Public Works

The Town of Tarboro Public Works Department posts time-sensitive public service announcements on this page as needed. Please check back frequently for updates.

The Tarboro 2016 Annual Drinking Water Report is now available for review.  To view the full report click on the following link: 2016 Annual Drinking Water Quality Report

We are pleased to present to you this year's Annual Drinking Water Quality Report also known as the Consumer Confidence Report. This report is a snapshot of last year's water quality. Included are details about from where your water comes, what it contains, and how it compares to standards set by regulatory agencies. Our constant goal is to provide you with a safe and dependable supply of drinking water. We want you to understand the efforts we make to continually improve the water treatment process and protect our water resources. We are committed to ensuring the quality of your water and to providing you with this information, because informed customers are our best allies.

If you have any questions about this report or concerning your water, please contact Lindsay Stroud at (252) 641-4284.

We want our valued customers to be informed about their water utility. If you want to learn more, attend any of our regularly scheduled council meetings held on the second Monday of each month at 7:00 PM in the Town Hall Council Room, 500 Main Street.

Mercury Minimization Plan

March 1, 2016


The purpose of this Mercury Minimization Plan (“MMP”) is to describe best management practices through which the Town of Tarboro will seek to reduce the amount of mercury discharged into its system and, ultimately, to the environment.  The MMP compiles mercury reduction-related efforts to-date and potential future action items.  It is designed to be a working document to help guide the Town of Tarboro in its efforts to control mercury loadings discharged into its Publicly-Owned Treatment Works (POTW) by users of the sewer system.  Such a reduction in loadings to the sewer system should translate to a reduction in the amount of mercury which is discharged from the treatment plant.  The management practices summarized below may also help control some of the mercury reaching our storm sewer system as well.


The Town of Tarboro operates a publicly owned treatment works (POTW), including a collection system and wastewater treatment plant (WWTP), that serves Tarboro and Princeville, North Carolina.

5.0 MGD Wastewater Treatment Facility consisting of bar screens, aerated grit chamber, primary sedimentation using clarifiers, trickling filters and activated sludge, chlorination, dechlorination and cascade aeration.

Most municipal treatment plants are not designed to remove mercury and it is exceedingly expensive to do so to very low levels.  Incidental mercury removal occurs through typical municipal treatment with trace levels of mercury (and other metals) ending up in solids removed from the raw wastewater.

Mercury is not used in the treatment processes at the WWTP.  Mercury may be introduced into the sewer system through a variety of sources, such as from industrial users, laboratories, and other businesses.  Residual deposits of mercury are also possible in the sewer system from historic practices.  Finally, trace amounts from household products and atmospheric deposition (both wet and dry) contribute to sewer system mercury loadings.

While there is typically some mercury contributed to public sewer systems statewide, it is usually in minute quantities and comprises a tiny portion of the already insignificant statewide loading for all point sources – just two percent of the annual mercury loadings to all State waters.



Within 24 months from the NPDES required 180-day period for development of an MMP, the Town of Tarboro will evaluate available information to assess the potential for non-domestic users of the sewer system to contribute mercury to the system.  The information to be reviewed may include:  (1) POTW influent and effluent mercury data and trends; (2) industrial user permits and associated mercury monitoring data; (3) Toxics Release Inventory (TRI); (4) state hazardous site registry and the National Priority List relating to mercury contamination; and (5) historical records of industrial sites which have contributed mercury loadings to the sewer system.

The Town of Tarboro will also survey and evaluate the following common sources of mercury in its service area:  (1) dentist offices; (2) hospitals; (3) laboratories; (4) auto recyclers; and (5) other potential sources of mercury based on existing information.

The Town of Tarboro will request that industrial users review mercury concentrations in high-volume process chemicals and demonstrate that the mercury concentrations are below industry average.  The Town of Tarboro will request that alternative sources for chemicals be explored if the mercury levels are determined to be significantly higher than would normally be expected.

The evaluation of potential non-domestic sources of mercury to the sewer system will be updated every five years, as warranted by prior sampling results and any additional new potentially significant sources to the system.


This MMP identifies reasonable and cost-effective control measures to minimize mercury being discharged into the POTW.  Below is a listing of initial BMP’s for this POTW.

Pollution Prevention

Substances used at the WWTP will be evaluated to determine if they contain mercury or mercury based compounds.  Any such chemicals will be evaluated for substitution with non-mercury-containing substances.

Housekeeping, Spill Control and Collection, and Education

The Town of Tarboro will develop procedures to minimize the possibility of any spill or release at the WWTP involving mercury containing substances.  The Town of Tarboro will add mercury identification and proper disposal to ongoing and future operator training procedures.

Public Outreach

The Town of Tarboro will make available educational information regarding sources of household mercury and appropriate use/disposal practices.  This information will be posted on the Town of Tarboro’s website.  The availability of this information will be highlighted in July’s Performance Annual Report outreach to the Town of Tarboro’s customers. 

Laboratory Practice

The Town of Tarboro operates a laboratory for purposes of complying with state and federal monitoring and sampling requirements.  The laboratory is a potential source of small quantities of mercury-containing compounds.  Laboratory employees will be trained in the proper handling and disposal of these materials.

Spent C.O.D. test solutions (non-hazardous) in vials are disposed of in a sealed container.  When full, they will be collected by Heritage Environmental Services.


In order to assess the implementation of the control measures, the Town of Tarboro proposes to undertake the following evaluations beginning after the first full year that this MMP is implemented.

  1. Survey annually at least ten percent (10%) of any non-domestic users identified as possible significant sources of mercury to the POTW;
  2. Track the implementation of the programs outlined above;
  3. Monitor influent mercury at least annually.  Require significant non-domestic sources of mercury to monitor periodically, as warranted; and
  4. Measure effluent mercury as required by the NPDES permit.

These efforts will allow the Town of Tarboro to establish a baseline of influent and effluent mercury levels to assist in identifying any trends in mercury contributions from domestic and non-domestic users of the sewer system.  This baseline will be tracked annually.


The POTW operates a pretreatment program that monitors four Standard Industrial User’s (SIU’s).  The SIU’s are annually sampled and tested for mercury.  Local limits for mercury are stated inside the Town’s Sewer Use Ordinance on page 11 section 20-268.  An Industrial Waste Survey is conducted every five years to identify potential pollutants to the system.

The Town of Tarboro will implement the control measures summarized in Section III over the permit term and will update this MMP as warranted.


A summary of the MMP activities will be submitted as part of the NPDES permit renewal process.

Click on this site to learn how to recycle items containing mercury.