Public Utilities

Administrative Office
120 Adams Street (Washington Co. Courthouse)
PO Box 1007
Plymouth NC 27962

Treatment Plant 
396 West Mill Pond Road
Roper NC
Boil Water Advisory FAQs


Lee Sasser
Public Utilities Director
Customer Service Representative
Tawana Kolikas
Customer Services Representative
Water Treatment Plant
Jason Bennett
Water Treatment Plant Operator

Water Works

2023 Drinking Water Quality Report 

Water Treatment Process
Washington County has a regional system built to serve the areas outside the town limits of Plymouth, Roper and Creswell with major funding coming from revenue bonds. The system is owned and operated by Washington County.

Construction for a new system supplying .750 million gallons per day (MGD) began in August of 1999. Historic hurricanes Dennis and Floyd played minor roles in the history of the system causing a few delays but the plant became operational on April 9, 2001.

The plant is supplied by three deep wells rated at 350 gallons per minute (GPM). The raw source for these wells is the Castle Hayne Aquifer. Average well depth is 280 feet with each screened at three withdrawal zones: 210, 230 and 265 feet.

Well #1 is on site and has auxiliary power backup from the water plant’s diesel generator in case of a power outage. Well #2 is located .5 miles from the plant on West Old Mill Rd. Well #3 is located on Slough Rd, 1 mile from the plant. These wells have auxiliary backup power from portable diesel generators in case of a power outage. The main transmissions pipe from the wells to the plant is 10-inch PVC pipe.

Our treatment plant utilizes hydrogen peroxide, chlorine, chloramine and polyorthophosphate to treat our water prior to delivery to the customer.

Hydrogen peroxide is injected at the well to help control Hydrogen Sulfide bacteria. It eliminates approximately 98% of this bacteria prior to treatment of the water with chlorine.

We then use chlorine and chloramine to kill any remaining bacteria or viruses that may be present in the water coming out of our wells and to keep bacteria from redeveloping in the pipes going from our plant to your tap.

Chlorine was first successfully used as a disinfectant for water in 1908. Chlorine disinfection has just about wiped out water-borne diseases such as cholera and typhoid in the United States. The science of water treatment has progressed so far that detection and control of contaminants in water have reduced health hazards to nearly zero.

Chloramine, a combination of chlorine and ammonia, is used effectively to prevent waterborne diseases. In order to reduced the growth of microorganisms or harmful bacteria, the county has been adding chroramine to the water supply since 2005. Chloramine, when compared to chlorine, forms a significantly lower amount of “disinfection byproducts” such as trihalomethanes (THMs) and haloacetic acids (HAAs). Chloraminated water is safe for drinking, bathing, cooking and all other daily uses. Chloramine doesn’t change the taste, smell or appearance of water.

Certain water users with sensitivities to chemicals may need to continue to take precautionary measures.

Dialysis patients: Chloramine, like any other chemical, must be removed from water prior to dialysis treatment. Medical centers that perform dialysis are responsible for purifying water that enters machines. People with home dialysis machines should consult their physician. Often, home dialysis service companies can make modifications if necessary.
Aquariums: Chloramine is toxic to both fresh- and salt-water fish, so it must be removed from water used in aquariums and fish ponds. That can easily be done by purchasing a dechlorinating chemical found at at most pet supply stores.

After treating the water with chlorine and chloramine and just prior to sending the water out of the treatment plant, we add a chemical called polyorthophosphate which is a blended phophate solution used for corrosion control. It also diminishes calcium scale deposits typically seen in hot water lines and heaters.

After treatment, the water is stored in a 500,000–gallon ground storage tank at the plant. From there, the water is pumped to three 100,000 gallon elevated storage tanks and two 200,000 tanks, which are located throughout the county.

Water Testing and Sampling
The County routinely tests for more than 150 different contaminates in your water. We also test seven random sites monthly for bacteria throughout the County. Washington County and the State are very active in monitoring your public water, as is the EPA. Any contaminate that is above the maximum level automatically triggers a response by the County Water Department and the State of North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Division of Environmental Health Public Water Supply Section. Each year we produce a Consumer Confidence Report of our water, which gives you an in-depth view of your water. The report is posted on this web site. You may also pick up a copy at our Billing Office at 120 Adams St. in Plymouth, NC.

