History & Overview

As a regional commercial and business center, Lenoir County, Pitt County, and surrounding areas have seen and continue to see increased water demands. At the same time, regional groundwater supplies are being depleted due to overuse. The yields of existing area wells are decreasing, and as a result, the State of North Carolina has stepped in to regulate the allowable rate of groundwater withdrawals. The goal of these regulations, called the Central Coastal Plain Capacity Use Area Rules, is to limit groundwater withdrawals to a sustainable rate. This will allow the groundwater aquifers to replenish themselves, thus providing a reliable, high quality source of water for years to come.


In 2000, the Neuse Regional Water and Sewer Authority (NRWASA), working in conjunction with Lenoir County, commissioned a regional water supply study to determine the best means of meeting future water supply shortages. The recommended solution to meeting this challenge was to continue to use a safe amount of groundwater in conjunction with a new water supply, the Neuse River. The river provides an abundant source of water that is treated using state-of-the-art technology to produce high quality drinking water. By continuing to use groundwater to the degree possible while supplementing this supply with abundant surface water, NRWASA can meet the region’s long-term water supply needs reliably and cost-effectively.


The NRWASA water treatment plant was completed in 2008 and will produce up to 15 million gallons of water per day. In addition, over 78 miles of water transmission mains were constructed across Lenoir and Pitt counties to carry treated water to each member entitys water distribution system.


NRWASA receives revenues through member contributions, which are proportionate to the number of customers served by each member. Therefore, costs are shared equitably based on the benefits received. Design and construction work were funded through grants and low-interest loans from the USDA, State of North Carolina, USEPA, The Rural Center, Tobacco Trust Fund, and other local sources.


Through funding assistance and active attention to cost controls, NRWASA has been able to maintain the water rate charge to its Members since inception in 2008.