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What is FOG?

FOG stands for Fats, Oils and Grease, all of which can severely damage your sanitary sewer system. FOG includes animal and vegetable fats, as well as oils used to cook and prepare food. When poured down the drain, FOG can cause problems in sanitary sewer pipes and sewer laterals. Grease buildup in pipes can cause major damage to pipes and lead to sewage back-ups in your business

What is the Freedom of Information Act?

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a United States federal law that requires the full or partial disclosure of previously unreleased or uncirculated information and documents controlled by the U.S. government upon request. It is often described as the law that keeps citizens “in the know” about their government.

How can I limit my exposure to PFAS?

  • Cook with stainless steel, cast-iron, glass, or ceramics. Try not to use nonstick cookware.
  • Look for coats, hats, and boots labeled “water-resistant.” They are less likely to have PFAS than waterproof products.
  • Avoid ordering food in grease-resistant wrappers or containers.
  • Avoid carpets and upholstery treated to be stain or water-resistant; decline stain treatment.
  • Ask manufacturers if their products have PFAS. These chemicals are often not listed. However, given that many PFAS cannot be measured yet, products cannot be confirmed “PFAS-free.”

How does PFAS get into drinking water sources?

PFAS typically enters drinking water sources (lakes, rivers, wells, etc.) through storm water runoff and wastewater originating from facilities where PFAS chemicals were produced or used.

PFAS are slow to break down and using products with PFAS puts these chemicals into the environment, where, over time, they may end up in drinking water supplies. PFAS can also enter the environment as consumers wash and throw away products containing these chemicals and through bodily waste.

What is Prince William Water doing about PFAS?

Prince William Water purchases treated drinking water from Fairfax Water and the City of Manassas to meet the needs of Prince William Water customers in Prince William County. Prince William Water remains fully confident in their ability to provide safe and reliable drinking water that meets regulatory treatment and distribution requirements. For more information, visit our 'PFAS & Drinking Water' page or the Fairfax Water 'PFAS Standards' page. 

What actions are the EPA and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) taking regarding PFAS?

  • On April 10, 2024, the EPA announced final national primary drinking water standards for six types of poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).
  • In 2020, the Virginia General Assembly passed two bills (HB 586 and HB 1257) that directed the VDH’s Office of Drinking Water (ODW) to study the occurrence, health effects and treatability of PFAS compounds in public drinking water and to adopt maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) for some PFAS compounds.
  • For more information, visit our 'PFAS & Drinking Water' page. 

Has Prince William Water tested its drinking water for PFAS?

Throughout 2024, Prince William Water is participating in EPA’s Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule 5, (UCMR5) for its East and West water distribution systems. UCMR5 involves collecting and testing water samples to assess a list of unregulated contaminants that EPA selects for monitoring in public water systems. Subsequently, the EPA uses the collected data to develop regulatory policies that address emerging contaminants. For more information, visit our 'PFAS & Drinking Water' page. 

Is PFAS regulated in drinking water?

Yes. On April 10, 2024, the EPA announced final national primary drinking water standards for six types of poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), including proposed Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) for perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), perfluorohexane-sulfonic acid (PFHxS), hexafluoropropylene oxide dimer acid (HFPO-DA or GenX chemicals), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS). The standard also establishes a hazard index (HI) for a mixture of two or more of the following: PFNA, PFHxS, HFPO-DA, and perfluorobutane sulfonic acid (PFBS).

According to the EPA, public water systems have five years (by 2029) to implement solutions that reduce these PFAS if monitoring shows that drinking water levels exceed these MCLs. Fairfax Water will ensure that our water meets these standards. For more information, visit our 'PFAS & Drinking Water' page. 

What are perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)?

Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a class of more than 6,000 manmade chemicals used in the manufacture of a wide variety of industrial and household products designed to resist heat, water, oil and stains. A wide variety of products are made with PFAS, including non-stick cookware, food packaging, personal care products and water-resistant apparel. For more information, visit our 'PFAS & Drinking Water' page. 

What is considered an affordable bill?

Affordability is measured using Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines, with Prince William Water’s bills being among the lowest in the region and well under affordability thresholds set by EPA standards.

Why do rates vary by jurisdiction?

Rates vary due to each utility’s unique priorities, operating conditions and capital needs. Prince William Water is careful to ensure its rates are competitive with surrounding jurisdictions while making the investments necessary to provide clean safe drinking water to its customers and protect the environment. Through these efforts, Prince William Water’s rates remain among the lowest in the region. 

How do Prince William Water rates compare with other jurisdictions?

*Rates based on 5,000 gallons per month for a single-family residential home, as of January 2024. 