The Distribution Section of the Water Department maintains over 135 miles of pipeline, 145 fire hydrants, 3 active pumping stations, 5 elevated storage tanks (3 each at 100,000 gallons and 2 each at 200,000 gallons), and a 500,000-gallon storage tank at the plant. Distribution Personnel read the water meters monthly and try to start as close to the 25th of each month as possible. The Distribution Section locates water lines for other utilities such as Telephone, Electric, Gas and Cable TV. This Department also puts in new services, maintains and repairs both mainline and service connections. The main lines are flushed at least once a year (normally, in June) and the dead-end lines are flushed at least quarterly.

Water Billing Procedures
Billing is handled at the Washington County Courthouse.  Also, as a reminder, your contact information for notifications, including late notices, may be updated when you pay your water bill.

Meter Readings
Meters will be read and bills mailed out monthly. Billing starts when the meter is installed. Bills are calculated in accordance with County’s Fee Schedule based on the amount of water consumed. The Fee Schedule is typically adopted as part of the annual Budget Ordinance, is available upon request, and is typically published on the Finance Department’s web page.

All bills have a due date of the 4th day of the month. Payment should be made by this date to avoid any late charges of 1.5% of the consumer’s bill. If charges have not been paid by 5:00 p.m. on the 15th of the month, the service will be disconnected and a collection fee (see Fee Schedule) added to the account. This fee must be collected before service will be restored. In addition, customers in breach of payment plans will be required to pay all past due amounts prior to reconnection. Water will not be restored until the next business day.

Payments are posted immediately upon receipt and may be mailed, made in person, dropped in drop box, or made with credit or debit cards by calling 1-800-487-4567, or electronically drafted. NOTE: Customers must have their Account Number and Jurisdiction Code Number 4389. Customers may also pay online at Forms for drafting are available in the office at 120 Adams Street and must be completed a minimum of 10 days prior to drafting.

Consumers paying by check or whose account is electronically drafted who do not have sufficient funds on deposit to cover the check or draft when notified by the Cashier must provide cash payment plus the current returned check fee within 48 hours of notification. The County may discontinue service or require payment in currency when more than 2 insufficient checks are presented by any consumer.

Change of Occupancy
The outgoing party shall be responsible for all water consumed up to the time of departure or the time specified for departure, whichever period is longest.

A new deposit will be collected for change of occupancy.

Cross Connection/Backflow
The County reserves the right to refuse or disconnect water service when the consumer’s water lines are installed in such a manner as to allow cross connections and / or backflow.Frequently Asked Questions

QHow much does it cost to hook up to the Washington County Water System?
AIf a water tap is already available at the property and only needs to be activated, a $60.00 refundable deposit is required if you own the property. If you are renting, a $120.00 refundable deposit is required. If a tap is not readily available, but water mains are accessible, a Tap Fee (with or without road boring), Water Service Deposit and Plumbing Permit is required, as listed in the current budget’s Fee Schedule.
QHow much is the Deposit?
A$60 for Owners, $120 for Renters
QCan I possibly get an adjustment for a water leak?
AWashington County’s procedure is to give the customer an adjustment of up to 50% of the amount of the leak. You must still pay your monthly base charge. See Washington County Waterworks Rules and Regulations No consumer may receive more than one adjustment for a leak within a 12 month period.
QHow often are bills mailed out?
ABills are mailed to the customers once a month—usually around the 10th of the month— and are due the 4th of the following month.
QWhen will you be cutting water off if your bill has not been paid?
AThe 15th of the month is our cut–off date. You have until 5:00 p.m.on the 15th to pay your water bill.
QWhat is the procedure for hooking up to the county water system?
AThe proposed water customer must read and sign the Washington County, NC Water User Agreement, and describe the location of the property to be connected to the water system. A valid form of identification with picture and proof of ownership is also required. The property must be in an appropriate area where water main is accessible. After signing the contract, and paying all fees, field personnel will identify meter placement, verify the customer has a shut-off valve and call NC811 before digging. This may take up to 30 days. The customer is responsible for plumbing from the effluent side of the meter to the customer’s shut-off valve at the residence. (See Washington County Waterworks Rules and Regulations).
QWhat forms of payment are accepted by the water department?
ADrop-off payment box, Mail, Cash, Money Orders, Checks, Credit Card by phone ONLY at 1-800-487-4567, Online at .
QWhat are the water rates for Washington County?
AThe minimum charge is $24.00 for the first two thousand gallons for regular 3/4″ meter. There is a $13.00 charge for each thousand gallons used after the first two-thousand-gallon base charge.