Please report dumping and tampering in sanitary sewers and other OWASA facilities

If you see dumping, tampering, vandalism or suspicious activity involving our manholes, pipes, pumps, fencing, gates, buildings, elevated tanks, lakes, etc. please contact us immediately at 919-968-4421.

Doing so will help protect the public health and safety and/or the natural environment.

If you are not sure whether to contact us when something looks wrong or suspicious, we encourage you to call us, give us the information and we will be glad to investigate.

Our staff is on duty 24 hours a day to respond to OWASA water and sewer emergencies, reports of vandalism or tampering, etc.

For example, please call us if you see people other than OWASA employees, employees of a company working for OWASA, or local government employees (such Fire Department personnel) who are:

  • opening a manhole
  • pouring something into a manhole ("dumping")
  • putting debris or other objects in an OWASA manhole
  • opening, connecting to, or using a fire hydrant (unless the person/company has rented an OWASA meter designed for use at a hydrant)
  • digging up, damaging, etc. a pipe, pump, or other OWASA asset
  • entering a pump station
  • entering any fenced or locked area at an OWASA facility
  • cutting or moving fencing, a gate, etc.
  • moving, using or tampering with a vehicle, maintenance equipment or other item owned by OWASA
  • opening a meter box or meter vault
  • putting materials or liquids into one of our reservoirs (Cane Creek Reservoir, University Lake or Quarry Reservoir), or a creek or stream which drains to one of our reservoirs. If you are not sure whether a creek a stream drains to one of our reservoirs, please call us and we will check.
OWASA owns and maintains public water, sanitary sewer and reclaimed water systems. Stormwater facilities are not part of the OWASA system but may be owned by a Town government, the NC Department of Transportation or a private party, depending on the location.


If you see activity outside of the Cane Creek Reservoir or University Lake watershed which you believe will harm water quality, you may call 911 if there is an emergency situation, call the NC Division of Water Resources' regional office at 919-791-4252 and/or contact the relevant local government.

  • You can reach the Chapel Hill Stormwater Management staff at 919-969-RAIN or
  • The Town of Carrboro's Environmental Planner can be reached at 919-918-7326 or
  • If the activity involves sedimentation and erosion, please contact Orange County staff at 919-245-2587.