Public Utilities Operations
The Utilities Operations Division provides for all aspects of installation, operation, and maintenance of the water distribution system and the wastewater collection, the Five Year Capital Improvement Plan system, plus other special services to other divisions. This includes responding to thousand of customer service requests yearly.
Water Main Repair
The Town of Boone has over 125 miles of water mains ranging in size from 2″ to 16″ in the water distribution system. Some of these lines (found in the older areas of town) are over 80 years old. Most water main failures occur during the winter months. If you notice water coming from under the street pavement, leaking from a fire hydrant or collecting around a water meter, there could be a leak from a water main or service line. You may also notice a problem if your water bill is unusually high, or utility readers may detect a leak while reading your meter. The Utilities Operations Division is responsible for maintaining the line leading to your home or business’s meter, and of the meter itself. The property owner is responsible for the service line beyond the water meter and the rest of the property’s plumbing. Every year, the Town of Boone releases an Annual System Report detailing the General Information, System Description and Performance of the Collection System and Wastewater Treatment Plant.
Fire Hydrant Maintenance
The Town of Boone maintains over 800 fire hydrants throughout the water distribution system. The Utilities Operations Division is responsible for keeping these hydrants in working order. Staff members work closely with the Town of Boone’s Fire Department personnel to ensure hydrants with operational problems are identified and repaired in a timely fashion. Numerous hydrants are hit by automobiles each year and must be repaired or replaced. Fire hydrants are also flushed twice yearly to maintain water quality.
Sewer Line Maintenance
The Town of Boone has over 121 miles of gravity sewer mains, ranging in size from 4” to 30”. A variety of preventative maintenance tasks are undertaken to keep these lines functioning properly. Most residential mains are 8” lines that represent the majority of lines in the system. Most problems that affect the operation of sewer lines are either structurally related, caused by root intrusion into joints or are caused by grease introduced into the lines. Sewer lines can become blocked due to grease buildup in the pipes that cause debris such as rags, paper towels, and diapers to become trapped in the pipe and create a blockage. When this occurs, wastewater is stopped by the blockage and wastewater flows backwards toward the first possible outlet, thus creating a sanitary sewer overflow (SSO).
Sanitary sewer overflows are sewage spills that occur when wastewater collection pipes are blocked or restricted, causing wastewater to back up in the pipe and flow out through manholes. Most sanitary sewer overflows are relatively small and can be stopped and cleaned up quickly. Left unattended, however, sanitary sewer overflows can result in property damage, foul odors, environmental problems and can harm our wildlife. In a worst-case scenario, they can create public health and safety hazards. The Town of Boone is required by law to report all sanitary sewer overflows that reach surface waters or are in excess of one thousand gallons to the Division of Water Quality. Sanitary sewer overflows are not a new problem in our community or in any other, but our goal continues to be zero overflows. It’s our job to keep the community’s wastewater collection and treatment systems in good working order, and we will continue to invest time and resources to prevent sanitary sewer overflows.
FOG (Fats, Oils, and Grease)
Grease introduced into sewer mains is one of the leading causes of stoppages creating sanitary sewer overflows. As part of the Town of Boone’s wastewater collection system permit, the State required the Town to develop a program to reduce and/or eliminate grease discharged into the system. Our program is a combination of education, regulation and enforcement. Personnel work with field crews to identify problem areas and contact customers to educate them on how to minimize grease discharged to the system. We work closely with our Building Inspectors to ensure proper sizing and installation of grease interceptors are utilized to help reduce grease discharges. A Fats, Oils, and Grease Section has been added to the Town of Boone Water and Sewer Use Ordinance and a Best Management Practices Manual is available from the Jimmy Smith Wastewater Treatment Facility that can assist in achieving the desired goals of our department. Visit the Jimmy Smith Water Treatment Plant webpage for more information about grease. All helpful tips and tricks are found in our Fats, Oil and Grease Program pamphlet.
Sewer Repair and Rehabilitation
The Town of Boone performs CCTV (closed circuit television) inspection and evaluation of sewer mains throughout the wastewater collection system. With many sewers in the older portion of town over 80 years old, it is extremely important to maintain this program to help reduce sewer stoppages and overflows. This work also helps reduce long term operating costs of the system. To identify problem areas, the CCTV camera is sent through the mains and check the integrity of the pipe for any defects which may need repair. As part of the Town of Boone’s wastewater collection system permit, the State has required all municipalities to develop and implement a Five Year Capital Improvement Plan for sanitary sewer main replacement and CCTV inspections help to determine this.
Sewer Outfall and Right of Way
Sewer outfalls are mains which run outside of street right of ways and normally follow drainage ways and creeks. The Town of Boone is required to perform yearly visual inspection and routine mowing of our sewer mains. The task of mowing is difficult due to access problems to some mains.
Lift Station Maintenance
The Town of Boone currently maintains six sewage lift stations. Reliability is essential to ensure proper operation of these facilities. Extreme weather events and power outages create performance problems for these stations, requiring after hours work to keep them functioning properly. Spare parts and pumps are kept in stock to assure any problems discovered are kept to a minimum. All stations are equipped with visual and audio alarm systems in case of overflow situations. If you see or hear these alarms at a facility, please report it immediately to the Town of Boone Jimmy Smith Waste Water Treatment Facility, (828) 268-6270.
General Water and Sewer Service
Customers experiencing problems with their water or sewer service, such as low water pressure, sewer stoppages, leaks, and dirty water, should call our department at (828) 268-6250 during 7am to 5pm. After hour and emergency situations please call the Town of Boone Police Department at (828) 268-6900 and they will contact the person on call to report in.
Water and Sewer Location Services
The Town of Boone provides water and sewer location services for all lines maintained by the Town. Any time construction activity requires digging, please contact our department at (828) 268-6250, and we will locate any lines in the construction area within forty eight hours. The Town of Boone does not locate any private lines or lines maintained by other utilities, and we do not locate any lines on private property, other than lines that we maintain inside of easements.
Installation of New Water and Sewer Services
For inquiries concerning new water and sewer services, please contact the Public Utilities Department at (828) 268-6250.
Frequently Asked Questions
For Frequently Asked Questions, please refer to the following PDF: Frequently Asked Questions. All other questions can be addressed by our staff at the Public Utilities Department. To contact this department, please call (828) 268-6250.
The form is in PDF format. Adobe Acrobat Reader is required. If you do not have Acrobat, click here to download a free copy.