Water Reclamation

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Sanitary Sewer Overflows

Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSOs) are discharges of untreated wastewater from municipal sanitary sewer systems. SSOs are unsightly and a public health issue. Problems that can cause SSOs include:
  • Infiltration/Inflow (I&I): too much rainfall infiltrating through the ground into sanitary sewers not designed to hold stormwater; leaking manholes; and excess water inflowing through illegal connections such as roof drains.
  • Pipe Failures: blocked, broken or cracked pipes which can be caused by tree roots growing into the sewer lines; fats, oils and grease being poured down drains; and settlement/shifting of ground or pipe.
  • Deteriorating Sewer System: older infrastructure systems can be expensive to repair over time; or system capacity may need to be increased.

The City has an aggressive I/I program to significantly reduce and/or eliminate SSOs. Replacing and rehabilitating these lines and manholes reduces I/I into the sanitary sewer system, thereby protecting the public health, improving treatment plant efficiency and reducing system maintenance.

Customers who observe a sanitary sewer overflow should report these as emergencies to Utility Dispatch at 252-399-2424. Because SSOs can carry bacteria and viruses, do not approach an overflow!

Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG) Program

Treatment Facility

Construction has been completed for the new solids handling facilities at the Hominy Creek Water Reclamation Facility at a cost of $17 million. The project included the following:

  1. Dewatering facilities – to reduce the volume of biosolids for disposal
  2. Covered concrete storage pad for dewatered biosolids – to provide storage during wet weather conditions when biosolids cannot be applied to farm land
  3. Refurbished anaerobic digesters – to provide biological stabilization of biosolids
  4. In-vessel pasteurization process – to provide advanced stabilization of biosolids
  5. Septage handling station – to provide local septage haulers another option for septage disposal
  6. Biological nutrient removal basin – to provide compliance with NPDES permit.
  7. Expansion of State-certified laboratory and offices

New Solids Dewatering Facility at Hominy Creek WWMF

New Solids Dewatering Facility (6)New Solids Dewatering Facility (5)New Solids Dewatering Facility (4)New Solids Dewatering Facility (3)New Solids Dewatering Facility (2)New Solids Dewatering Facility (1)

New Lab & Office Expansion at Hominy Creek Wastewater Management Facility

Lab and Office Expansion (1)Lab and Office Expansion (2)Lab and Office Expansion (4)

Treatment Process

The Hominy Creek Water Reclamation Facility uses the same physical, chemical and biological processes used by nature to clean water. Everything we know about water, chemistry, bacteria, hygiene and engineering has gone into these systems we use to purify our wastewater. All wastewater entering the plant is lifted by influent pumps and then flows by gravity to the treatment processes.

Initially, wastewater passes through bar screens and grit collectors for removal of debris and sand. This is called preliminary treatment. Next, the wastewater enters primary clarifiers that remove heavy organic solids and floatable materials such as grease. The third step is biological treatment. The lighter organic solids and soluble material that will not physically settle out are converted to a solid residue for removal. This treatment process is commonly referred to as the “activated sludge process.”


Microorganisms cultivated within the aeration basins use the organic matter for food and convert the material to a solid residue that can be settled out of the flow stream in the secondary clarifiers. Air, required by the microorganisms, is supplied by three motor driven blowers. Also, nitrification and denitrification occurs in the aeration basins. A portion of the settled biosolids from the secondary clarifiers is recycled to the aeration basins to maintain the microorganisms’ population. The remaining biosolids are then processed at the wastewater plant’s new solids dewatering facility. The final effluent is discharged into Contentnea Creek, the largest sub-basin in the Neuse River Basin.

Aeration BasinsAeration Basins

Contentnea CreekContentnea Creek

Reuse of Biosolids

What are biosolids?

Biosolids are nutrient-rich organic materials resulting from the treatment of wastewater in a treatment facility. Biosolids are carefully treated and monitored and must be used in accordance with regulatory requirements. These residuals can be recycled and applied as fertilizer to improve and maintain productive soils and stimulate plant growth.


Where do biosolids come from?

Biosolids are a specific by-product of wastewater treatment. The solids handling facilities are comprised of anaerobic digesters, lime stabilization tanks, biosolids thickening and biosolids storage basin. Biosolids from the activated sludge process are thickened by a gravity belt thickener to remove excess water, then stabilized in the anaerobic digesters and lime tanks for additional reduction of organic material. The stabilized organic material is then applied to farmland to beneficially reuse the nutrient value remaining in the residuals.

How does the City utilize biosolids?

The City applies biosolids to agricultural land. Land application provides an excellent and profitable alternative to landfill disposal by utilizing the recyclable components of wastewater in the production of crops. Land application of biosolids is a beneficial recycling process with economic and environmental benefits to citizens and area farmers. The controlled land application of biosolids completes a natural cycle in the environment. Area farmers enter into an agreement with the City of Wilson to participate in the beneficial reuse of biosolids program.

Interested customers should call 252-399-2492, Monday-Friday, 8:00 am-4:00 pm.

Water Reuse

What is reclaimed water?

Reclaimed water is wastewater that has been through advanced treatment processes so it can be reused instead of being discharged to Contentnea. Reclaimed water is sometimes called re-use water, recycled water or non-potable water. All new distribution piping in the reclaimed water system, including service lines, valves and other appurtenances should either be colored purple and embossed or be integrally stamped/marked “CAUTION: RECLAIMED WATER – DO NOT DRINK,” or be installed with a purple identification tape, and a purple polyethylene vinyl wrap.

Why are reclaimed water systems important?

Drinking water is a limited resource. Reclaimed water allows a community to extend the life of its existing drinking water treatment system.

Reclaimed water reduces the amount of nutrients discharged to Contentnea Creek (and the Neuse River Basin) which helps protect the environment. The City has been required to reduce total nitrogen (TN) being discharged to Contentnea Creek by 30%. The reclaimed water system will help achieve this goal.

Reclaimed water also costs less to the consumer than potable drinking water.

How is reclaimed water used?

  • Irrigation of lawns, golf courses, parks, school grounds, industrial/commercial landscapes, etc
  • Industrial and manufacturing processes, such as cooling water and boiler blowdown
  • Fire protection in sprinkler systems located in commercial or industrial facilities
  • Street sweeping and vehicle washing
  • Decorative ponds and fountains


What areas of Wilson can utilize reclaimed water?

Reclaimed water is available to industrial and commercial customers within the following service areas:

  • Wilco Industrial Park area on Black Creek Rd and Commerce Rd
  • Hackney Industrial Park area on Stantonsburg Rd and Charleston St
  • Happy Valley Golf Course
  • Firestone Parkway

The City of Wilson’s reclaimed water system currently produces water to irrigate Wedgewood Public Golf Course and the public Rose Garden at 1800 Herring Avenue.

Water/Wastewater Rates

Water and Wastewater Rates can be found on the Water and Wastewater Rates page or in the Schedule of Fees under the “Rate Schedules” section.

Is there water and sewer service available to a particular property?
You may call 252.399.2468 to verify availability or come by the Operations Center at 1800 Herring Avenue.

In order to establish utility service with the City of Wilson, please call Customer Service at 252.399.2200 or visit their offices at 208 NE Nash St.

Wastewater Report

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