Optimization of Our Public Drinking Water Treatment Process: Q&A

Q1. What is corrosion control?

Corrosion control prevents lead and copper from leaching into water as it passes through service lines and plumbing fixtures.


Q2. What is a corrosion inhibitor?

Is it a product that is added at the water treatment plant to reduce the corrosivity of drinking water, and prevent lead and copper from potentially leaching into the drinking water from pipes and plumbing fixtures.


Q3. Why are you switching?

RWSA has been adding a corrosion inhibitor product for more than 30 years. However, water treatment technology has advanced. The change is being made as a proactive process to ensure we are keeping up with the current state of the technology.  Our drinking water systems have a long history of being significantly below federally regulated lead and copper levels.


Q4. What product will you use?

We will change the corrosion inhibitor from a poly-phosphate to a blended ortho-and poly-phosphate product.  We recently completed optimization testing which demonstrated that an orthophosphate product provides better protection from the leaching of lead and copper into drinking water. The polyphosphate product is being maintained to control iron and manganese in the water, which can cause discolored water.  However, after one year of the ortho-poly blended product, RWSA will transition to an orthophosphate only corrosion inhibitor product.


Q5. Will you test the water after the transition to the blended product?

Yes, RWSA will have an extensive sampling and testing program. In partnership with our retail providers, the Albemarle County Service Authority and the City of Charlottesville Utilities Department, we will test for lead and copper concentrations in select homes throughout the water distribution system.


Q6. Why are you switching at Crozet first?

The Crozet system was selected as the initial system because it is large enough to provide representative results, and small enough for us to make the transition and monitor its success.


Q7. Who do I call if I notice a problem?

Albemarle County Service Authority Customers can call: 434-977-4511, press 3

City of Charlottesville Utilities Customers can call: 434-970-3800


Q8. Where can I find more information about lead in drinking water?