Improvements & Investing

At Aqua North Carolina, water quality and continuous service are our highest priorities — and we’ve been providing reliable drinking water for more than 135 years. We strive every day to listen to our customers and invest in the safest, most up-to-date technology and infrastructure improvements and enhancements that benefit our customers and their daily lives.

Since 2015, Aqua North Carolina has invested nearly $191 million across the state to improve water and wastewater infrastructure and our ability to serve you. This work has included the installation of new filter systems, upgrades to treatment plants, pipeline rehabilitation and replacements, and other infrastructure projects that are critical to delivering quality water, providing reliable service and protecting public health and the environment

Improvements We’ve Made

Infrastructure has always been a top priority at Aqua. That’s why we’ve invested in plant, tank, distribution system and other improvements, as well as standardized our approach to complete projects in a more systematic way.

A few projects we’ve completed in North Carolina include:

  • Filter installations and upgrades and other water quality improvements to naturally occurring iron and manganese
  • Repairs and replacement of aging infrastructure to improve water pressure and increase system reliability to prevent service interruptions
  • Wastewater system repairs and replacements to help prevent sewage backups into your home
  • Wastewater facility and treatment upgrades to prevent overflows, protect local waterways, and meet regulatory requirements

Iron & Manganese Affects Your Water

Iron and manganese are naturally occurring minerals that are present in our water supply. Five percent of the earth’s crust is composed of iron and 0.1 percent is composed of manganese. Water percolating through soil and rock can dissolve minerals containing iron and manganese and hold them in solution.

In deep wells, where oxygen content is low, the water bearing iron and manganese is clear and colorless (the iron and manganese are dissolved). In turn, as the water comes out of your tap it may appear clear, but when exposed to air, the minerals are oxidized and change from colorless, dissolved forms to colored, solid forms.

Iron will cause reddish-brown staining of laundry, porcelain, dishes, utensils and glassware. Manganese acts in a similar way but causes a brownish-black stain. Soaps and detergents do not remove these stains and use of chlorine bleach and alkaline builders (such as sodium and carbonate) may intensify the stains. Infrastructure has always been a top priority at Aqua. That’s why we’ve invested in plant, tank, distribution system and other improvements, as well as standardized our approach to complete projects in a more systematic way.

How Aqua Reduces Iron & Manganese

Since iron and manganese levels are such a pervasive issue in North Carolina, we’ve instituted specific criteria to analyze and prioritize the need for filtration based on the levels found in the water.

Once we analyze those sample results, we carry out a project plan that’s based on the grouping criteria.

Group 1 sites have a combined total of iron and manganese in the water that is above 1 milligram per liter or there is greater than 0.3 milligrams per liter of manganese. These locations require filtration and are top priority. Our goal is to install new filtration treatment within a reasonable timeline; the wells that need it most will see filters within the next three to five years. In the interim, we will employ an operational improvement program in communities served by these wells.

Group 2 sites have iron in the water that measures at or greater than 0.6 milligrams per liter and manganese measures at or greater than 0.1 milligrams per liter. Aqua monitors these systems closely to determine if the system requires filtration or can utilize other best management practices to improve water quality.

Group 3 sites include iron in the water measuring at or greater than 0.3 milligrams per liter or manganese measuring at or greater than 0.05 milligrams per liter. Aqua utilizes operational improvement techniques, such as chemical treatment, well cleaning, and flushing, to improve water quality.

Group 4 sites measure iron at or less than 0.3 milligrams per liter or manganese at or less than 0.05 milligrams per liter. These locations should be part of an annual system flushing program but should not require filtration or mineral sequestration.

Prior to beginning any project, we reach out to our customers in the communities where we will complete work to keep you informed of our plans.

If you have any questions, please contact us by emailing

Ongoing Aqua Maintenance

We continue to monitor all systems on an ongoing basis to help ensure safety and overall quality of water source. We also employ an aggressive water quality operations plan to help make sure water consistently flows clear. That means an increase in scheduled system flushing in many communities, and a robust tank-cleaning program that spans our operation across the state of North Carolina.

We use our Aqua alert mechanism to announce system flushing events in communities we serve via a call, email and/or text message. If you have not already done so, please sign up to receive these alerts.

What Customers Can Do

You can also help improve the quality of water coming into your home.

If you have a conventional hot water heater, you should flush it out on an annual basis or as recommended by the manufacturer. Also, when Aqua schedules a flushing event, it’s important that you limit your water use for that period.

If you notice discolored water following a flushing event, always go to your outdoor spigots and run the tap for a short period of time. If this does not clear your water, please contact us at 877.987.2782. One of our technicians will visit your home, take a water sample and perform additional flushing of the water main, if necessary.