Local Jurisdiction Estimated Water and Sewer Bill* 
Fauquier County  $                     145.16  
City of Manassas Park  $                     100.93  
Stafford County  $                      88.68  
City of Manassas  $                      86.32  
Virginia Average (Draper Aden Survey)  $                      86.18  
Fairfax County  $                      80.47  
Falls Church  $                      77.63  
Prince William Water  $                         74.35  
Loudoun County   $                      70.25  

Can rate adjustments be deferred?

Deferring rate adjustments risks delaying infrastructure projects, leading to higher future increases to address deferred maintenance. 

Why does Prince William Water set rates for three years at a time?

Setting rates for three years allows for increases to be phased in over time, helping to manage customer financial planning and avoid sudden hikes. 

Does Prince William Water receive tax money?

No, Prince William Water does not receive tax dollars from Prince William County and relies on service fees. 

How does Prince William Water set rates?

Prince William Water sets its rates based on the actual cost of service as it does not make a profit. An independent financial consultant, Stantec Consultants, Inc., conducted a rate study for Prince William Water and recommended an adjustment to the rates. For more information on how we set rates, visit our 'Water Rates Information' page.

Why are periodic rate increases necessary?

Prince William Water periodically recommends changes to rates to ensure we invest in our system in order to properly maintain our infrastructure, meet environmental regulations, and continue to deliver the quality and reliability our customers expect from us. 

The Comprehensive Plan Amendment Application for the Prince William Digital Gateway listed the sewage flows generated by the application as being served through the Heritage Hunt Sewage Pump Station. Can the new Heritage Hunt Sewage Pumping Station (SPS)

To enable the Little Bull Run Sewer Shed buildout, Heritage Hunt SPS infrastructure upgrades are under construction. The Prince William Digital Gateway is outside the Little Bull Run Wastewater Shed, so wastewater flows from it must be treated by facilities other than the Heritage Hunt SPS.

Should I purchase a home water treatment unit?

Home treatment units may improve flavor or odor, but they do not boost safety. Lack of maintenance might cause bacteria to proliferate in the treatment system and taint the water. Before buying a home water treatment device, read the product information. Follow manufacturer directions for operation and maintenance and change the filter regularly. Certified home treatment devices should have an NSF mark. Visit the EPA's website for more information. 

Is bottled water safer to drink than tap water?

Bottled water isn't always safer than tap. The EPA imposes stronger requirements for our treated drinking water than the Food and Drug Administration does for bottled water. When buying bottled water, consumers should study the label to understand the taste and treatment technique. The International Bottled Water Association has bottled water information. 

People may prefer bottled water since it lacks chlorine and has no chlorine taste. However, bottled water can lie on store shelves for a long period before being sold. You can filter tap water if it accommodates your taste preferences. 

What are the black specks in my tap water?

Black specks in tap water are often caused by rubber plumbing fittings degrading in contact with tap water chlorine and chloramines. Degraded gaskets and o-rings can gather in toilet tanks and faucets.  

Specks that can be smudged between fingertips indicate degrading rubber. Silicate or manganese is likely if it does not smear between your fingertips. Our Customer Service Department can clean your home's water distribution mains to clear silt or manganese. After flushing the mains, flush your residential lines.  

New or restored structures can have particle issues. Plumbers sometimes disrupt plumbing systems. Flushing new systems can help. 

Why do my clothes and towels smell sour after they are washed?

If your garments or towels smell after laundering, check the washing machine. Wet laundry will show odors from the washing machine. After drying, the laundry smells much better but returns when damp. Washing machine scents can come from two sources:

  1. Clothes may smell “sour” after prolonged wetness.  
  2. Lint, filth and moisture from the washing machine can cause odor transfer to garments. To reduce odor, consult the owner's manual.  

Why does my bath water appear blue?

Water appears colorless in small amounts, but it turns bluer as the sample size increases due to its interaction with light and other basic properties.

Why does my tap water has a rotten egg or sulfur smell?

Odors like rotten eggs or sulfur suggest bacteria in your drain or water heater. Use bleach to clear the drain. Let the cold water run. Bring a cup of cold water from the sink where you noticed the odor to another room to smell it. If the smell persists, check the water heater. Most manufacturers recommend annual water heater cleansing. Consult your manufacturer's instructions.

Why does my tap water have a metallic taste?

Older plumbing might have a metallic aftertaste due to copper and iron corrosion.  
Hot water, poor plumbing, or stagnant water conditions (as when a house is closed for lengthy periods of time) can accelerate plumbing corrosion. Metallic tastes can also emerge when new plumbing or fixtures and metallic materials have not settled. 
Prince William Water's suppliers, Fairfax Water and City of Manassas, add a corrosion inhibitor to prevent metals from seeping into drinking water. Run cold water for a few minutes to freshen your home plumbing if your water tastes metallic.

