Charlotte Water

​​Water ​Quality FAQs


Fluoride has been proven to promote oral health. Charlotte Water has been adding it to the drinking water since 1949. As recommended by the American Dental Association, fluoride concentrations in Charlotte Water are approximately 0.7 milligrams per liter or less than one part per million.​

Chlorine is added to kill bacteria and prevent waterborne illnesses that may develop while water is traveling through 4,200 miles of distribution pipes after it has left the treatment plant. 

Disinfection byproducts (DPB) form when chlorine reacts with naturally occurring organic and inorganic matter in the water.

Charlotte Water staff monitors DPB closely and keep them below EPA levels. 

Learn more about DPB and why they occur​

Yes! Most brewers find Charlotte Water to be well-suited for home brewing operations. The mineral content of water is a significant factor in brewing. Charlotte Water routinely tests for several mineral components in our treated water.  For more information and a bi-annually updated mineral analysis visit our Home Brewing page.

While the water delivered to you is normally clear, occasional pressure changes or fire hydrant use can cause discoloration due to mineral sediments in water pipes. If you experience a problem with colored water coming from your tap, first run your COLD water tap (preferably from a bathtub spigot or faucet without an aerator) for up to five minutes. The color will most likely go away. If the water is still discolored, call 311 or 704-336-7600. ​​

If your HOT water is discolored, you may have a water heater problem. One way to determine whether the problem is in the hot or cold water is to see if the discoloration exists in your toilet bowl.  If the toilet bowl water is not discolored, then the discoloration is likely in the hot water or your home's plumbing. This is a private plumbing problem and Charlotte Water recommends that you contact a licensed plumber for advice.​

Taste and odor changes in your water can occur for many reasons. They do not always indicate a change in the safety of your water. Water taste is affected by mineral content as well as the presence of chlorine. Sometimes a metallic flavor can be caused by your plumbing, especially if the water tap has not been turned on for several hours. Newer homes with PVC (plastic) pipes may also experience temporarily altered taste or odor. ​

If you experience a problem with the taste or odor of your water, let the COLD water (through bathtub spigot) run for a few minutes to clear the lines, or fill a pitcher and allow it to sit for several hours. If the problem persists, please call 311 or 704-336-7600. ​

One of the main causes of taste/odor problems involves garden hoses being attached to external faucets. This can allow tastes/odors from the garden hose to be noticed in the tap water you drink. Charlotte Water recommends that garden hoses be disconnected when not in use.  If you have a taste/odor problem, please detach your garden hose first. If the taste/odor is still present 24 hours after you detached the garden hose from external faucets, please call 311 or 704-336-7600.​

The pH of our treated water generally ranges from 8.0 to 9.2.  Our water is slightly basic due to the application of lime in the treatment process to boost the alkalinity and pH of our drinking water in order to provide optimal corrosion control in the water distribution system.​​

These pink stains are usually caused by airborne microorganisms which settle and grow where there is moisture. Pink stains are "most likely from the environment and not the water supply" (reference: Water Quality Investigator's Field Guide (2005) American Water Works Association.)  it is extremely important to regularly clean these areas which should temporarily remove the stains.​​

Coal Ash is a particulate that is filtered out during the regular water treatment process. It does not affect tap water from Charlotte Water. ​

Our drinking water comes from Mountain Island Lake and Lake Norman, which are both part of the Catawba-Wateree River Basin, which provides water for more than 1.5 million people in our region. This is an excellent source and means a great start toward high-quality drinking water. This basin is managed by the Catawba-Wateree Water Management Group.

Turbidity is a key water quality measurement taken at our treatment plants, fire hydrants and sampling stations throughout the 4,200 miles of drinking water pipes. Turbidity is the measure of the cloudiness of the water. 

Total Organic Carbon ("TOC")is a term used to describe the nonspecific measurement of organic (carbon-based) contaminants in a water system. Total organic carbon reacts with chlorine and forms disinfection byproducts (DBP). Charlotte Water consistently has treated water TOC concentrations that are very low.

Cryptosporidium and Giardia are microscopic parasites sometimes found in untreated surface waters. If ingested, either can cause gastrointestinal illness. Charlotte Water tests for these parasites to make sure they are not in your drinking water.  ​

Our Laboratory Services Division is a full-service commercial and municipal environmental laboratory, conducting over 250,000 analyses annually for various microbiological and chemical components. It is NELAP accredited and certified by the NC Division of Water Quality, NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources, NC State Laboratory of Public Health, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and is approved for the analysis of Giardia and Cryptosporidium in source waters. The Charlotte Water Laboratory is a member of the US EPA's ERLN/WLA and a mutual aid resource for NC Emergency Management.​

No. Lead is not found when we test for it in our distribution system. The plumbing inside some older homes may contain lead which can cause lead to be present in tap water at those locations. 

Visit our lead & copper testing page to learn more.​

​Dissolved oxygen is important because fish need it to breathe. The water treatment plant monitors the dissolved oxygen level of incoming lake water. ​​

Yes. Chlorine dissipates over time so fill a pitcher and place it in your refrigerator. 

Hardness is primarily a measurement of calcium and magnesium concentration. Water is considered hard if it measures more than 125 parts per million or 7.5 grains per gallon of trace minerals. Our water has a hardness measure of 30 parts per million, or 1.8 grains per gallon, which is considered soft.  ​

Several private companies hang surveys and small sample bottles on residential doors with the offer to conduct water quality tests.  ​

These tests are not associated with CLTWater or any other City or County Department. If you have any questions about, or issues with, your tap water quality, please contact 311 or 704-336-7600. You may also look at the Water Quality Report for more information. ​  ​

A yellowish tint is possible if the water is sitting in the pipe for a long time (i.e. winter or a long vacation).  While the water is waiting to be used, it can collect dissolved iron sediment from older pipes. 

An increase in this mineral causes water to change color but doesn’t affect the safety of the water. Run COLD water (through bathtub spout) for several minutes to clear.  

Over several years, minerals and sediment can build up inside water pipes. Reddish water can occur, for example, when a fire hydrant is quickly turned on and off. Run COLD water (through bathtub spout) for several minutes to clear.  

Every year, CLTWater invests millions of dollars to replace or reline pipes in the oldest parts of Mecklenburg County.

​CLTWater treats water with chlorine to kill any harmful bacteria.  ​

​Water quality standards and testing information is listed here

A list of non-detected contaminants can be found here

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