Groundwater and surface water (rivers, lakes, and streams, etc.) make up North Carolina’s drinking water. Select from the following options and frequently requested topics to find resources to answer your drinking water questions, or scroll down to browse all our resources!

Your drinking water comes from either:

A private well (You use a well that serves less than 15 homes or 25 people)

A publicly-owned water system (You pay a water bill to a city, county or other municipality)

A privately-owned water system (You pay a water bill to a private company or corporation)



Protecting Your Private Well

Are you one of the more than 3 million private well users in NC? Most wells have never been inspected or tested for more than bacteria, even when state and local agencies knew of nearby contamination sites. CWFNC works for protection of groundwater and well users throughout the state.

If your well was installed after July 2008 (when the state began to require licenses for new wells):

If your well was installed before July 2008:

If you think you may have other sources of contamination near your well, including pesticide use or underground fuel tanks, ask your county well program about other well testing available.

You can also contact the staff at DEQ’s Division of Water Resources – Regional Office contact information
DEQ’s Public Water Supply section handles issues related to public water systems, including water quality and permitting
FAQs on well water contamination, testing, and how to get more info
Environmental Working Group has an excellent primer on private well water safety


Publicly-owned Water Systems

  • Contact your water supplier (the City, County, or other public authority
    that provides the water) first to report any water quality problems or billing questions.
  • Find your water system data– You can search by water system name, type or county served. You’ll find information on emergency contacts, past water quality violations, and more.
  • Basic information about Consumer Confidence Reports – You should receive an annual report from your water supplier on your drinking water quality. This is required under the national Safe Drinking Water Act.
  • FactsheetSecondary contaminants (such as iron and sediment)


Privately-owned Water Systems

Learn About the Source of Your Drinking Water
North Carolina’s Source Water Protection Program (SWP) is a voluntary program supporting local efforts to protect the sources of drinking water. Also visit the Environmental Protection Agency’s Source Water Protection page.

The Well Head Protection Program (WHPP)  is a pollution prevention and management program used to protect underground sources of drinking water. These programs were intended by Congress to be a key part of a national ground-water protection strategy to prevent contamination of ground-waters that are used as public drinking water supplies. In North Carolina, development of a local Wellhead Protection Plan is not mandatory but, rather, is viewed as a valuable supplement to existing state groundwater protection programs. North Carolina’s WHPP is intended for city and county governments and water supply operators who wish to provide added protection to their local ground-water supplies.

Source Water Assessment Program Map
Source water assessment differs from source water protection because it highlights factors that could potentially influence the quality of source water (such as known underground sources of contamination that could affect local groundwater, or other sources of pollution).