Welcome the Town of Clayton, North Carolina

LATEST UPDATE - February 10, 2021

The Town of Clayton took another step forward last week in the effort to build the new Neuse River Water Reclamation Facility.

The Town was notified by the state Department of Environmental Quality (NC DEQ) that the Environmental Assessment is complete and the project has a FONSI – Finding of No Significant Impact. The Town entered the RFQ phase of the project in January.

The Town of Clayton is marking a historic transition from a small to medium-sized town and is facing challenges related to incredible growth in the Raleigh area and in Johnston County, now one of the fastest growing counties in the state.

One of the biggest challenges is wastewater. The Town is planning to construct a new water reclamation facility (commonly known as a wastewater treatment plant) on a Town-owned site near the Neuse River at 1422 N. O’Neil Street. The site is already home to other wastewater infrastructure and greenways.

The initial cost of this project is estimated at $120 million. This is the largest project in the Town’s history – initial cost is estimated at $120 million – and includes construction of a facility capable of treating 6 million gallons per day (MGD) before discharge to the Neuse River in the same location as the Town’s treated effluent is discharged today.

Compared to the current plant, this new plant will be better for the environment, equipped with more modern processes and equipment, and sized to meet the needs of our local businesses and growing community.

A public engagement session was held in July 2020, and the Town Council held a public meeting on November 16. The public meeting was a precursor to the approval of the required environmental assessments and FONSI.

Links to the environmental documents are available below.

Clayton WRF Capacity Expansion Checklist
Clayton WRF Capacity Expansion ER EID
Clayton WRF Capacity Expansion ER EID Appendixes
Clayton WRF Capacity Expansion ER EID Appendix N

Please see a list of FAQs below. Email info@TownofClaytonNC.org or call 919-553-5002, ext. 5009 with further questions.

Neuse River Water Reclamation Facility Presentation









  1. What is the benefit of doing this project? Clayton’s current plant is nearing end of its useful life. It's been determined the most effective way to serve our community in the future is to build a new plant. 
  2. Why do this project now? The region continues to grow at the same time the current plant is nearing the end of its useful life. The most recent professional study commissioned by the Town shows the most ideal timing to build a new plant is now. 
  3. Will this project increase wastewater rates? Yes. Rates will increase. In fact, rates will increase with or without this project. According to local and national research, no one is escaping the rising cost of treating wastewater. Neighboring communities such as Raleigh and Johnston County are also increasing rates due to the need for improved and expanded facilities to replace aging infrastructure. 
  4. How much will rates increase? Rates are reviewed and adjusted as part of the budget process by Town Council in accordance with plans and financial models. All efforts are being made to minimize rate increases and to spread increases over time. We are confident, now that we finally have a rate model to determine the impact that we can better analyze that impact. However, we do anticipate rates will increase, perhaps on the order of 10% over the next few years.
  5. Are developers and businesses paying their fair share of the costs? Yes. The Town does not subsidize any class or type of customers. State statutes now restrict the amount of money municipalities can charge development, however, we do have out-of-town customers who pay higher out-of-town rates. 
  6. Why can’t we continue to use the existing wastewater reclamation facility? The current facility is not designed to meet future treatment requirements and its site is too small for major enhancement or expansion. The current facility will be used as long as feasible to minimize costs associated with building new facilities.
  7. Why can’t we send our wastewater to another community for treatment? The Town currently has agreements with Johnston County and Raleigh to treat some of our wastewater.  Those agreements have been beneficial to all parties to this point. However, those communities have their own treatment and capacity issues. Both are also increasing rates. The Town will maintain those agreements and positive relationships, but the Town will need to be responsible for its own wastewater treatment in the future.
  8. Compared to the old plant, will the new plant be better for the environment? Yes, the new plant will be equipped with more modern processes and equipment than the current plant. All state and federal environmental requirements, both now and reasonably expected in the future, will be met. There is a very extensive permitting process.
  9. How long will it take to build the plant? The entire process will take 4 years. Planning and engineering are underway. Site clearing and access construction will start within the next 12 months.
  10. How will construction impact the general public? The site is in the woods near the Neuse River and there is no access road to the site at this time. The nearest road is Covered Bridge Road. Traffic studies and turn lanes will be used to  minimize the impacts of construction traffic.  The project will also be at least partially visible from the Clayton River Walk on the Neuse Greenway in the vicinity of the existing Neuse 2 Pump Station.
  11. Will the public have an opportunity to comment on the project? Yes, regular project updates and some public workshops will be conducted as the project progresses.  We should have a full schedule for the project soon.
  12. How much will this project cost? The initial cost of the project will likely exceed $120 million. The size, scope, and timing of the project is still being assessed to minimize impacts to rate payers.
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