What is that musty or earthy odor in my water?

After a hot, dry summer, tap water may smell earthy/musty in the fall. All surface waterways have algae, but summertime algae are numerous. Algae die off and emit two harmless chemicals that smell earthy or musty as water temperatures drop. We can smell tiny amounts of these chemicals.

Can I get sick from my tap water?

Prince William Water consistently tests and monitors the water to make sure that it meets or exceeds EPA’s safe drinking water standards. Tap water that meets EPA standards is typically safe. We take pride in maintaining high water quality throughout our distribution system.  

Why does my water have a stronger chlorine smell in the spring?

Between April and June, a slight change is made in the water treatment process to facilitate an effective flushing program and maintain water quality. During most of the year, chloramine (ammonia and chlorine) is added to drinking water as the primary disinfectant. In spring, our drinking water providers switch to free chlorine. This temporary change in the water treatment process helps prevent bacteria from becoming overly resistant.  

You may notice a chlorine taste and odor in your drinking water while free chlorine is utilized. If you are especially sensitive to the taste and odor of chlorine, try keeping an open container of drinking water in your refrigerator. This will enable the chlorine to dissipate, thus reducing chlorine taste and odor. 

What is the pink stuff in my toilet, shower, or pet’s dish?

The pink/orange toilet stains are likely Serratia marcescens bacteria. These bacteria are most common in toilet bowls, shower stalls, dishwashers, tiles, sinks and pet water dishes.

Any damp place with phosphorus or fat will develop the bacterium. Serratia can grow in toilets where water stands long enough to evaporate chlorine residual disinfection. Chlorinated water kills Serratia and bleach removes microorganisms from toilets. 

How is the water tested, and by whom?

Prince William Water's state-certified Water Quality Laboratory performs or administers state and federal testing to ensure that our water meets or exceeds regulatory standards. In addition to regulated testing, several other analyses check distribution system water quality. 

Do I need to treat the tap water in any way before I place fish in an aquarium?

If chlorine is not removed before using in your aquarium, Prince William Water tap water can harm fish. Prince William Water flushes with free chlorine from April to June and utilizes chloramines, a chlorine-ammonia mixture, the rest of the year. Ask your pet retailer about chlorine and chloramine removal.

Coffee pots, irons, shower doors, glassware and cookware sometimes have a white residue. What is it?

Mineral residue on items is from water's natural mineral content, such as calcium.

Sometimes ice cubes made from the tap water or the melted water from ice cubes contains white particles. What are these particles, and where do they come from?

White particles in ice cubes are harmless minerals.

Is it okay to use water from the hot water tap for drinking, cooking, or making baby formula?

Hot water from a heater may include substances that should not be consumed. These impurities may include domestic plumbing metals concentrated after heating. Hot water has more contaminants because it absorbs household plumbing materials faster than cold water. 

Can I store drinking water indefinitely and continue to be safe to drink?

Tap water can safely be stored for up to six months if stored properly, and the United States Department of Agriculture recommends replacing stored water every six months. Water should be stored away from sunlight, in cool temperatures and away from toxic substances. Visit our 'Prepare for Water Emergencies' page for more information about storing water.

Why does tap water sometimes look milky or opaque?

This might happen when the water entering the house is colder than the inside temperature. Cold water contains more oxygen than warm water, so when cold water from the water mains outside warms up in our warm houses, the oxygen must escape. Milky water is caused by air bubbles rising to escape the water.

Who makes the rules and regulations for drinking water?

Both federal and state agencies regulate drinking water. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) enforces the 1974 Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) revised in 1986 and 1996. For more information on drinking water rules and regulations, please visit our Regulatory Affairs page. 

Some of my faucet strainers are clogging with white particles. What causes this

These whitish specks are possibly hot water heater dip tube pieces. Many 1980s hot water heaters had a defective dip tube that disintegrates with time. The dip tube transports cold water from the hot water heater's top to the bottom for heating. Over time, the dip tube breaks down and white particles enter domestic pipes. If large enough, particles become stuck in sink faucet or showerhead strainers. If they're from the dip tube, these particles won't be in the toilet bowls, tanks, or automatic ice maker because they only affect hot water. Call your hot water heater manufacturer for help with this issue.

Can water straight from the tap be used in home kidney dialysis machines?

Dialysis machines require further treatment of tap water to remove specific substances like aluminum, fluoride and chloramines. Please consult with your healthcare provider for more information. 

Is it safe to drink water from a garden hose?

