Water and Sewer Service Information
All water and sewer services are encompassed in a legally established 5-foot easement, in which the Town has the right to enter. This easement exists so the Town has access to quickly resolve emergencies such as a water lateral leak, water meter repair, or sewer blockage or backup. Fences, landscaping, plantings, or other structures should not be contained within or encroach around the easement. Water meter boxes and cleanouts should be visible from the street.
Water meter boxes should be visible and accessible for inspection, maintenance, and repair. Do not cover the water meter box with mulch or plant bushes or trees near the water meter box. This prevents quick access for maintenance and repair. Do not operate the valve on the water setter/yolk. Using the incorrect tool can damage the setter/yolk and cause a leak that will require repair. The cost to repair the setter/yolk will be invoiced to the customer. The Town can assist you with valve operation, day or night. For valve operation during normal business hours Monday - Friday 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., call (919) 362-8166. For any water or sewer emergency after hours, call (919) 372-7475.
Consumption and Leaks
Pay close attention to your water bill. Your water bill can assist you in identifying possible leaks in your plumbing system. Toilets are the main source of water use in the home, accounting for nearly 30 percent of an average home's indoor water consumption. If you notice an increase in your consumption we recommend checking for leaks in the toilet. Toilet flappers (valve seal) become worn out over time and need to be replaced. Flappers are inexpensive and easy to replace. The EPA WaterSense has generated a video "Replace Your Leaky Toilet Flapper (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPeViXIgOPE) that demonstrates the steps for replacement.
If you notice the ground around your water meter box is constantly wet it could be a sign of a leak at the meter or a line break. Contact the Water Resources department at (919) 362-8166 if you suspect a leak. Water Resources will investigate to determine the location and source of the leak. Homeowners are responsible for repairs inside the home and from the dwelling to the water meter. The Town is responsible for repairing any leaks in the street or between the street and meter. The image below illustrates where the Town's responsibility ends and the property owner's begins.
If the investigation inside and outside the home does not identify the source of the high consumption the homeowner can request one free water meter test per year. To request the water meter test, please contact the Finance Department at (919) 362-8676.
Water pressure is determined by the difference in elevation between the water level in the water storage tanks and your home or business as illustrated in the image below. Under normal circumstances water pressure at your home should be adequate. A water line break, flushing, or fire emergencies can temporarily reduce the pressure in your home. If you notice a persistent loss of pressure in your home please contact us at (919) 362-8166 or submit Water/Sewer Concern Request online at www.apexnc.org/reportwsconcern, our staff can perform a free water pressure check. The most common cause of pressure loss is the pressure reducer valve (PRV) which is generally located in the crawlspace where the water line enters the home or in a closet located at the front of the residence. The PRV setting may need adjustment or may be faulty. A licensed plumber can replace the PRV.
To report a backup or sanitary sewer overflow (SSO) during normal business hours, Monday - Friday 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., call (919) 362-8166 and after hours at (919) 372-7475.
Most sewer backups occur between the house and the Town's sewer main. If you suspect you have a blockage or have experienced a backup, contact the Water Resources department first to investigate the location and cause of the blockage or backup. Our staff will camera the sewer main to determine the location and source of the blockage and flush the line if necessary. The Town is not responsible for the tee or private sewer service line as illustrated below.
You can help prevent blockages and backups by following the recommendations below.
- Do not flush wipes, diapers, food scraps or personal hygiene products.
- Do not drain fats, oil, and grease (FOG) down the drain. Drain fats, oils, and grease into a can or jar and throw the can away on your scheduled trash collection day. Contact Water Resources at (919) 362-8166 to obtain a free FOG lid that helps to prevent accidental spills and reduce FOG odor during storage.
- Do not plant bushes or trees near the service. Root intrusion is a common cause for blockages and backups.
- Keep the cleanout stack visible. Per the Town's Design Standard Specifications all cleanouts must be a minimum of 6-inches above grade. Cutting the cleanout stack flush with the ground makes it difficult for staff to locate in an emergency situation and cause greater damage inside your home if a backup or blockage occurs.
- Ensure the sewer cleanout cap is on to prevent foreign materials from entering the cleanout and causing a blockage.
- Do not dump any liquids, gases, or other materials into the cleanout.
Illegal Dumping into the Sanitary Sewer System
Only authorized personnel may access manholes, cleanouts, or grease interceptors for maintenance and monitoring. Illicit discharge or illegal dumping can cause: sewer line blockages or damage to sewer lines, wastewater treatment facility disruption, harmful discharges into the environment and buildup of toxic gases in the sewer line. If you witness or suspect an illegal discharge or dumping, like the items listed below, please contact us at (919) 362-8166. Information such as the company name that appears on the truck, location of suspected dump site, date and time of occurrence, and any photo or video evidence will be helpful to our investigation.
- Trucks or persons discharging or dumping substances into manholes, cleanouts, or grease interceptors.
- Foul odors at manholes or grease interceptors.
- Hauling companies that charge far less for their services compared to competitors.