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UNC campus gets tap water from the Orange Water and Sewer Authority (OWASA). OWASA’s water supply originates as rainfall within the Cane Creek and University Lake watersheds. Read more at OWASA’s Drinking Water page and use the following resources for information about campus water quality.

Water Safety News

Orange County Creek Week 2022 Orange County Hosts Inaugural Creek Week from March 12-19

March 10, 2022

Show your love for Orange County’s waterways during the first-ever Orange County Creek Week, set for March 12-19. The initiative will engage the public on the importance of clean and healthy waterways.

Categories: Stormwater News, Water Safety News


OWASA Headquarters Temporary Change in OWASA’s Water Disinfection Process in March 2022

February 21, 2022

Starting in March, OWASA will temporarily use chlorine instead of chloramines to disinfect our drinking water.

Categories: Water Safety News


OWASA Headquarters OWASA Distributes 2020 Annual Water Quality Report Card

July 1, 2021

OWASA once again met all State and Federal drinking water regulations during the 2020 calendar year. The annual water quality report card in now available in English and Spanish for more details on where your water comes from, how OWASA treats it, how we all can work to protect our water supply, and more…

Categories: Water Safety News

Additional Resources

Lead in Campus Drinking Water

Lead in campus drinking water is attributed to three sources: Lead pipe, lead solder and leaded brass fittings. Lead pipe and lead solder were banned in 1986 by amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act, promulgated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). Also, the USEPA Lead and Copper Rule requires public water utilities (OWASA) to include corrosion control in their water treatment protocol sufficient to prevent lead leaching from pipes, solder or fittings. The rule requires OWASA to test a representative sample of the community periodically to ensure compliance. OWASA has passed all Lead and Copper Rule tests.

In 2007, UNC performed a campus-wide inspection for lead piping and found none. OWASA states that there are no known lead service lines in their territory. Therefore, the only sources are lead solder and lead-containing brass fittings. UNC has experienced elevated lead levels in drinking water due to the brass fittings, specifically; newer fittings installed during recent renovations and in newly constructed buildings. Typically the problem disappears within six months of normal use. However, UNC has developed a flushing protocol upon the completion of renovations or new construction to reduce the levels below the National Primary Drinking Water Standard before the areas or buildings are occupied.