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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

About Union County Water

  • Who provides my water?
    There are multiple utilities that provide water within Union County. In addition to Union County Public Works, the City of Monroe, the Town of Marshville and the Town of Wingate provide water to their respective customers. There are also private companies that supply water. We encourage residents to become familiar with their utility and their utility’s services and rate structure.
  • Where does my water come from?
    The majority (80%) of customers of Union County Public Works receive water from the Catawba River.
  • How does a water system work?
    Water is pulled through an intake from a water body, be it a lake or river. Next, it enters a water treatment plant, where it is cleaned and treated so that our customers will have safe and reliable water when it reaches their home. Upon leaving the plant, water travels through an extensive pipe system of transmission mains, and distribution lines before reaching a resident’s home. Usage is measured through a water meter which is read regularly to generate a bill that is mailed monthly to customers.
  • How often is water tested?
    Water is tested 320 times per month on average across multiple locations to ensure compliance with regulatory agencies and to continue providing high-quality water. The County takes numerous steps to successfully achieve the goal of providing residents a safe and dependable supply of drinking water.
  • How is my water treated?
    To properly disinfect water from the Catawba River, the Catawba River Water Supply Project uses chloramines to treat water. This method is recommended by state and federal regulatory agencies, and it is consistent with industry standards.
  • What’s the future plan to deliver water in Union County?
    Union County is investing in a second water supply source called the Yadkin Regional Water Supply Project to ensure customers have access to safe and reliable water for decades to come. This water plant involves an intake facility on Lake Tillery in the Town of Norwood, 30 miles of raw water pipe, a water treatment plant in the New Salem area, and a finished water pipe of 10 miles. We plan to have this plant fully operational in 2022.

About Public Works

  • How does Public Works operate?
    Union County Public Works is a public enterprise, meaning it is funded solely through user fees and rates. No tax dollars are used to support the water and wastewater system owned and maintained by Public Works.
  • What is a ratepayer?
    Ratepayers are customers of Union County Public Works. Development and maintenance of the water and wastewater system is paid for solely from revenue generated through the sale of water and wastewater services.
  • Are tax dollars used for any projects related to water and/or wastewater improvements?
    No. All projects to develop or improve Union County’s water and/or wastewater system are paid for with revenue generated from ratepayers of Union County Public Works.

Water Rates

  • Why is Union County raising its water and wastewater rates?
    The increase is necessary to fund the utility’s Capital Improvement Program, which includes $305.8 million invested over the next two years in projects to maintain and improve our water and wastewater infrastructure. These improvements ensure that we will continue to provide customers with high-quality water and wastewater services. Click here to see all projects in the current Capital Improvement Program.
  • When are the new water rates effective?
    The new rate increases of 15.5% are effective February 1, 2020 and January 1, 2021. The first billing cycle with the new rate will be sent mid-March.
  • How much will the average monthly bill increase?
    In 2020, for the average ratepayer using 5,000 gallons of water each month, the increase will be approximately $4.50 per month for water service; or approximately $11.50 for combined water and wastewater service.
  • Where can I find more information about my water rates?
    Click here for more information on the water rates.


  • How do I pay my water bill?
    There are multiple options to pay your water bill:

Yadkin Regional Water Supply Project

  • What is the purpose of the Yadkin Regional Water Supply Project (YRWSP)?
    The Yadkin Regional Water Supply Project addresses the County’s need for an additional long-term, sustainable water supply source to meet current and future demand for water. The project has been in planning since 2004 and is nearing 60% completion of its design plans.
  • How will water produced as a result of the YRWSP be used?
    The YRWSP includes a new water intake system and pump station in Norwood on Lake Tillery, a water supply pipeline to bring water to a new water treatment plant in Union County, and a drinking water pipeline to deliver water to customers in Union County’s Yadkin River Basin. To read more about the Yadkin Regional Water Supply Project, click here. Per the Inter-basin Transfer Certificate issued by the State, this water can only be used by Union County Public Works ratepayers and the Town of Wingate, who was a co-applicant.
  • What does the word “Regional” in the name mean?
    The word regional reflects the partnership between Union County, the Town of Norwood and Stanly County to build the YRWSP. Water produced by the YRWSP will serve customers of Union County Public Works and the Town of Norwood.
  • How many alternatives were studied before the Board of Commissioners voted on the YRWSP?
    Between 2013 and 2016, Union County completed an extensive review of 12 options to a provide reliable, sustainable second source of drinking water to Union County customers. They determined the YRWSP to be the most reliable and cost-effective solution.
  • Where can I find more information on the YRWSP?
    Click here for more information on the YRWSP.

Short Water Line Extension Program

  • What is the purpose of the Short Water Line Extension Program?
    The Short Water Line Extension Program extends water lines to residents who are not currently receiving water from Union County Public Works. Click here for more information on the program.
  • How do I apply to be connected to the County’s water system?
    Currently, the program is not accepting additional applicants as we focus on providing service to program applicants.
  • How will the County determine the order in which current applicants are served?
    Board of Commissioners recently established a request prioritization system that ranks applications based on a number of factors, including health concerns with current water source, the number of applicants associated with a request and how long an applicant has been waiting. Additionally, Commissioners allocated additional funding for the water line extension program to ensure the program is sustainable and able to serve residents more quickly.

Projects and Investments