To ensure harmful bacteria does not grow during the sometimes very long trip from the treatment plant to your home, we add a very small amount of chlorine to keep the water disinfected and safe to drink.
Your water averages about 1.3 parts per million (ppm) of chlorine when it leaves the treatment plant and about 1.16 ppm in the distribution system. The EPA maximum contaminant level is four ppm.
Our field staff use chlorine as an indicator of good water quality. When they are out in the field taking samples and the chlorine levels are good, they can be sure that there is no bacteria in the line or in your drinking water.
Taste can differ and those that live closer to a drinking water treatment plant may taste more chlorine in their water than those that live farther away. Remember, 1.3 ppm of chlorine disinfects the water but is not harmful. If you don’t like the taste we suggest filling a pitcher up with tap water up and letting it sit overnight. If you use a filter please make sure to replace it regularly!
Need to fill a pool in Charlotte, Cornelius, Davidson, Huntersville, Matthews, Mint Hill, or Pineville? You have options…
Call swimming pool installation or pool supply companies to get referrals of companies who fill swimming pools. Search online for ‘swimming pool water charlotte,’ or check yellow pages under ‘swimming pools’ or ‘street cleaners.’ Consider getting more than one price estimate. If a contractor has to haul the water, it could cost a lot so make sure they explain all costs.
Fill from outside spigot using an existing water service.
Check past bills to calculate typical water use and how much it would cost to fill or refill the pool.
If it is an empty pool, consider filling it up halfway on one 30 day bill cycle and then fill the last half during the next billing cycle. Sewer charges apply up to 16 Ccf.
*1 Ccf = 100 cubic feet or 748 gallons of water
Rent a hydrant for two days if;
• hydrant is in good working order.
• hydrant is on your side of the street and wouldn’t restrict access to neighbor’s driveway.
• you need at least of 15,000 gallons or 20 Ccfs.
Service requires a charge for a technician to connect water quality protection equipment and activate hydrant for rental and turn off after two days. Additionally, water consumption will be billed at the current commercial (non-residential) water rate.
Customer is required to rent or purchase an approved hose, from an independent supplier, to connect to the hydrant.
Apply for a separate water meter installed just for filling a swimming pool. View application and fees. Swimming pool meter charges start at tier 3 rate depending on amount of water used during monthly billing cycle.
How do i drain a pool?
Drain to Yard or Landscaped Area
A good option is to drain water to your yard or landscaped area if and only if you:
Do not cause flooding or other nuisance conditions on adjacent properties (notify your neighbors first).
Drain at a rate slow enough to not cause erosion.
Drain at a rate slow enough and to an area that allows the water to percolate into the ground and not discharge into the storm drain system, ditch or creek. This may be difficult to do because most properties are designed to drain off site. If discharge into a storm drain or water conveyance may occur, then you must follow the practices listed under “Drain to Storm Drain System”.
Drain to Storm Drain System
You may drain water from your pool or spa into a storm drain, ditch or creek if and only if you:
Dechlorinate the water below 0.1 milligrams per liter by allowing it to sit for one week without adding chlorine or by using a chemical dechlorination additive. Test the chlorine level with a pool testing kit before discharging.
Do not add other chemicals for at least one week before draining.
Ensure the pH of the water is between 6 and 9.
Remove or strain out algae and debris.
Discharge at a rate slow enough to not cause erosion.
Saltwater pools and spas may never be discharged to the storm drain system because of high chloride levels. You must choose another draining method if you have a saltwater pool or spa.
Drain to Sanitary Sewer System
You may drain water to the sanitary sewer system as a last resort if and only if you:
Contact Charlotte Water – System Protection to obtain authorization at 704-336-4407.
Follow all requirements provided by the person you talk to at Charlotte Water.
Do not discharge filter backwash to the storm drain system, but rather to a landscaped area or sanitary sewer. Some pool filters have a direct connection to the sewer system.
Dispose of filter material and collected debris in the trash.
As we move into the summer months, it’s good to know how different aspects of your yard and lawn maintenance can impact our water system.
If your home has an irrigation system, it is required to also have a backflow prevention assembly. A backflow prevention assembly is typically part of an irrigation system or commercial property.
This is an important step to protect the drinking water supply in your neighborhood. A backflow prevention device prevents hazardous substances (i.e. chemicals used for lawn improvement or soil borne bacteria and parasites) from inadvertently being drawn into the drinking water system and contaminating it.
