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Is New Bern Tap Water Safe to Drink?

Yes! Generally Safe to Drink*

LAST UPDATED: 7:47 pm, July 17, 2022
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Table of Contents

Can You Drink Tap Water in New Bern?

Yes, New Bern's tap water is generally considered safe to drink as New Bern has no active health based violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) that we are aware of. Other factors such as lead piping in a home, or low levels of pollutants on immunocompromised individuals, should also be considered, however. To find more recent info we might have, you can check out our boil water notice page or the city's water provider website.

According the EPA’s ECHO database, from April 30, 2019 to June 30, 2022, New Bern's water utility, City of New Bern, had 0 violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act. For more details on the violations, please see our violation history section below. This assessment is based on the City of New Bern water system, other water systems in the city may have different results.

While tap water that meets the EPA health guidelines generally won’t make you sick to your stomach, it can still contain regulated and unregulated contaminants present in trace amounts that could potentially cause health issues over the long-run. These trace contaminants may also impact immunocompromised and vulnerable individuals.

The EPA is reviewing if it’s current regulations around pollutant levels in tap water are strict enough, and the health dangers posed by unregulated pollutants, like PFAS.

New Bern Tap Water Safe Drinking Water Act Violation History - Prior 10 Years

Below is a ten year history of violations for the water system named City of New Bern for New Bern in North Carolina. For more details please see the "What do these Violations Mean?" section below.

Is there Lead in New Bern Water?

Based on the EPA’s ECHO Database, 90% of the samples taken from the New Bern water system, City of New Bern, between sample start date and sample end date, were at or below, 0.0 mg/L of lead in New Bern water. This is 0% of the 0.015 mg/L action level. This means 10% of the samples taken from New Bern contained more lead.

While New Bern water testing may have found 0.0 mg/L of lead in its water, that does not mean your water source has the same amount. The amount of lead in water in a city can vary greatly from neighborhood to neighborhood, or even building to building. Many buildings, particularly older ones, have lead pipes or service lines which can be a source of contamination. To find out if your home has lead, we recommend getting you water tested.

No amount of lead in water is healthy, only less dangerous. As lead accumulates in our bodies over time, even exposure to relatively small amounts can have negative health effects. For more information, please check out our Lead FAQ page.

Are there PFAS in New Bern Tap Water?

Currently, testing tap water for PFAS isn’t mandated on a national level. We do have a list of military bases where there have been suspected or confirmed leaks. There appears to be at least one military base - Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station - near New Bern with suspected leaks.

With many potential sources of PFAS in tap water across the US, the best information we currently have about which cities have PFAS in their water is this ewg map, which you can check to see if New Bern has been evaluated for yet.

Our stance is better safe than sorry, and that it makes sense to try to purify the tap water just in case.

What do these Violations Mean?

Safe Drinking Water Act Violations categories split into two groups, health based, and non-health based. Generally, health based violations are more serious, though non-health based violations can also be cause for concern.

Health Based Violations

  1. Maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) - maximum allowed contaminant level was exceeded.
  2. Maximum residual disinfectant levels (MRDLs) - maximum allowed disinfectant level was exceeded.
  3. Other violations (Other) - the exact required process to reduce the amounts of contaminants in drinking water was not followed.

Non-Health Based Violations

  1. Monitoring and reporting violations (MR, MON) - failure to conduct the required regular monitoring of drinking water quality, and/or to submit monitoring results on time.
  2. Public notice violations (Other) - failure to immediately alert consumers if there is a serious problem with their drinking water that may pose a risk to public health.
  3. Other violations (Other) - miscellaneous violations, such as failure to issue annual consumer confidence reports or maintain required records.

SDWA Table Key

Field Description
Compliance Period Dates of the compliance period.
Status Current status of the violation.
  • Resolved - The violation has at least one resolving enforcement action. In SDWIS, this indicates that either the system has returned to compliance from the violation, the rule that was violated was no longer applicable, or no further action was needed.
  • Archived - The violation is not Resolved, but is more than five years past its compliance period end date. In keeping with the Enforcement Response Policy, the violation no longer contributes to the public water system's overall compliance status. Unresolved violations are also marked as Archived when a system ceases operations (becomes inactive).
  • Addressed - The violation is not Resolved or Archived, and is addressed by one or more formal enforcement actions.
  • Unaddressed - The violation is not Resolved or Archived, and has not been addressed by formal enforcement.
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Health-Based? Whether the violation is health based.
Category Code
The category of violation that is reported.
  • TT - Treatment Technique Violation
  • MRDL - Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level
  • Other - Other Violation
  • MCL - Maximum Contaminant Level Violation
  • MR - Monitoring and Reporting
  • MON - Monitoring Violation
  • RPT - Reporting Violation
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Code A full description of violation codes can be accessed in the SDWA_REF_CODE_VALUES (CSV) table.
Contaminant Code A code value that represents a contaminant for which a public water system has incurred a violation of a primary drinking water regulation.
Rule Code Code for a National Drinking Water rule.
  • 110 - Total Coliform Rule
  • 121 - Surface Water Treatment Rule
  • 122 - Long Term 1 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule
  • 123 - Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule
  • 130 - Filter Backwash Rule
  • 140 - Ground Water Rule
  • 210 - Stage 1 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule
  • 220 - Stage 2 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule
  • 230 - Total Trihalomethanes
  • 310 - Volatile Organic Chemicals
  • 331 - Nitrates
  • 332 - Arsenic
  • 333 - Inorganic Chemicals
  • 320 - Synthetic Organic Chemicals
  • 340 - Radionuclides
  • 350 - Lead and Copper Rule
  • 410 - Public Notice Rule
  • 420 - Consumer Confidence Rule
  • 430 - Miscellaneous
  • 500 - Not Regulated
  • 111 - Revised Total Coliform Rule
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Rule Group Code Code that uniquely identifies a rule group.
  • 120 - Surface Water Treatment Rules
  • 130 - Filter Backwash Rule
  • 140 - Groundwater Rule
  • 210 - Stage 1 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule
  • 220 - Stage 2 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule
  • 230 - Total Trihalomethanes
  • 310 - Volatile Organic Chemicals
  • 320 - Synthetic Organic Chemicals
  • 330 - Inorganic Chemicals
  • 340 - Radionuclides
  • 350 - Lead and Copper Rule
  • 400 - Other
  • 500 - Not Regulated
  • 110 - Total Coliform Rules
  • 410 - Public Notice Rule
  • 420 - Consumer Confidence Rule
  • 430 - Miscellaneous
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Rule Family Code Code for rule family.
  • 100 - Microbials
  • 200 - Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule
  • 300 - Chemicals
  • 400 - Other
  • 500 - Not Regulated
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For more clarification please visit the EPA's data dictionary.