Drinking from garden hoses can introduce harmful substances so we do not recommend drinking from your garden hose. Food grade hoses are safer.

Is it safe to drink water containing fluoride?

Prince William Water distributes Fairfax Water and Manassas City drinking water to its customers. Both water providers add fluoride to drinking water at or near 0.7 parts per million (ppm) following federal and state public health agency standards, including the Center for Disease Control (CDC.) The CDC and Fairfax Water have additional information and data on fluoridation on their websites. 

How "hard" is Prince William Water’s water?

General guidelines for classification of waters are as follows: 0 to 17 mg/L as calcium carbonate is classified as soft; 17.1-60 mg/L as slightly hard; 61 to 120 mg/L as moderately hard; 121 to 180 mg/L as hard; and more than 180 mg/L as very hard.  

Our water is moderately hard in the East and West Systems and hard in Bull Run Mountain/Evergreen. For more information, visit our 'Water Hardness Information' page. 

What is the source of my drinking water?

Customers living in Prince William County receive drinking water from different sources based on their location.

Households in eastern and central Prince William County, such as in Dumfries, Occoquan, Carter’s Grove, Woodbridge, Triangle and Hoadly Road, receive water sourced from the Occoquan Reservoir and treated at Fairfax Water’s Frederick P. Griffith Water Treatment Plant.

Customers in western Prince William County, Greater Manassas and Manassas South receive water that is a blend of water sourced from the Potomac River and treated at Fairfax Water’s James J. Corbalis, Jr. Water Treatment Plant along with water from Lake Manassas treated at City of Manassas’ water treatment plant.

A small cluster of customers in the Bull Run Mountain/Evergreen neighborhoods receive their water from six wells treated with sodium hydroxide to prevent plumbing corrosion. 

Has Prince William Water conducted any analysis of the future water needs and availability of water in Prince William County?

Prince William Water annually assesses water needs against the Prince William County Comprehensive Plan, ensuring supply meets demand through at least 2045. 

Is water disinfected with either free chlorine or chloramines safe for my pet fish?

No, customers must take precautions to remove or neutralize chloramines and free chlorine in water used in fish tanks and ponds.

Will pool owners need to treat water differently during spring flushing?

To prevent algae and bacterial growth in pools, it is important that pool owners maintain the same chlorine level in water treated with free chlorine or chloramines. Pool supply stores can provide more information and guidance about chlorinating pools.

Could water disinfected with either free chlorine or chloramines be harmful to dialysis patients if it is used in the dialysis process?

Water must be treated to remove free chlorine and chloramines before use in dialysis. We notify all centers in our service area about the conversion to free chlorine each year before switching the disinfectant from chloramines. 

Dialysis patients can safely drink water treated with either free chlorine or chloramines.

Do chloramines affect household plumbing, pipes and/or water heaters?

Rubber components and materials, which can deteriorate over time, are sometimes used in older home plumbing systems and water heaters. When replacing rubber plumbing components, ask for chloramine-resistant parts, which you can get from your plumber or at hardware stores. Follow manufacturers' recommended use for chloramine-resistant parts.

Will I see a drop in water pressure due to hydrant flushing in my area?

Most customers will not see a drop in water pressure. If a change in pressure does occur, it usually lasts for only 30 minutes or less.

Can system flushing in my area cause cloudiness or sediment in my water?

Sometimes, the flushing process causes short-term cloudiness in water mains by stirring minerals and sediments. Please run cold water from your tap until the cloudiness goes away if you have this problem.

Please email or call (703) 335-7950 to reach Prince William Water's customer service department if your water seems cloudy for an extended period of time.

What can I do to remove a chlorine smell from my tap water?

To remove chlorine smell and taste from tap water, fill a pitcher with water and leave it uncovered on your counter or in your refrigerator. Within a couple of hours, the chlorine will dissipate. 

Will my water taste different during the temporary conversion to free chlorine?

The use of free chlorine may result in a slight chlorine odor in your tap water. Each individual customer has his or her own sensitivity level to the taste and/or odor of free chlorine, though many detect no change at all.

When will the system flushing program begin and end this year?

Prince William Water will flush the distribution system from approximately late March-May 2024.

Why is the water that Prince William Water distributes to customers disinfected with free chlorine instead of chloramines each spring?

Every spring, the City of Manassas and Fairfax Water, the drinking water suppliers to Prince William Water, temporarily switch from using chloramines as the main disinfectant in their water treatment process to free chlorine. According to our water suppliers, this short-term change is a best practice for the drinking water industry and makes it easier to implement a flushing program for the distribution system.

What does the term "system flushing" mean?

