Public Utilities Water and Sewer Connection Process

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Important Connection Process Information Availability Permit and Fees Service Line Construction and New Accounts Other Common Questions


The information on this page covers the water and sewer connection process for existing homes and new single family dwellings submitted as a plot plan and may not be applicable for large development projects. If your project involves site plan approval, subdivision approval or extension of water and sewer mains, additional requirements will apply.

In order to connect to utilities, an applicant must:

  1. Determine availability. 
  2. Apply for appropriate permits and pay fees. 
  3. Construct water or sewer services through a private contractor or the City. 
  4. Set up an account and request a meter. 


Are water and sewer available?

The City of Raleigh provides water and sewer services in Raleigh, Garner, Knightdale, Rolesville, Wake Forest, Wendell, and Zebulon. Availability can be determined by sending an email. Please include your address, what utilities you plan to connect to and the size/type of service required.

  • Sewer maps are publicly available via iMaps.
  • Water maps are not publicly available but can be provided via email upon request.
  • Some properties, such as some properties within portions of protected Water Supply watersheds and the Durham annexation swap area, may not be eligible for connection to utilities. Water supply watershed can be found on iMaps. The Durham annexation swap area map can be found here: Durham Maps

Can I connect to one available utility without the other?

  • Water-only connections are allowed. 
  • Sewer only connections are prohibited. Exceptions may be granted for locations with immediate sewer availability where the city has, in the past, negotiated for easements, assessed for sewer, or in the case of public health concerns where failing septic cannot be repaired.  

Is Annexation required?

The City of Raleigh provides service to properties that are within the Corporate Limits or Planning Jurisdiction (ETJ) of Raleigh, Garner, Knightdale, Rolesville, Wake Forest, Wendell, and Zebulon. If the property is outside the Planning Jurisdiction, connection to utilities cannot be made without the addition of the property to the appropriate Planning Jurisdiction. 

  • Maps of city limits and jurisdiction can be found on iMaps. Corporate limits and Planning jurisdiction can be turned on via the layers menu in the bottom right-hand corner.  
  • An annexation petition is required to be submitted at the time of application for their water or sewer utility service. This annexation petition may be accepted and the property annexed or it may be deferred until a later date. For more information on annexation process, please contact the appropriate planning department.
  • Properties connected to utilities outside the corporate limits are charged outside rates, which are higher than the water and sewer rates for customers inside the city limits.  See City of Raleigh Rate Schedule.  

The Utility I need is not available to my property… Now what?

Private services must be directly tapped to available public water or sewer main. In cases where this is not possible, public water mains and sewer mains may be extended, at the expense of the applicant, to serve properties within the planning jurisdiction of Raleigh or merger communities.

Extension of water and sewer mains requires the applicant to follow land development processes including:

  • Hire engineers and surveyors to prepare engineered design plans
  • Apply for infrastructure permits,
  • Hire licensed utility contractors to construct the mains
  • In some cases hire attorneys and surveyors to acquire and record offsite waterline or sanitary sewer easements.   
  • Public main extension costs vary widely depending on site conditions, $100-150 per linear foot is used as a general estimate.  If you are planning to extend water and sewer mains not associated with a development, send an email to further discuss the design process, inspection fees, etc.
  • Extension of water and sewer mains outside the Corporate limits of Raleigh or the Merger Communities not associated with a land development requires City Council Approval.

Permit and Fees

What is a service line and who is constructing it?

  • A private water service line connects from the City of Raleigh public water main to the public right-of-way line per standard water detail W-23 and W-25
  • A private sewer service line connects from the City of Raleigh public sewer main to the right-of-way or easement line per standard sewer detail S-30 and S-30A
  • Most water and sewer services must be installed by a licensed utility contractor.
  • The City may install ¾” or 1” water and 4” sewer services for existing homes in public rights-of- way, where the roadway width does not exceed 45’. The city will not install service lines in easements or for new construction/development.  City-installed taps require payment of the tap fee(s) (Development Fee Schedule)
  • In some cases, the City has constructed water and sewer services during the installation of water and sewer mains. If there is an existing, City-installed tap on a given parcel, the applicant must pay for the tap(s) at the prevailing rate at first-time connection.

How do I Apply?

For connections in the City of Raleigh planning jurisdiction, applications should be made through Planning and Development Department.   

  • Applications are submitted through the Permit and Development Portal. Applications can be submitted by the applicant, or the applicant’s contractor. 
  • Use the Residential Permit Application form and fill out the general information, Utility, and Plumbing sections.  Commercial connections should use the commercial permit application.
  • After application, you will be contacted with a final fee estimate to make arrangement for payment of fees. Permits are issued following payment of fees.
  • For private service connections in merger town planning jurisdictions the application should be made through the appropriate merger town.  Garner, Knightdale, Rolesville, Wake Forest, Wendell, Zebulon

Which permits and fees are required?

