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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

OWASA Headquarters OWASA Distributes 2020 Annual Water Quality Report Card

July 1, 2021

The annual water quality report card is an opportunity to highlight how OWASA measures up against drinking water regulations to ensure customers that the water being delivered to your home is safe to drink and meets all regulatory standards.

Categories: Water Safety News

OWASA Headquarters Temporary Change in OWASA’s Water Disinfection Process in March 2021

February 22, 2021

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

Categories: Water Safety News

OWASA Headquarters OWASA Distributes 2019 Annual Water Quality Report Card

June 24, 2020

OWASA is pleased to release the annual water quality report card for 2019 and announce that all State and Federal regulations were met or surpassed.

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 buildings periodically, to prove they are in 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 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.