New Bern Water - Frequently Asked Questions

HOW DO I CONTACT NEW BERN CUSTOMER SERVICE?
To contact customer service for the New Bern water provider, City of New Bern, please use the information below.
By Mail: PO BOX 1129
NEW BERN, NC, 28563
HOW TO PAY BILL FOR CITY OF NEW BERN
Already have an account?

Existing customers can login to their City of New Bern account to pay their New Bern water bill by clicking here.

Want to create a new account?

If you want to pay your City of New Bern bill online and haven't made an account yet, you can create an account online. Please click here to create your account to pay your New Bern water bill.

Want to pay without an account?

If you don't want to make an account, or can't remember your account, you can make a one-time payment towards your New Bern water bill without creating an account using a one time payment portal with your account number and credit or debit card. Click here to make a one time payment.

HOW TO START & STOP NEW BERN WATER SERVICE
Starting Your Service

Moving to a new house or apartment in New Bern means you will often need to put the water in your name with City of New Bern. In order to put the water in your name, please click the link to the start service form below. Start service requests for water bills typically take two business days.

Start Service Form

Want to create a new account?

Leaving your house or apartment in New Bern means you will likely need to take your name off of the water bill with City of New Bern. In order to take your name off the water bill, please click the link to the stop service form below. Stop service for water bills requests typically take two business days.

Stop Service Form

Is New Bern Tap Water Safe to Drink? Tap water & safety quality

The estimated price of bottled water

$1.67 in USD (1.5-liter)

USER SUBMITTED RATINGS

New Bern tap water
  • Drinking Water Pollution and Inaccessibility 25% Low
  • Water Pollution 50% Moderate
  • Drinking Water Quality and Accessibility 75% High
  • Water Quality 50% Moderate

The above data is comprised of subjective, user submitted opinions about the water quality and pollution in New Bern, measured on a scale from 0% (lowest) to 100% (highest).

Related FAQS

Contaminants


City of New Bern

EWG's drinking water quality report shows results of tests conducted by the water utility and provided to the Environmental Working Group by the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, as well as information from the U.S. EPA Enforcement and Compliance History database (ECHO). For the latest quarter assessed by the U.S. EPA (January 2019 - March 2019), tap water provided by this water utility was in compliance with federal health-based drinking water standards.

Utility details

  • Serves: 35052
  • Data available: 2012-2017
  • Data Source: Groundwater
  • Total: 19

Contaminants That Exceed Guidelines

  • Bromodichloromethane
  • Bromoform
  • Chlorate
  • Chloroform
  • Dibromochloromethane
  • Dichloroacetic acid
  • Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)
  • Trichloroacetic acid

Other Detected Contaminants

  • 1%2C4-Dioxane
  • Chromium (total)
  • Dibromoacetic acid
  • Fluoride
  • Haloacetic acids (HAA5)
  • Manganese
  • Molybdenum
  • Monobromoacetic acid
  • Monochloroacetic acid
  • Strontium
  • Vanadium

Reminder

Always take extra precautions, the water may be safe to drink when it leaves the sewage treatment plant but it may pick up pollutants during its way to your tap. We advise that you ask locals or hotel staff about the water quality. Also, note that different cities have different water mineral contents.

Sources and Resources

New Bern Water Quality

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) expects community water systems to produce an annual Consumer Confidence Report (CCR), also identified as an annual drinking water quality report, to their clients each year by July 1st. Here, we are pleased to present you with the City of New Bern’s annual Water Quality Report for 2020. These reports give our citizens and customers information regarding their local drinking water quality. Your CCR can help you make informed choices about the water you drink. The City is bound to meeting the difficulties of new water quality regulations while encouraging customers to practice conservation. We are also committed to producing the highest quality drinking water possible. Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to serve you and your family.  

2020 Annual Water Quality Report

New Bern’s Water Supply

New Bern, NC, provides drinking water for over 35,000 consumers in New Bern and surrounding areas, including Carolina Colours, Clarks, Cove City, the Craven County Industrial Park, Taberna, and Trent Woods. Total water usage for 2020 was 1.36 billion gallons, a daily average of 3.71 million gallons. The City’s Water Treatment Division employs 20 wells, a filter/softener water treatment facility, 3 ground storage tanks, 5 booster pump stations, and 6 elevated storage tanks to provide 8.65 million gallons of daily water production and 9.7 million gallons of finished water storage.

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