Utilities Fees and Permits

Utility Connection Permits are required for all new water and sewer service connections. Fees associated with this permit can be found in Raleigh’s Development Fee Schedule:

  • Capital Facilities Fees are required for all new water and sewer connections and are based on meter size.
  • Meter fees apply for all new water services.
  • Tap fees only apply for City-installed taps.  

Stub permits are required for each private contractor-installed water and sewer tap(s) (Development Fee Schedule)

Other Fees and permits

  • Plumbing permits are typically required for the extension of a private water or sewer service connection onto private property.
  • Street Cut permits may be required for projects encroaching into public streets.
  • For water and sewer services in NCDOT right-of-way, an NCDOT encroachment agreement is required to first be submitted to NCDOT for execution and then to the City of Raleigh transportation dept for approval.

Upon connection to City water and/or sewer, any well or septic on-site must be abandoned with the applicable permit through Wake County.

Do I owe Assessments at time of connection?

  • If assessments exist against a property for water and sewer main extensions previously constructed by the City, payment is due at time of connection. 
  • Applicants can check for existing water and sewer assessments and pay these assessments through Raleigh Revenue Services.

Can I finance any of these fees?

  • The City will finance the cost of the city installed tap for a period of five years at eight percent interest. Please indicate if you wish to finance tap fees in your application.

Service Line Construction and New Accounts

  • Once the appropriate permits are issued and fees are paid, construction can begin on the water and sewer services. 
  • For City-installed taps, a City representative will contact the applicant within 3 business days of permit issuance to schedule the installation and confirm the desired service location. Installation is typically within two to six weeks following permit issuance.
  • If a licensed utility contractor is constructing the service lines, they will be required to schedule an inspection of the stub(s) corresponding to the previously issued stub permit.
  • Following installation and inspection of the City-installed water services, the applicant should call 919-996-3245 to establish a new Utility Billing account

Other Common Questions

What size service connection is required?

  • Your plumber should recommend a water and sewer service size based on the plumbing code.  Typical water service size for a residential connection is three-quarter-inch water service line with a five-eights-inch meter and a four-inch sewer service. 

How do I find a Utility Contractor?

  • The City does not make recommendations for private contractors; however, you can verify if a contractor is licensed through the State Licensing Board.  

Can the service line cross my neighbor’s property?

  • The City does not allow new service lines to cross neighboring properties (bottom of webpage, PU Handbook, pages 39 and 73). Direct connections should be made to a public water or sewer main on the property or in a public easement or within right-of-way adjacent to the property.

Does my water service require an additional backflow preventer?

  • The  dual check device included in the meter box provides adequate protection for most residential connections.  Non residential connections, large service lines, irrigation services, active wells present on the lot and other hazards require an additional protection by the installation of an approved backflow assembly. Please contact the Cross Connection Program for more information.

My house is at an elevation below the sewer main.  Do I need a backwater valve?  Can I have a pumped service?

  • Backwater valves are required by the plumbing code when the plumbing fixtures in the house are below the overflow elevation of the next upstream sewer manhole to decrease the likelihood of sewer backups within the home. Your plumber should advise you if this requirement applies.  
  • The city discourages pumped services and requires gravity sewer service from the public sewer main to reach a cleanout at the property or easement line. If necessary, pumped services may discharge to the cleanout at the property line but must maintain gravity sewer flow to the public main.

My existing well is contaminated or septic is failing.  Does that change anything?

  • All City fees and processes that apply for new connections apply for failing well and septic systems.  Well and septic systems are regulated by Wake County and applicants are encouraged to reach out to Wake County Environmental Services to discuss well-related issues and possible solutions. 
  • Exceptions to watershed policies prohibiting service and the prohibition to sewer only accounts are reviewed on a case by case basis when related to the protection of public health. These exceptions require City Council approval and are submitted to staff through the availability request.  
  • Existing wells must be abandoned with a permit through Wake County upon connection to a public water main.  If an existing well is retained for irrigation, it must be completely disconnected from the facility/home. If a dual plumbing system is created by keeping only outside hose bibs on the well for non-potable uses, an approved RPZ backflow assembly must be installed on the water service and maintained by the property owner with annual inspections and maintenance. 
  • Septic tanks must be abandoned with a permit through Wake County upon connection to a public sewer main. The City does not accept septic tank effluent to the sanitary sewer system.



For further questions about the water/sewer connections process related to land development:
Raleigh Water Development Review Team
Raleigh Water Request Form


Lead Department: