Drinking Water

The Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority operations at the South Fork facility in Charlottesville, Va. . Photo/Andrew Shurtleff

Dave and Brian at South Fork Water Treatment Plant (Photo: Andrew Shurtleff)

Water is essential for life.  We need water to brush teeth, make coffee, fight fires, and even build bridges.  From agriculture to manufacturing, without water we simply would not survive and our economy would grind to a halt.

Rivanna takes immense pride in providing clean, safe drinking water for Charlottesville and Albemarle County citizens.  Our dedicated, licensed water treatment professionals work around the clock to provide adequate quantities of superior quality water.

Rivanna collects water from nature’s source for our community water supply at five locations. We have 3.3 billion gallons of raw water which resides in our reservoirs and our total finished water storage is 10.2 million gallons.

Before reaching your tap, sediment, bacteria, and other impurities must be removed. Water flows into our treatment plants and undergoes a multi-step treatment process, which you can learn more about here.

Water Quality

Over 1,900 samples are taken yearly to ensure the quality of water we deliver to ACSA and the City complies with all federal and state guidelines.  We also convene a monthly taste and odor panel throughout the warmer months.  Members of Rivanna, the City Public Works department, and the Albemarle County Service Authority sample drinking water samples to ensure high quality drink water. Read more here at our Water Sampling and Analysis page.



In 2014, we enlisted DiNatale Water Consultants to study our water storage reservoirs as part of an effort to protect and improve the quality of these water bodies. To find out more about our reservoir water quality and management study visit our Reservoir Study page.

RWSA Water System Graphic designed by Michael Powers

Ragged Mountain Reservoir

Sugar Hollow Reservoir

South Fork Reservoir

North Fork Rivanna River Intake

Beaver Creek

Totier Creek

Lickinghole Creek

Find out more about Recreation in and around our Reservoirs






Monitoring the Filter Press

Brian Monitoring the Filter Press



Our Water Operators

A typical day for one of our licensed water operators includes checking the weather forecast and conditions, monitoring water quality and other instrument readings, onsite inspections, and continual adjustments of the water treatment processes.  We use a variety of on-line instruments that take continual readings, and we continually verify those measurements with bench top instruments. We also walk the plant to visually inspect the various treatment processes going on.  It’s very important. A large weather event like a tropical storm can create sediment-filled source water, which means that water treatment can be more challenging. It’s our job to keep the water running.


Additional Resources

Community Water Supply Plan 

City of Charlottesville 2016 Water Quality Report (released May, 2017)

Albemarle County 2016 Water Quality Report (release May, 2017)

US EPA Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA)

EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline is 1-800-426-4791 or visit the EPA’s website

RWSA, ACSA, and the City Public Works Joint Statement on Lead in Drinking Water