If you have any questions or if we can assist you, please call 311 or 704-336-7600. Thank you for your cooperation.
Commonly Asked Backflow Questions
How often do I need to have my backflow tested?
Annually. A list of approved testers is listed on our website.
How do I know when is my backflow test due?
It is due the same time each year unless a deferment is granted. We check the last time it was tested and provide that information in the annual “Test Letter.” We can provide that to the customer by phone.
Is backflow testing performed by Charlotte Water?
Charlotte Water only performs an initial installation inspection and any follow-up required. It is the responsibility of the water customer to get the backflow assembly tested. For a list of approved testers, please see a list on our website.
How much does a test cost?
Charlotte Water does not set pricing for backflow assembly testing. Customers need to ask individual vendors what their charge is for testing their backflow assembly.
My residential irrigation system backflow is due for testing in December, can I delay testing until the spring?
Yes, please contact Charlotte Water for a deferment on the testing date. We recommend you have your assembly tested in the spring once the irrigation system is reactivated following winterization.
I have a backflow and so does my neighbor, however, my neighbor has never received a testing notification letter, why?
Your neighbor installer may have not contacted Charlotte Water about the installation of the irrigation system.
Where is my backflow?
It is the responsibility of the water customer to know the location of the backflow prevention assembly for their water system. Charlotte Water has locations based on initial inspection details.
My backflow needs repairs, do I need to hire a licensed plumber to make the repairs?
Yes, a licensed plumber is required per the N.C. Plumbing Board. You should hire a licensed plumber or professional who has expertise in repairing backflows.
What is the difference between a backflow inspection and a backflow test?
A backflow inspection is an onsite visit by a Charlotte Water Backflow Inspector, making sure the assembly is installed properly. A backflow test is to make sure the assembly with working properly. Charlotte Water does not perform backflow tests for its customers.
I understand backflows are for high hazard facilities such has hospitals and mortuaries, however, why do I need one on my residential irrigation system?
Irrigation systems can encounter contact with fertilizer, pesticides, and feces, which are high hazards. A Reduced Pressure Principle Assembly (RP) backflow is used for high hazards.
I have a double check valve assembly (DCVA) backflow that needs replacing for my lawn irrigation system, can I replace it with another DCVA?
No, per Charlotte Water ordinance, the correct backflow preventer for irrigation must now be an RP(Reduced Pressure Principle Assembly). This applies to new installation and replacing a backflow on an irrigation system.
My irrigation system is no longer in use, do I have to test it?
Annual testing is still required until a licensed plumber has capped off your water service at the connection and removed the backflow prevention assembly. An inspection by a Charlotte Water Backflow inspector is required.
Installation Questions and Answers
Do I need a plumbing permit when installing a backflow?
Yes, please contact the Mecklenburg County Code Enforcement at (980)314-2633, You will also need to complete a backflow service application.
Do I qualify for a branch of my irrigation system from my domestic service without a separate water meter?
The Plat date determines if you qualify. The property must be platted prior to 2009. Research and provide the information with the Meter Deferment application.
Where do I send the Backflow Service Application? What is the fee for a new irrigation meter?
Please send backflow/meter applications and fees to:
C/O (NAME OF DEPT)
5100 Brookshire Blvd,
Charlotte, NC 28216.
Please contact New Services at (704)336-7600 for any questions regarding fees for water taps and meters.
I have a building project under construction and just had my backflow tested, however, I still have a project hold, did I do something wrong?
You need to contact the backflow inspections department at (704)391-5188 and see if there are additional holds for a backflow inspection. Inspector needs to ensure the installation of the backflow. Ten days after the backflow inspection the backflow assembly needs to be tested by a Charlotte Water Backflow Approved Tester.
The meter and backflow were installed, and the installer left the meter cover open, so I wanted to know do we close it or is somebody else coming back to close it?
Please call the backflow inspection department for the inspector needs to ensure the installation of the backflow.
If you are reading this, you probably had a recent visit from a plumber.
Did you know:
Water pressure is primarily due to the elevation of storage tanks relative to the elevation of your home.
Higher water pressures are in geographically low points (near a creek or the bottom of a neighborhood).
County building codes require pressure-reducing valves (PRVs) to be installed on new or remodeled residential plumbing if there is evidence of water pressure exceeding 80 psi.
You can buy a gauge at a home improvement store to check your pressure.
