Who We Are

Brief History


Rivanna Solid Waste Authority (RSWA) was created in 1990 by the City and County to assume operation of the existing Ivy Landfill, which later closed in 1998.  Since landfill closure, RSWA has successfully developed and implemented a remediation program for groundwater surrounding the landfill site, remedying the results of landfill practices from the 1960s through the 1980s that did not meet today’s standards.  In its early years, the RSWA Board also set policy for reuse and recycling of solid waste; however, in more recent years the County and City have each taken back policy setting, and today most solid waste generated within the Charlottesville-Albemarle region is collected and managed by the private sector, with RSWA providing only limited programs requested and funded by one or both local governments.

As the Rivanna Solid Waste Authority (RSWA), we provide recycling, solid waste, and household hazardous waste disposal services to over 3,000 city and county residents each year from our facilities at McIntire Recycling, Ivy Material Utilization Center (MUC), and the Paper Sort Facility on Meade Avenue.  RSWA is funded jointly by the City of Charlottesville and County of Albemarle and therefore provide services according to the City and County budget allocations.



Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority (RWSA) was created in 1972 by the City and County to provide wholesale water supply, water treatment, and wastewater interception and treatment for the City and Albemarle County.  RWSA’s initial successes were in obtaining federal and state grants to improve wastewater treatment.  Within the past 10 years, significant capital investment has improved services to the community through a successful 50-year water supply plan and significant wastewater system upgrades, while also focusing on environmental stewardship through initiatives such as improved ecological flow releases from dams to rivers, advanced nutrient removal from wastewater, upgrading wastewater transmission to carry peak capacities during major storm events, and generating compost and “green” energy from wastewater biosolids.

As the Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority (RWSA), our staff is dedicated to providing an adequate water supply for now and in the future while protecting the natural environment. Drinking water is distributed throughout the community by ACSA, Charlottesville Public Utilities, or by individual property owners’ wells. We then receive all the community’s wastewater, treat it, and safely return it back to the environment in the form of clean water to the rivers for vibrant aquatic life.  We also return nutrients to the soil for plant growth via composting efforts and capture methane to use as green energy.

Rivanna is an independent public agency and wholesale water provider. What is the difference between a Wholesale Water and Wastewater Utility and a Retail Utility?  Find out here!

If you are a resident of Charlottesville, your water utility can be found at City of Charlottesville Utilities Department

If you are a resident of Albemarle County, your water utility can be found at Albemarle County Service Authority


Industry Leaders

Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority is a respected environmental and industry leader in the region. We strive to be one of the best wholesale utilities in the U.S. We have gained state and regional recognition for the Ragged Mountain Dam, Rehabilitation Projects, Safety, and Financial Reporting.

RWSA uses advanced technology and processes and we set high standards of performance for our practices and throughout our industry.


Recognition and Awards

2015 ACEC Honor Award

2015 ACEC Honor Award

Best Major Construction Award, Virginia Lakes and Watershed Association, 2015

Ragged Mountain Dam Honor Award for Engineering Excellence, American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) of Virginia, 2015

APWA Award for Ragged Mountain Dam, Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the American Public Works Association, 2015

Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting, Government Finance Officers Association, 2010-2014

2000 National Rehabilitation Project of the Year for exemplifying leadership and high professional standars for the rehabilation of the Sugar Hollow Dam, Association of State Dam Safety Officials, 2000

Ten-year Membership Recognition, Water Environmental Research Foundation 2002-2012

Certificate of Achievement, Exemplary Environmental Enterprise E3 program, Virginia Environmental Excellence Program, from 2008 – 2017

Engineering Excellence Honor Award for the Meadowcreek Interceptor, American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC), 2016

George W. Burke, Jr Facility Safety Award, in recognition of safety excellence, Water Pollution Control Federation, 1985


Community Partnerships

RivannaConservationAllianceWe are proud to partner with the Rivanna Conservation Alliance, a local nonprofit watershed organization created to provide the community with a set of tools and programs specifically designed to help clean and protect the Rivanna River and its tributaries. Their mission is fueled by community involvement, conservation, education, recreation, restoration, water-quality monitoring and reporting. Want to know more?  Join us for Rivanna Conservation Alliance’s board update every February.



rsep_logoWe are proud to partner with Rivanna Stormwater Education Partnership which is a collaborative effort among the local entities that decrease stormwater pollution by promoting education, outreach and public participation in stormwater management. This organization also fields inquires and phone calls from citizens reporting pollution near or in waterways.




UVA rowingWe are proud to partner with the UVA Championship Rowing team. For over 16 years, we have worked closely with the team to allow the necessary access to the South Fork Reservoir and continually coordinate on ways to minimize impacts from the use of their gas-powered motor boats. “The UVA women’s and men’s rowing team plus the Rivanna Rowing Club appreciate RWSA’s willingness to allow this permit. [It] is an essential component to achieving success.” –Kevin Sauer, Head Coach



American Water Works Association
Water Research Foundation
Water Environment Federation
Water Environment Research Foundation
Solid Waste Association of North America
Virginia Association of Municipal Wastewater Agencies
Virginia Water and Waste Authorities Association
Greater Charlottesville Chamber of Commerce