FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 6, 2023
Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority Adjusts Drinking Water Facilities
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – The Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority (RWSA) has adjusted production from its drinking water treatment plants in response to recent water quality test results. Those test results indicated per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances, or PFAS, were detected at low levels in the drinking water produced by the North Rivanna Water Treatment Plant (NRWTP). Out of an abundance of caution, production of drinking water from the NRWTP has been discontinued until additional testing indicates production may be resumed. Drinking water is being provided to the NRWTP service area, shown by the map below, by the South Rivanna Water Treatment Plant through our interconnected drinking water distribution system.
RWSA is participating in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) program to gather data on specific contaminants that may be present in drinking water but are not yet subject to EPA drinking water standards. This EPA program is a requirement of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act called the “Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule”. As part of this program, water samples were taken at all six of the RWSA’s water treatment plants in May 2023. Results from those tests were recently received indicating none of the specific contaminants were detected at five of our Water Treatment Plants: South Rivanna, Observatory, Crozet, Scottsville, and Red Hill. Two PFAS compounds, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), were detected in water produced by the NRWTP. PFOA was detected at 25 parts per trillion (ppt), and PFOS was detected at 6.5 ppt. Earlier this year, EPA proposed a very conservative drinking water standard of 4 ppt for these substances. For context, one part per trillion is comparable to one second in 32,000 years. RWSA has routinely collected water quality samples at all of its reservoirs and Water Treatment Plants, and prior to May 2023, had not detected significant levels of PFAS substances in our drinking water system.
Bill Mawyer, Executive Director of the RWSA said “Our drinking water is in compliance with all Virginia Department of Health water treatment regulations. We are making this infrastructure adjustment as a precaution to ensure we are providing the highest quality drinking water for our community. We continue to utilize our multi-barrier treatment processes, including a granular activated carbon filtering system, to remove any undesirable substances from the drinking water we produce”.
Director of Operations & Environmental Services
Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority