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 Water Quality Report Card Launched for Drinking Water Week

May 7, 2019

OWASA is proud to join communities across the country in celebration of Drinking Water Week, May 6 to 11. On this occasion, we are pleased to launch our Water Quality Report Card for 2018 and share that OWASA met or surpassed all Federal and State standards for drinking water quality.

Categories: Water Safety

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

February 25, 2019

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

Categories: Water Safety

OWASA Headquarters OWASA Distributes Annual Water Quality Report Card

June 27, 2018

OWASA continued to meet or surpass all Federal and State standards for drinking water quality in 2017. The annual Water Quality Report Card was recently mailed to all account holders. The report may also be viewed by visiting www.owasa.org, calling 919-968-4421 to request a hard copy, or by sending an…

Categories: Water Safety

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.