What we do

The Water Resources Department (WRD) provides drinking water to Asheville and the surrounding areas. WRD owns and operates three drinking water treatment plants, and maintains over 1700 miles of water lines in the distribution system.

We’re working for you!


To receive emergency texts directly from Buncombe County for breaking health and safety news text BCALERT on your smartphone to 99411.

Sign up for AVL Alerts online for information from the City of Asheville.



The Water Resources Department’s vision is to be an innovative leader in the water utility industry. Using the concept of continuous improvement, the department accepts the challenges of providing regional customers with water to enhance their quality of life, serving as stewards over the most vital of all natural resources, and empowering department employees to meet customer needs by providing the finest drinking water in the United States at competitive prices.




It is the mission of the Water Resources Department to manage and protect community resources and to provide the highest quality of water service to customers. The department will do this in the following ways:

  • Continuous improvement in products, systems and processes to maximize customer satisfaction;
  • Continuous communication among and between staff, customers and governing board;
  • Continuous involvement with the community and region;
  • Valuing honesty, hard work, creativity, faith in each other, perseverance, and respect for diversity.


General Information


The 2023 Annual Water Quality Report is available, and is also available translated into Spanish, Ukrainian, and Russian.

The City of Asheville owns 22,000 acres of forested mountains surrounding our primary watershed, which makes it one of the largest municipally owned watersheds in the United States. The water department takes the responsibility of protecting the watersheds seriously, which is why most of the land is preserved in conservation easements, protected from development and pollution.
The Water Resources Department owns and operates three water treatment plants: North Fork (located in Black Mountain), William DeBruhl (located in Swannanoa), and Mills River (located near the Asheville Regional airport). The North Fork and DeBruhl watersheds are pristine. The reservoirs are fed by pure mountain streams, which are protected from industrial and agricultural contaminants. The Mills River watershed is less pristine, but also provides a valuable source, especially as population grows. The Mills River facility was built with the intent to expand with growing demand. The Mills River watershed covers 47,440 acres, 75% of which lies in the Pisgah National Forest. It includes a trout fishery, fish and wildlife habitat, and a recreational resource. The Mills River plant uses ozone in addition to chlorine for disinfection.

For more information about our treatment, distribution, and quality control, read our annual water quality report.


ISO 14001 Environmental Management System


In 2004, the City of Asheville Water Resources Department became the first ISO 14001 certified water utility in North Carolina, proving that  practices and procedures were implemented to protect the environment.  The water department has maintained certification for twenty years, showing that a commitment to protect the environment continues to be a priority for the department.

The Water Resources Department is committed to managing and protecting the community’s resources and to providing the highest quality of water service to customers through:

  • Continuous Improvement  in the product, systems, and processes to maximize customer satisfaction;
  • Communication  among and between staff, customers, vendors, contractors, and governing board;
  • Compliance with relevant federal, state, and local environmental regulations;
  • Commitment to a clean, healthy environment through prevention of pollution.


Christmas 2022 Water Outage After Action Report

Read the After Action Report here.


Christmas 2022 Water Outage Independent Review Committee Report

Presented to Council June, 13, 2023


Related Services

Pay your water bill

How to pay your water bill, with convenient online, automatic draft, mail or in person options.

Rates and Fees

View a list of water consumption charges for various types of activities, as well as information on other water fees.

Sewer services

Find out about sewerage services provided by Metropolitan Sewerage District (MSD), and how to ask questions and find additional information.

Water quality and advisories

View the yearly water quality report, current advisories and outages, as well as register to be notified of advisories in your area.

Related Projects

crew of workers wearing safety vests and hard hats repairing water line below surface level

McDowell Street Water Line Replacement

Happening Now Starting in late June/July 2024, Hyatt Pipeline, LLC will replace approximately 6,600 feet of 12-inch water line on Short McDowell Street and on McDowell Street from Meadow Road to Southside Avenue. As much work as possible will be done at night to minimize traffic disruption.   (function (c, i, t, y, z, e, n, x) { [...]

Shiloh Water Service Line Inventory and Replacement

The City of Asheville Water Resources has received a $2 Million grant to help determine the water service line material on both sides of a water meter –  the utility- and customer-owned sections. The grant will allow the City to replace any water service lines that are found to be lead or galvanized iron pipe on both the utility- and customer-owned sections.

Patton Avenue Waterline

This water system distribution  project is located along Patton Avenue (US-19) between Florida Avenue and Haywood Road. The project includes 7,000 feet of 24-inch waterline along with the installation of a 36-inch incasement pipe for a trenchless crossing of Patton Ave at New Leicester Highway, and other miscellaneous water system components including service connections and other appurtenances.

Water News

blue and green questions marks as background with title Asheville Asks

Asheville Asks: Why is my water bill late?

Why is my water bill arriving later than usual? With existing water meters reaching the end of their battery life and no longer able to remotely transmit usage data, Water Resources Department crews are having to manually read them. It takes more time to manually read a meter – which requires staff to physically inspect it [...]