If you had any doubt about the quality of your water, hopefully you can put those concerns to rest after hearing what exactly goes into ensuring your water quality every single day with Charlotte Water.
Your drinking water and wastewater are rigorously tested with hundreds of samples passing through the labs in our Charlotte Environmental Services Facility daily. In fact, in 2022 it was reported that Charlotte Water performed over 170,000 tests on both unregulated and regulated substances!
Samples arrive from all the wastewater treatment facilities, drinking water treatment facilities, and sampling stations placed around the region. From the moment the sample comes through the door, the samples are checked in with careful quality control measures to be sure the samples are not contaminated and fit for further testing.
After the check-in phase, a water sample can go through a variety of tests. The lab has sections committed to testing for grease and oils, biological compounds, nutrients, and metals just to name a small few out of the hundreds of compounds they test. To get an idea of how far the lab goes to test samples, they have several mass spectrometers used regularly to test samples down to a molecular level.
The lab technicians are well-trained and passionate individuals that all have a heart for public service. I had the chance to tour the lab for several hours one afternoon and spoke to many of the techs, and all of them expressed passion for their work and take their role extremely seriously.
Did you know you can review the results of our water quality testing? The 2022 report is available to you and is made available every year for public viewing! You can check out the report here .
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.