Water Treatment

Drinking Water Guidelines
Water distributed by the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority is constantly measured against safety standards established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and the North Carolina Division of Environmental Health and Natural Resources (NCDEHNR). These standards specify that the drinking water must be analyzed for contaminants and substances such as:
  • Bacteria
  • Fertilizer
  • Fuels
  • Lead
  • Pesticides
  • Solvents
The Authority’s water consistently meets or exceeds all of these safeguards and is outlined in our Annual Water Quality Report (also known as a Consumer Confidence Report, or CCR). Water Quality Reports are compiled and made available to our customers by June 1 of each year and are posted on this website.

Water Sources and Treatment
The Cape Fear Public Utility Authority’s Water Treatment Division processes and distributes approximately 16 million gallons of drinking water every day to homes and businesses throughout New Hanover County. There are 3 basic parts to the water supply system:
Source
Treatment
Distribution

Sources of Water
There are 2 sources of water utilized to serve our customers:
  • Cape Fear River (surface water)
  • Underground aquifers (groundwater)
Water Systems
Water treatment transforms raw surface and groundwater into safe drinking water by removing impurities. Treated water is then distributed to homes and businesses throughout our service area through 4 different water systems.

CFPUA/City (PWS #04-65-010)
The largest system, CFPUA/City (PWS #04-65-010), distributes water within the City of Wilmington city limits, parts of the Ogden area, parts of Monkey Junction and King’s Grant. The Sweeney Water Treatment Plant supplies water to this system using surface water drawn from the Cape Fear River. The Sweeney Water Treatment Plant is a state-of-the-art facility that incorporates the latest, most innovative water treatment technologies including the use of ozone and UV for disinfection purposes. An upgraded residuals system (the system that treats discarded water), filters, SuperPulsator treatment trains and a high service pump station allow the plant to treat and pump water to our distribution system. This newly renovated and expanded facility has the capacity to treat up to 35 million gallons of water per day. For more information, see Sweeney WTP’s Treatment Process (PDF).
CFPUA/NHC (PWS #04-65-232)
The next largest system, CFPUA/NHC (PWS #04-65-232), distributes water to portions of the northern part of New Hanover County including Murrayville, Wrightsboro, Porters Neck and parts of Castle Hayne the Ogden area. The Nanofiltration Membrane Facility (Nano Water Treatment Plant) supplies groundwater to this system via wells which draw from the Castle Hayne and Pee Dee Aquifers. Treated water from the two sources is blended before leaving the plant and entering the distribution system. This plant contains state-of-the-art membrane technology which is recognized as one of the best available technologies for removing organic material in the water and is effective in reducing the formation of disinfection byproducts. The treated water has less hardness which eliminates the need for softening. An inline fluoride analyzer installed in the finished water line continuously monitors fluoride feed dosages. The Nano Plant has the capability of treating up to 6 million gallons of groundwater per day.
Smaller Systems
There are 2 smaller systems. CFPUA/421 System (PWS #04-65-191), distributing water in the Highway 421/Flemington area, and CFPUA/Monterey Heights water system (PWS #04-65-137), distributing water in Monterey Heights, Woodlake, Laurel Ridge/South Myrtle Grove, Lord’s Creek and Veteran’s Park area, provide treated groundwater from wells that draw water from the Castle Hayne and surficial aquifers.

Operations
The water treatment division operates and maintains:
11 elevated water tanks
2 water treatment plants
3 booster pump stations
54 well sites
A raw water pump station
Aquifer storage recovery system

A staff of highly trained, state certified water treatment operators, a team of skilled maintenance technicians and knowledgeable administration staff keep all these facilities fully operational 24 hours per day, 7 days per week to ensure a safe, high quality, reliable drinking water source.

Plant Tours Available
We welcome school groups and organizations to tour either of our 2 water treatment facilities. Learn more about where your water comes from, how it’s treated and is delivered to homes and businesses within our community. Tours are age appropriate and offer an exciting behind-the-scenes look at the treatment process. Contact Jacqueline Valade at 910-332-6579 or send an email to schedule a tour or request additional information using our Tour Request Form (PDF).

Fluoride Research & Information