Operations & Utility Maintenance

Responsibilities
Each and every day, CFPUA treats, distributes and collects millions of gallons of water and wastewater. In addition to 24/7 operations at the water and wastewater treatment facilities, CFPUA’s Operations Department is also responsible for:
  • A comprehensive flushing program
  • Easement clearing
  • Installing services
  • Lift station operations/maintenance
  • Maintaining meters
  • Repairing and replacing broken or deteriorated water/sewer main
  • Responding to sewer spills
  • Service calls concerning water quality issues
  • Sewer main and manhole inspection/maintenance
  • Well and well site maintenance
Daily Operations
Well maintained infrastructure is critical to system integrity and functionality. CFPUA crews perform routine daily operations to ensure optimal results of equipment and system performance both inside our facilities and out in the field. Certified treatment operators and highly skilled maintenance technicians:
  • Conduct routine inspections
  • Implement preventative maintenance strategies
  • Make repairs to ensure the system and plants are functioning properly and performing efficiently
  • Test equipment
These combined efforts result in a system that will perform reliably.

Areas of Operation
The Cape Fear Public Utility Authority owns, operates and maintains the public water distribution and wastewater collection systems which includes:
  • 2 water treatment plants
  • 25+ miles of raw water line
  • 11 elevated water tanks
  • 54 well sites
  • 1100+ miles of water line
  • 3 wastewater treatment plants
  • 7,672 fire hydrants
  • 14,867 valves
  • 141 pump stations
  • 800+ miles of sewer line
Easements
An easement is a portion of land that has been set aside for a specific purpose. Easements give CFPUA or other agencies the right to construct and maintain facilities within the designated areas. CFPUA uses the easements as a way of accessing water and sewer lines and other components of the utility system for maintenance and repair.

Obstructions
It’s important that these easements remain identified, evaluated, and cleared of obstructions throughout the service area. Obstructions can hinder access and response time for maintenance crews which can result in interruption of service, system backups and overflows. This work is necessary as part of the state regulations governing the operations of the system and to allow crews adequate room to work.

Restrictions & Responsibilities
If you have an easement on your property, it is important to know there are restrictions and responsibilities that go along with that easement.
  • You can use a utility easement for almost anything that you use your yard for.
  • You can plant gardens and other shallow rooted landscaping or use this area as a walkway or driveway. However, anything that is in the easement when a utility has to perform maintenance may have to be removed.
  • You are not permitted to place anything in the easement that will make it difficult for utility crews to access, maintain or repair the system.
  • Upon any maintenance work in an easement, CFPUA will restore the site to its prior condition (or as close as possible) but will not replace items specifically prohibited by the Authority’s ordinance.
A copy of our ordinance is available on our Ordinances and Regulations page.

Permanent Easement Items
Anything permanent is prohibited in the easements. This includes:
  • Any construction materials, metal, lumber
  • Berms
  • Water bodies
  • Rubbish, refuse
  • Playground equipment
  • Structures, buildings or other obstructions including fences and retaining walls
  • Trees, as the roots can damage the lines that lie beneath them and restrict access

Meter Information
CFPUA maintains over 67,000 metered commercial and residential accounts. Keeping meters clear of obstructions (i.e., fences, bushes, overgrowth, debris, etc.) will not only ensure that meter technicians can access your meter, it will also make certain you get an accurate reading. It is illegal to tamper with a meter for any reason. You should not allow anyone to connect any device to your meter, nor are you to tamper with any water meter.

Raw Water Line
The raw water line, which transports water from the King’s Bluff Pumping Station (Bladen County) to the Sweeney Water Plant, is over 25 miles long and spans through 3 counties. Utility construction workers from CFPUA’s Operations and Maintenance Department are responsible for maintaining and clearing the path along the raw water line. Very extensive clearing and logistics plans had been scheduled in order to get this area cleared of obstructions because most of the raw water line is located in wooded, swampy and other hard-to-get-to areas.

Equipment
Many different types of equipment are used to mow, cut and clear the area, including:
  • Amphibious Argos
  • Backhoes
  • Chainsaws
  • Excavators
  • Tractors
  • Weed eaters
Larger items like logs and tree limbs are loaded and hauled away in dump trucks. Often times, the construction crew has to make temporary roads in order to cross streams or swampy areas. Wooden mats are used to minimize damage and impact to the environment. Maintaining a clear path is important so crews can access the raw water line to make repairs, conduct inspections and/or check for leaks.

Construction Crew
The construction crew that performs this work definitely doesn’t have an easy task - they work outside all year long and in all kinds of conditions: rain, sleet, snow, extreme heat/humidity, and even hurricanes. Not only are they exposed to extreme weather conditions and environmental hazards, utility construction workers are also prone to natural hazards like snakes, alligators, mosquitoes, poison ivy and peat bogs.

In addition to working on the raw water line, the construction crew can be found mowing and maintaining right-of-ways and other areas of the utility system.

Press Release