August is National Water Quality Month!
“Alexandria — Virginia American Water joins thousands of water utilities across the country in the release of its annual water quality report available on line at http://www.amwater.com/vaaw/customer-service/water-quality-reports.html. In honor of the occasion, Virginia American Water offers this list of the top 10 things everyone should know about their drinking water.
- Also known as the Consumer Confidence Report, the annual water quality report is mandated by the Safe Drinking Water Act and shows how a system’s water quality compares against standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
- The source of most tap water in the U.S. is a local river or reservoir, though some areas may rely on groundwater. The source of our customers’ water is
- City of Alexandria – The Potomac River or the Occoquan River
- Dale City – The Potomac River or the Occoquan River
- The Northern Neck or Eastern Shore – 33 groundwater wells, filtered naturally from the Coastal Plain Aquifer
- Hopewell City – The Appomattox River where it meets with the James River.
- The standards U.S. water utilities are required to meet are called primary standards, as they have direct effect on human health. While taste and odor of the water is important, they are not as critical as the health standards water utilities meet every day. Therefore, taste and odors may vary from town to town and change periodically with weather and seasons.
- Watershed protection is everyone’s responsibility. Water utilities rely on customers to be vigilant about actions that can affect water quality such as proper pesticide and fertilizer use. Virginia American Water awards environmental grants each year to organizations who commit to projects that protect our watersheds.
- Bottled water is not safer than tap water. While it can be a good alternative when tap water is not available, bottled water is not subject to the many standards EPA sets for water utilities and has a shelf life of about a year, depending on storage conditions.
- In the metro-D.C. area, residents can download the free app for iPhone from iTunes, called TapIt Metro DC, which uses GPS to push all the closest locations where free tap water refills are available if you have a personal water bottle.
- No matter where you live, your drinking water is tested for more than 160 contaminants, and sampling is done on a daily, monthly and quarterly basis for things like acidity, bacteria, salts, metals, and chemicals.
- This is the 16th year in row that all of Virginia American Water’s systems have met all standards, a perfect score since the reporting requirement went into effect in 1998.
- Virginia American Water invested $14.2 million in 2014 alone to bring our customers a reliable water system that continues to meet EPA standards every year.
- In addition to online access, all CCRs are available in hard copy from the local water company. Virginia American Water customers can ask for a hard copy to be mailed to them by contacting our customer service at 1-800-452-6863.