Water & Sewer
Catawba County partners with its municipal water and sewer providers to extend those utility services into the unincorporated areas of the county. Any property connected to a water and/or sewer line becomes a customer of the municipality providing the service.
Forms and Guidelines
Southeast Catawba County
Proposed SECC Water & Sewer District
On April 5, 2021, the Board of Commissioners will consider a recommendation to form a Water & Sewer District in Southeastern Catawba County (SECC). The new district is in line with the SECC Master Plan, which recommended the formation of a district to help manage infrastructure expansion in this developing part of the county.
This map represents the proposed SECC Water & Sewer District boundaries. The district covers areas that are adjacent to existing county water and sewer lines.
Purpose of Proposed District
The district is being formed to save more than $20 million in county taxpayer dollars when the North Carolina Department of Transportation begins widening Highway 150. Catawba County residents and businesses are served by approximately 48,655 feet of sanitary sewer line and 41,240 feet of water line located within the Highway 150 right-of-way between the Lincoln and Iredell County lines. With a district in place, NCDOT (instead of the county) will cover the cost of relocating existing water and sewer lines along the highway.
Forming the district will also help equitably manage costs associated with water and sewer system expansion in the proposed district area. As more water and sewer infrastructure is needed, a district will ensure that those who benefit from system expansion balance the cost of system expansion.
Benefits of District Formation
- Protects against NC Hwy 150 utility relocation costs resulting from highway widening
- Creates a sustainable financial model to help pay for needed infrastructure
- Provides for fairness and shared risk, where those who benefit from the infrastructure pay for the infrastructure
- Ensures shared participation, where developers and citizens who can benefit from the system have pathways to access the system
- Allows the district to apply for loans and grants for which County government is not eligible to apply
How the District Would Work
Within the proposed district, system build-out would be an extension of the water and sewer lines that are already in the area and are operated by the City of Hickory. Developers would invest in extending the system to their new developments. In addition to connection fees charged by the City of Hickory, new system users would be charged a one-time County connection fee called a System Development Fee (SDF), which is calculated to balance the cost of system extension over time. In North Carolina, SDFs are statutorily controlled and are a common and established way to help cover system expansion costs.
If you are already a user of the existing water and sewer system in the proposed district area, the proposed district will not affect the utility services you now receive. You will not be charged additional connection fees, and your rates will not increase as a result of district formation. If you live in the proposed district and are not a current utility customer, there is no change or requirement to connect.
Previously existing developments that are not connected to the system would be able to petition to extend the system to their development if one hundred percent of the property owners in the development consent to the extension.
District governance would reside with the Catawba County Board of Commissioners. District policies would apply to new developments within the district once the district is officially enacted; they would not apply to previously existing developments within the district.
April 5, 2021 at 7:00 p.m.
Catawba County Justice Center
Board of Commissioners Meeting Room
100 Government Drive, Newton, NC 28658
Catawba County Utilities & Engineering