Water/Sewer Development Process

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Water and Sewer Service Policy

The City of Greensboro policy for Water and Sanitary Sewer Service "Outside the Corporate Limits," adopted by City Council, became effective April 3, 2012 and was amended on May 20, 2014.


Water and sewer services are intended and necessary for urban development. These services range from public safety to parks and recreation and library facilities. To provide and extend these services, the City needs to be able to expand its tax base. This process must occur in a routine fashion to allow for proper planning and implementation. And, extensions of public utilities should be provided in a rational manner to ensure efficient and effective delivery of City services. It is the City’s primary intent to extend water and sewer services only to those areas that can be immediately annexed.

City Water and Sewer Service Policy 
Connections 2025 Generalized Future Land Use Map (GFLUM)
Connections 2025 Growth Strategy Map

Property Located Inside Growth Tier 1 

To extend public utilities in a rational manner, the City recognizes Growth Tier I of the Comprehensive Plan as the area where it is currently able to extend all City services along with water and sewer services in the Water Sewer Service Area (WSSA). As a result, property located within Growth Tier 1 will be annexed into the City prior to extending or connecting onto City utilities.

For more information about the annexation process, call Luke Carter, planner, at 336-373-4342.

Property Located Outside of Growth Tier 1 and Upon Annexation

Water and/or sewer service may be permitted or provided outside Growth Tier I, but within the WSSA for properties that can be annexed immediately.

Property Located Outside of Growth Tier 1 Without Annexation

Water and/or sewer service may be permitted or provided outside Growth Tier I, but within the WSSA for properties that cannot be annexed immediately in the following categories:

1. Economic development projects, which are: 

  • A non-residential project that includes technology research and development, manufacturing, distribution and assembly, office, retail or other similar uses. (Note: If an economic development project includes residential, it must be in the form of a mixed-use development in which the non-residential use is the primary use and the residential portion does not exceed 25 percent of the existing non-residential use.) or
  • Development within the boundary of an area that has been designated as a mixed-use area through a planning process with public participation, adoption of a small area plan, and for which development is subject to regulations, above and beyond that normally required to ensure an integrated and complementary pattern of development with features related to architectural standards, landscaping, tree conservation, signage, lighting, driveways and pedestrian facilities. All projects that connect to City water and sewer will be required to comply with the City's Comprehensive Plan and Land Development Regulations. 

2. Extensions determined by City Council to address a significant public necessity.

3. Existing properties adjacent to existing lines but not annexable:

Properties existing as of January 1, 2011 that are adjacent to existing utility lines, but presently not annexable will be allowed to connect to lines under any of the following conditions:

  • Property requesting a water service connection not greater than one inch
  • Property requesting a sewer lateral not greater than four inches
  • Property receiving utility service prior to January 1, 2011 and needs to relocate, add or enlarge a connection under the zoning in place as of January 1, 2011.

Property Located Outside of WSSA

Residential properties existing as of January 1, 2011, that are adjacent to existing lines will be allowed to connect under the following circumstances:

  • The County Public Health Director has declared a public health hazard due to contaminated wells or failing septic tanks
  • The property is adjacent to the existing utility line and
  • The property is not requesting a water service connection greater than one inch or a sewer lateral greater than four inches.

For more information, call Steve Galanti, planning manager, at 336-373-2918.


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