WSACC Capacity Limited Basins

Charlotte Water owns and operates five wastewater treatment plants which treat wastewater collected through more than 4,400 miles of (mostly) gravity-fed pipes. However, it is cost prohibitive and nearly impossible to collect wastewater hydraulically through gravity-fed pipes in certain Mecklenburg County basins. Charlotte Water has an updated contract with Water and Sewer Authority of Cabarrus County (WSACC) to receive and treat up to 7.4 million gallons per day (MGD) of wastewater and to serve some of these hydraulically limited basins.



In October 2021, Charlotte Water (CLTWater) reached the maximum limit of permitted sewer flow to the WSACC system and, therefore, had no additional treatment capacity within the WSACC system. Both CLTWater and WSACC initiated various permit review holds and capital projects to temper and manage sanitary sewer capacity requests. Both CLTWater and WSACC have made significant progress on capital projects that increase treatment capacity. Details of the WSACC treatment plant expansion project can be found on the WSACC website: In addition, there have been other activities and events that have positively impacted the existing CLTWater-WSACC contract:

  • CLTWater requested and was approved for a reduced flow factor for sanitary sewer discharges for residential development;
  • CLTWater efforts to assess and remediate inflow and infiltration;
  • Calendar year 2022 rainfall was less than previous years;
  • CLTWater is allowed conditional approvals of permits based on future treatment capacity; and
  • Natural progress of private development’s construction of previously reserved capacity (paper capacity) has converted to actual sewer flows.

CLTWater will resume permitting and allocate sanitary sewer capacity beginning June 12, 2023.


Charlotte Water intends to begin permitting and processing formal capacity reservation requests for those projects under a formal review when design conformance reviews were opened on August 1, 2022. These reviews included both developer-donated projects and service connections.

CLTWater staff will contact those projects under a formal review for next steps and collect information regarding design, permitting and construction timelines. Where appropriate, new user fee invoices shall be shared that incorporate inspection services, system development fees, and connection fees.


Once a capacity reservation is granted, projects have two years to either execute donated contracts and begin construction or have paid all appropriate fees associated with a new service connection. Please see CLTWater Capacity Assurance Program website for more information on the capacity assurance program and expectations:

Private development projects (donated and new service connections) submitted on or after June 12, 2023 will follow plan review and permitting as outlined below. CLTWater will continue the requirement of a Pre-Submittal meeting for all WSACC service area capacity requests.


CLTWater will only allocate capacity for projects that are under an official design review. Separate capacity assurance program (CAP) applications will not be accepted. Submitted design plans through the ACCELA portal trigger the CAP application process. Preliminary Capacity Assurance (Pre-CAP) requests will not be accepted in the WSACC Service area at this time. This will be re-evaluated as capital projects are completed.


Step Number Action Details
1 Plans submitted
  • Plans must be submitted through ACCELA for donated and new service projects. 
2 Pre-submittal meeting
  • Meeting with Charlotte Water staff to review plans and verify the inclusion of all required components.
3 Plan review and inspection fees paid
  • Fees will be collected for plan review and inspection services, as appropriate for the type of review.
4 Plans reviewed
  • Approved plans from pre-submittal step have an assignment of reviewer for formal plan review.
  • Plan review process will continue as normal.
  • External approvals and permits (e.g., NCDOT encroachments) shall be obtained during this time.
  • Capacity reservations are formalized by CLTWater against existing contracts.
5 Plans permitted and authorization to construct
  • Plans will be permitted after obtaining all required external approvals and permits.
  • Donated contracts distributed for developer-donated projects.
  • Service fee quotes will be generated for new service site plan reviews.
  • Upon receipt of all fees and miscellaneous approvals, plans will be released for construction.

*Charlotte Water reserves the right to modify this process as new information becomes available.


When will this process to resume sanitary sewer capacity allocations in the WSACC basins begin?

Capacity reservations shall begin on June 12, 2023 for donated projects and new service utility site plan reviews. Priority shall be given to projects under a formal review as early as August 1, 2022.


What does it mean that a project is under formal plan review?

Plans have completed their pre-submittal meeting and paid the quote for plan review services if the plans are for a donated project. If required, updated plans will need to be uploaded for consideration of a formal plan review.


Where can I find the plan review standards to make sure plans have all the required information?

The plan review checklist is available on on under Land Development (Donated Projects)


When will Pre-CAP (formerly Willingness to Serve) reviews resume?

The Pre-CAP reviews will remain on hold until the capital projects increasing treatment capacity in this WSACC service are certified complete.


When will CAP reviews for reservation of flow resume?

Formal CAP reviews and associated capacity reservations without utility site plan design review will remain on hold until the capital projects increasing treatment capacity in this WSACC service area are certified complete.


Does this process apply to areas outside of the WSACC capacity limited basins?

For areas outside of the WSACC capacity limited basins, the normal plan review and capacity allocation process applies. This process described above is only for capacity limited basins discharging to WSACC. Please visit to view a map of the capacity limited basin or contact the Capacity Assurance Program at 704-432-2854. 


Can I submit my new service site plan to the Customer Service - New Services email?

No; the ACCELA portal has been updated for new service site plan submission. Only this submission workflow will be considered for the review queue. Email is not considered an acceptable form for submission.


Charlotte Water and its contractors have begun construction on the Clarke Creek Pump Station and Force Main Project.



The capacity-limited basins are within Charlotte, Davidson, Cornelius, and Huntersville and their ETJ: Rocky River North, Clarke Creek, small portion of Back Creek (Fuda Creek), Reedy Creek and McKee Creek. The following map shows the locations of basins.