Charlottesville Water, the water distribution operations of the Public Utilities division of Public Works, is responsible for the installation, maintenance, and repair of the City's water distribution mains, water main valves and fire hydrants, as well as the connection and disconnection of all water meters. In addition, Charlottesville Water installs and maintains water service lines from the water main to the water meter. Currently there are approximately 900 fire hydrants, 2800 valves and 185 miles of water mains in service for the benefit of the residents of Charlottesville.
DROUGHT STATUS: No drought restrictions are currently in place. Please use water wisely to protect our water supply. Our Money-saving Water Conservation Tips page has a number of painless recommendations.
Protect Your Home by Winterizing Your Water Pipes
Read and implement the tips in this brochure.
How do I protect my home's water service lateral?
If you have a crawl space under your house, be sure to close the air vents in winter. Vents left open are the number one cause of frozen pipes. (However, make sure you never block any sort of exhaust vent like those used by appliances and gas fireplaces.)
Your water meter is owned and maintained by the City. Do not attempt to adjust your meter or turn it on or off. Contact the Public Works Department at 970-3800 if you see a leak or other problem with your meter.
The American Water Works Association has created two brochures to help homeowners with water quality issues. Many problems, including a rotten egg smell, particles in the water and the presence of metals are caused by household plumbing materials and maintenance. They are a valuable resource in protecting your clean water:
Top Plumbing Tips
Top Faucet Tips
Have more questions about a strange taste in the water, or discoloration? Visit this page from our sister utility, the Albemarle County Service Authority. Or you may use this email to contact a member of the Public Works team with your concerns.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Virginia Department of Health (VDH) require that we test the drinking water on a regular basis for particular contaminants. The key ones are shown in the Consumer Confidence Report, which is mailed to customers each year. There are a host of other organic and inorganic compounds that are tested for annually and submitted to VDH. 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."
Click here for more information from the EPA.
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.
For more information, contact:
General Information and How-To | Water Conservation | Water Quality Report
Water Conservation Tips | Cross-Connections | Current Projects | Water Service Area