The City of Charlottesville's water is treated and monitored by the Rivanna Water & Sewer Authority. The water quality meets all the standards in place by the Safe Water Drinking Act, EPA, and Virginia Health Department. RWSA collects and tests hundreds of samples hourly, daily, monthly, quarterly, and annually to ensure the quality of your water.
City of Charlottesville water comes from 2 reservoirs:
- South Fork Rivanna River Reservoir: located off Route 29 north and is the primary water source for the City of Charlottesville. This reservoir is filled primarily from Mechums and Moormans river. In 2002, it was estimated to have the potential to store 800 million gallons of raw water supply.
- Ragged Mountain Reservoir: located near US Rt 250 Bypass at Interstate 64. It was expanded in 2014 and now has the potential to store approximately 1.5 billion gallons of usable water supply. When Sugar Hollow Reservoir is full, it has water flow to the Ragged Mountain Reservoir. The water from this reservoir is used primarily by the University of Virginia.
Image provided by RWSA, April 2017
If you are curious about the status of the City's water supply, the reservoir levels, or weekly rainfall: Contact the Water Operations Program Coordinator via email or phone (434-970-3805).
Lead Content in Drinking Water
Drinking water has recently been the topic in the national and local news. We wish to assure our customers and the community that RWSA, ACSA, and the City are committed to providing safe, high-quality water.
Please read the join statement by the Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority (RWSA), the Albemarle Country Service Authority (ACSA), and the City of Charlottesville regarding Lead Content in Drinking Water (Click Here).
The City and ACSA conducted lead and copper testing in drinking water of select households in the summer of 2016. For more information on this testing, please read our joint statement (Click Here). All water samples collected in 2016 from the 34 homes were well below the current Action Levels set by the EPA for lead and copper. To read the full report of the 2016 Lead and Copper Sampling in Charlottesville, please read our statement (Click Here).
If present, elevated levels of lead can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and young children. Lead in drinking water is primarily from materials and components associated with service lines and home plumbing. RWSA and the City are responsible for providing high quality drinking water by using corrosion inhibitors added to the water to coat the pipes and having only lead-free pipes installed to carry drinking water; however, we cannot control the variety of materials used in plumbing components of homes and businesses. When your water has been sitting for several hours, you can minimize the potential for lead exposure by flushing your tap for 30 seconds to 2 minutes before using water for drinking or cooking. If you are concerned about lead in your water, you may wish to have your water tested. The periodic lead and copper testing at select households took place in the summer of 2016 (Click Here for Results). Information on lead in drinking water, testing methods, and steps you can take to minimize exposure is available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-426-4791) or at http://www.epa.gov/safewater/lead.
Annual Water Quality Reports
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) require that we test the drinking water on a regular basis for particular contamination. The City of Charlottesville publishes annual water quality reports which include results from drinking water tested in the City. You can find the current Water Quality Report HERE Archive Water Quality Reports can be found HERE.
If you would like a paper copy of Water Quality Report sent to you, please contact the Water Operations Program Coordinator via email or phone (434-970-3805).
Perchlorate in our Water
Perchlorate is not one of the many contaminants we are required to test for at this time.
The VDH may request perchlorate testing from systems that appear to be at higher risk for contamination. Fortunately, our water supply comes from watersheds that are not industrial and we are not considered a system at particular risk.
Currently the EPA has perchlorate listed on its Third Contaminant Candidate List (CCL3) - along with 103 other contaminants of concern. What this means is that they are researching these candidates to determine whether a national drinking water standard should be mandated. They determine this based on whether:
- The contaminant may have an adverse effect on the health of persons;
- The contaminant is known to occur or there is a substantial likelihood the contaminant will occur in public water systems with a frequency and at levels of public health concern; and
- In the sole judgment of the Administrator, regulation of the contaminant presents a meaningful opportunity for health risk reductions for persons served by public water systems.
As part of their research, in the early 2000's they had numerous water supply systems in Virginia test for perchlorate; only one came back positive, and it was not ours. The report can be accessed here. You are looking for the "UCMR1 (2001-2005) Occurrence Data."
Chromium in the Water
Recently there was information in the national news about chromium-6, or hexavalent chromium, being found in the drinking water of some cities. Charlottesville's water is tested for total chromium levels every year. The level consistently falls below .01 ppm (the maximum level set by the EPA is .1 ppm). For more information on drinking water and contaminants, visit the EPA's Drinking Water website.
Fluoride in the Water
Fluoridated water is highly supported by the Virginia Department of Health, the American Medical Association, American Dental Association, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the majority of health professionals in the U.S. If you would like further information on the health impacts of fluoridated water, visit the CDC's webpage on fluoride.
Questions Regarding your Drinking Water?
For emergencies regarding your water quality please contact our 24/7 Water Utility Dispatcher: (434) 970-3800.
For non-emergencies and general inquiries about your water quality, please contact the Water Operations Program Coordinator via email or phone (434) 970-3805.