City of Asheville water transmission line projects beginning, discoloration possible

Waterline transmission installation
Achen-Gardner Construction photo / Special to the City of Asheville


At a glance

  • Asheville Water System receiving an upgrade critical to protecting our community from water loss during a major flood, as what happened during the Flood of 2004.
  • This involves installation of a third water transmission line.
  • Once installed the transmission line will need to be tied into two existing transmission lines.
  • There is the possibility this could produce discolored water.
  • Key dates when water could be discolored are April 24, May 2 and a date to be determined in September.
  • Staff will be flushing waterlines at key locations, such as some fire hydrants, to minimize discolored water in the system. They will also be performing water quality sampling, and will respond to customers’ needs as they arise.
  • Read the following for information about what to do if your water becomes discolored and who to call if you need assistance.



This week and next, the City of Asheville is making significant water transmission line improvements near the North Fork Dam.


This installation of a third water transmission line has been identified as a critical addition to the water delivery system, designed to protect our community from a system-wide water loss during a major flood, as what happened during the Flood of 2004.


The tropical storms and flooding that followed in 2004 caused a water transmission line failure that resulted in a water outage to all Asheville customers for more than 2 weeks.


This project is designed to better protect that from happening to our community again.


The project includes installation of 1,700 feet of 36-inch transmission waterline to existing 36-inch and 24 inch-transmission lines, adding a third major transmission line for water delivery. This project enhances the City of Asheville’s ability to provide water service to our customers under normal conditions and especially during extreme weather events. This project was approved by City Council on Feb. 12.


The new water transmission line will need to be tied in to the existing transmission lines. This will require shutdowns of an existing 36-inch waterline and one shutdown of the 24-inch waterline. During the tie-in processes it is possible that discolored water will be noticeable in the water system, due to the introduction of high-velocity water in the waterlines. Based on a  recent discolored water event due to an emergency waterline repair, this will likely be sediment that contains oxidized manganese. That will be confirmed only after tests are performed.

Steps are being taken to lessen the effects; however the potential for discolored water remains.


During the two shutdowns of the 36-inch waterline, all waterflow will be transferred to the 24-inch waterline. The dates of the tie-ins are April 24 for the 24-inch, and May 2 for the first 36-inch. The second tie-in for the 36-inch will be in September.


Outreach to our community

People in the immediate vicinity of this installation have been notified of an expected interruption in water service for a short period of time.

The City of Asheville is also doing extensive outreach to notify our entire customer base about these potential water discoloration impacts. Staff are reaching out:

  • Directly through an all-customer AVL Alert;
  • Through a press release to media outlets;
  • Through our social media and neighborhood network channels;
  • Direct phone calls to many organizations and businesses, including our school systems, hospital and Housing Authority; and


In addition, Customer Service phone lines will be open 24 hours a day, 828-251-1122.


Staff will be flushing waterlines at key locations, performing water quality sampling, and will respond to customers’ needs as they arise. Communication updates will be provided throughout the process and be available online.


We realize that people may still be concerned, following the recent discolored water that occurred following an emergency water transmission repair. That’s why the City is working to be proactive and transparent about the communication with our entire community about this project. We’d like to remind everyone that City of Asheville water is scientifically tested multiple times a day to ensure safety for our community, a responsibility we take seriously.


Related resource information

  • Customer Service phone number: 828-251-1122