The Green Pole Mystery: Solved

Have you ever seen a green pole next to the road and wondered, what is this? They seem to be popping up all over the county. Turns out, those green poles are water sampling stations.

In addition to testing the drinking water at our treatment plants before it travels to your home or business, we also perform tests throughout the 4,300 miles of our water distribution system. We perform more than 200,000 drinking water tests every year.

Historically, in addition to testing at fire hydrants, we went inside local businesses and schools to perform these tests. It created many logistical and accuracy challenges including:

  • Scheduling testing with local businesses or schools.
  • Only being able to test inside the buildings when they are open.
  • Ensuring customers understand that we are performing routine testing.
  • Testing from locations that may have not properly maintained their private plumbing fixtures which could change the composition of the sample and create false positives.

This process didn’t give us the most accurate picture of the water quality in our distribution system. So five years ago, Charlotte Water started installing sampling stations that connected directly to our water mains. This allowed our water quality specialists to sample water at any time and to not have to worry about private plumbing issues that may alter the water sample. We were also able to install sampling stations in strategic locations to enhance water quality monitoring throughout the county.

So far, we have installed almost 300 monitoring stations across the county with plans to install many more.

This is just one of the many ways we strive to provide you with the best drinking water possible at an affordable price.