A PRV reduces the water pressure coming into your home to protect your plumbing, much like an electrical surge protector protects your computer or television.
Keep in mind that a PRV will age and need to be replaced. So if you notice a sudden increase in pressure in your plumbing, your PRV may be wearing out and needs to be replaced.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I care if my water pressure is more than 80 psi?
High water pressure could cause:
Appliances and fixtures fail sooner than average
Damage water heater
High repair and water bills
How would I know if I have high water pressure?
If you are experiencing any of the below situations, it is time to talk to a plumber:
· A leaking faucet or appliance may tell you it is wearing down, and water pressure should be checked.
· A toilet flowing water from the tank into the bowl when not in use (could also be a simple toilet repair).
· Water is spitting instead of flowing when the faucet is first turned on.
· The sound of pipes banging inside the house may note pressure fluctuations.
· Irregular changes in pressure in shower or sinks.
· Appliances failing early.
· Mineral deposit build-up (white or greenish) on the outside of a shutoff valve.
Check with your neighbors – It may be possible that your neighbors are experiencing a similar issue. If they are not, this may indicate a problem with your private plumbing.
What should I ask the plumber about high water pressure and pressure-reducing valves?
A licensed plumber can assess your current plumbing and recommend whether a PRV is needed. Remember, getting more than one price quote is always a good idea.
Some contractors / licensed plumbers may choose to use an expansion tank (also known as a bladder) or other options to discharge high water pressure safely out of the plumbing system.
A PRV can be installed three feet behind the water meter box or inside your home before the water heater.
Avoid installing PRVs in sidewalks or driveways.
Please be sure your plumber clearly explains any warranty that may apply to the PRV and the plumber’s work.
PRVs will eventually need to be replaced between 7 and 12 years typically.
Note: If your water pressure noticeably changes, It may be time to replace the PRV.
What if the PRV makes the water pressure too low?
· PRVs are adjustable
· Consider replacing old fixtures or pipes that may be clogged with mineral deposits
Can Charlotte Water (CLTWater) reduce the water pressure in my home?
A licensed plumber can check your pressure and determine if you need a PRV.
Customers are in water pressure zones that serve several zip codes to provide minimal pressure of 20 psi to fire hydrants for public safety. CLTWater rarely changes water pressure zones. In those rare cases, a water pressure zone is changed to help customers experiencing low water pressure.
Does water pressure fluctuate daily?
Water pressure will vary throughout the day. Based on elevation and other factors, your home has a water pressure range that varies a few psi. You are more likely to experience the following:
The low range of water pressure during summer mornings when irrigation use may be high in the neighborhood
The high range of water pressure typically from December through February when outdoor water use is minimal
Will the City of Charlotte pay for my PRV or plumbing costs caused by water pressure?
I have 80+ psi and no PRV. Why didn’t my house have a PRV installed earlier?
When houses are built or remodeled, the water pressure should be checked. If it is over 80 psi at the time of the test, a PRV is required. The test could have been conducted at a time of day when water pressure didn’t exceed 80 psi due to other factors (water usage, etc.).
Would Charlotte Water increase my pressure?
Changing water pressure zones is extremely rare. Most properties have been in the same water pressure zone for several decades.
If CLTWater determines that customers need to move to a different water pressure zone, you would be notified several times in advance.
Is the water or wastewater project nearby going to increase my water pressure?
Wastewater projects won’t have any impact on drinking water pipes or pressure.
Water projects may enhance flow and stabilize pressure by cleaning or replacing old pipes. Adding larger pipes may increase water storage in the area but will not significantly affect water pressure since most water pressure is the elevation difference between the storage tank and your home.
Where does my private plumbing start?
The property owner maintains a water pipe from the end of the meter box (including the tailpiece) to the building(s). The property owner is responsible for pipes and fixtures in the buildings and wastewater pipes until the edge of the street or street right-of-way (varies). Charlotte Water maintains the water meter up to and including the meter yoke assembly, meter box, and water and wastewater pipes under the public street.
The illustration shows that Charlotte Water maintains the water pipes under the public streets and service lines from the water main to the meter box. Charlotte Water also maintains the meter and meter box. The property owner’s private plumbing starts at the tailpiece or pipe that leaves the water meter box and piping under the private plumbing to the building and inside the building.
Does my plumbing need to be replaced?
Just as pipes under the street age and have an end of service, so does plumbing in your home. Consider planning for the eventual replacement of plumbing that exceeds 50 years.