiliency, while also improving how efficiently we can operate.

One of the main challenges in keeping the wastewater system running optimally is when things are flushed down the toilet that don’t belong there. This can lead to costly and messy clogs and even impact water quality and the surrounding environment. While some wipes are marketed as “flushable,” these do not break down the same way as toilet paper and can lead to nasty clogs. It is important for all of us that we do our part and keep these wipes as well as rags, oil, grease, and other materials out of the wastewater system. The only things that should be flushed down the drain are the Three Ps: pee, poo, and toilet paper.

Learn more about OWASA’s wastewater system.