Charlotte Water participated in the US Water Alliance’s national awareness campaign called Imagine a Day Without Water by producing a series of short videos that highlight the value of water in our region and the collaboration needed to plan for things like droughts, emergencies and even the extensive growth happening in Charlotte-Mecklenburg.
Our region has unique shared water resources, especially the vast network of lakes that are used for drinking water, energy and recreation.
We are grateful for the hard work of so many regional stakeholders that protect this precious resource. Visit our YouTube playlist, The Value of Water, to watch the full series, with the introductory video below.
From May 1-7, 2022, Charlotte Water joined water utilities and professional organizations across the country in celebrating National Drinking Water Week. This annual awareness event is a wonderful opportunity for our entire community to recognize the vital role of water in our daily lives.
Last week, Charlotte Water also connected with youth across Mecklenburg County by conducting read along events at schools and community partners and donating copies of the book to their permanent libraries.
The 2022 Water Week theme: “There When You Need It,” underscores different aspects of the reliability of our drinking water. In just one day, think about all the ways you use clean drinking water in your daily routine. From basic hygiene like brushing our teeth, cooking water, and hydrating our bodies and our pets. It’s also a great reminder that there are still many places that do not have access to clean and reliable water resources.
To participate in water awareness activities for Water Week (or any time of the year!), you and your family can purchase a copy of the book online, watch a read along on YouTube, or do a free activity book provided by the American Waterworks Association.
This week and every week is a great opportunity to learn more about the importance of clean drinking water and the essential role we have as a community to protect and share this vital resource. Visit charlottewater.org to learn more about how you can celebrate drinking water in your life!
Mark Bullins, Environmental Compliance Manager, shares his insights with us for Engineering Week on his work with Backflow Prevention (aka Cross-Connection Control).
I have been involved in Backflow Prevention, also known as Cross Connection Control, for over twenty years. As anyone who knows me will tell you, it is a subject I am passionate about. In my past employment, I have dealt with incidents of contamination from unprotected or illicit cross-connections and the consequences to a city’s water supply as well as the water customer. Doing my best to make sure that the drinking water Charlotte Water delivers to its customers remains pure and safe is my highest priority.
As the Environmental Compliance Manager for the Backflow Group, I oversee a team that reviews construction plans and inspects installations, making sure that water connections are properly protected with the correct backflow prevention assemblies and that they are being installed correctly for testing and maintenance. This group also creates and keeps records of these assemblies, their locations, the type, model, serial numbers, test reports, and approved testers; all the items required for compliance. They also handle questions from testers and contractors.
Putting it simply, once the treated water is delivered to the customer through the water meter, we do not want it to flow back into Charlotte Water’s distribution system. For example, for some water services such as a below-ground lawn irrigation system, the water can come into contact with anything found in or on the soil. This may include fertilizers, pesticides, microorganisms…etc. Fire sprinkler systems are another example; they sometimes contain water that can sit stagnant for up to a year at a time. Some fire protection systems also contain toxic chemical additives such as suppressant foam or antifreeze or have the ability for chemicals to be pumped into them. These are only a few examples of why the public water supply needs to be protected.
Another part of Charlotte Water’s Backflow Prevention program exists in the Customer Service division. This is where the water tanker and hydrant use program is located. The Customer Service group also handles calls from customers, enrolls customers in our Water Smart program, and issues letters for testing for existing customers. Backflow prevention assemblies per city ordinance must be tested annually. With their online portal, backflow testers can submit test results electronically with final acceptance by Charlotte Water.
People are often confused about what backflow prevention is, and seem to think it is about the “backwater” devices that prevent sewage from coming into a home or business. Many people do not realize that pressurized water from the distribution system can flow in a reverse direction from the water customer or how it can occur. Part of our responsibility is to educate others on the work we do.
Running a backflow prevention program is always challenging and never boring. I enjoy working at Charlotte Water and enjoy the professionalism of the people I work with.
At Charlotte Water, we know no matter what is going on in the world we need reliable access to safe drinking water because we are customers too. We rely on the same thing we work hard every day to consistently and safely provide to over one million people. We want to be confident in its quality because our families use it.
With this in mind, Charlotte Water is happy to report that for another year, Charlotte’s drinking water quality goes above and beyond state and federal standards. We’ve released our annual Consumer Confidence Report on our website.
Also, keep an eye out because every residence in Mecklenburg County will be receiving their very own Water Quality Report in their mailbox during the first part of May.
When reviewing the report you may notice that in addition to required testing, Charlotte Water has been participating in the EPA’s Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule. Charlotte Water is also working with an outside certified laboratory to analyze drinking water samples for over 740 unregulated compounds. These compounds do not have a maximum contaminant limit (MCL) set by the EPA, which means they are not regulated, but Charlotte Water is monitoring them regardless.
The results are very good, for the few contaminants that we did find in the water, they were at very low levels. We will continue to monitor them for any changes in concentration.
The thing to keep in mind is that even if there is the presence of something in your water, that doesn’t mean that it will cause harm. For example, our water has lots of different types of minerals in it like calcium, iron, and sodium but at levels that are not harmful to your health.
Our water quality experts have analyzed the results and we are confident that the quality of your tap water is good. Visit our website and click on the “Water Quality” tab to view the test results.