Prince William Water flushes water from fire hydrants connected to its distribution system each spring in order to forcefully draw water through its network of pipes. This process dislodges sediments and minerals that may have collected in water mains since the prior year’s system flush.

How do I detect a leak?

If your monthly bill has a noticeable increase in consumption for which you can’t account for, you should:

  • Check your premises for leaks. Remember that you as the customer are responsible for all water passing through the water meter, so repairing leaks on your side of the meter will save you from paying for water you may not be using. A common internal leak that can lead to a higher-than normal bill is a leaking toilet.  To detect if a toilet is leaking, you can add a few drops of food coloring or dye tablets to the tank behind the commode. Let it sit for 3 hours. If you see colored water in the commode or the water in the tank is now clear, this is an indication that you have a toilet leak.  
  • Check all faucets, showers, outdoor spigots, and irrigation heads for possible leaks.  
  • If you are unable to locate the cause of increased water usage, please call one of our Customer Service Representatives who will arrange for a service technician to visit your property and assist you in identifying potential causes. You can call Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at (703) 335-7950. 

How do I close a loved one’s account?

An Authorized User previously established on the account can request a loved one’s account to be closed. If an Authorized User is not listed on the account, we require appropriate documentation that the person making the request is Authorized to act (typically a death certificate and Will or Executor-related documents). 

I have a grinder pump. Whose responsibility is it to maintain it?

We maintain a limited number of existing grinder pumps by individual contract. If your residence contains a Prince William Water grinder pump, you will notice a service fee included on your monthly bill.  

If you are having any issues with the device, call (703) 335-7990 to request assistance.

I have a sump pump. Whose responsibility is to maintain it?

The Property Owner is responsible for any repairs or replacements of Sump Pumps. 

We can assist the Property Owner with investigating an issue with a sump pump that was installed by Prince William Water. For more information please see the Customer Handbook.

What is a sewer cleanout?

A sewer cleanout is a pipe with a cap (generally located near a customer’s property line) that provides access to a sewer line so that blockages can be inspected and removed. 

If your cleanout is missing a cap, call (703) 335-7990 and we will replace it as a courtesy service.

How do I report a missing, broken or loose manhole cover or meter lid?

To report an issue with a manhole, including tampering, please call (703) 335-7950, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

To report an issue outside normal business hours, please call Emergency Dispatch at (703) 335-7990. 

Thanks for your help in maintaining our infrastructure!

I am an HOA. What do I do if I see a Prince William Water marked vehicle parked in my neighborhood?

Some employees take marked Prince William Water vehicles home so that they can respond quickly to water and sewer emergencies. Be assured these vehicles are used only for official purposes to protect the health and safety of our community and the environment.

Are Prince William Water vehicles allowed to be taken home?

Some Prince William Water employees are considered essential personnel, including employees who are on-call for weekends and evenings. On-call employees take marked Prince William Water vehicles home so that they may respond more quickly to water and sewer emergencies. 

Can my meter be checked for leaks?

Yes, Prince William Water staff can visit your property to check your meter for leaks. 

If you think your meter has a leak, contact Customer Service at (703) 335-7950, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to schedule a visit.

Can Prince William Water check my water pressure?

Yes, we can check your water pressure. You can call Customer Service at (703) 335-7950 during normal business hours, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or call Emergency Dispatch at (703) 335-7990 after hours to arrange for a service technician to visit your home. 

My water has been turned off at the meter. Can I turn it back on myself?

Please do not turn a meter back on. Meters are Prince William Water property, and tampering with them is prohibited. 

When the water is turned on, a Prince William Water technician must get an accurate meter reading to establish the baseline for future billing.

Who do I call if I need to locate my water or sewer lines?

Call Miss Utility of Virginia at 811 or visit before you dig or excavate. They will dispatch Prince William Water to locate lines and connections from the water or sewer main through the water meter box.  

Lines and connections on private property are the responsibility of the property owner.  

My water is off and I don’t know why. What should I do?

Here are a few recommendations if your water is off: 

  1. First, check to make sure your bill has been paid. 
  2. Call Customer Service at (703) 335-7950, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
  3. Outside of business hours, call Emergency Dispatch at (703) 335-7990. 

I am a tenant requesting new service. Why do I have to provide owner information and why must an Owner Authorization Form be completed by the owner?

The Virginia Code requires that property owners are notified when tenants begin water service at their property.  The Code also requires that the owner give written permission for tenants to have water service at their property, and an Owner Authorization Form meets this requirement.

How do I disconnect my service?

Do one of the following 2 business days before your move:

  1. Call Customer Service at (703) 335-7950
  2. Log in to your account, click on Requests/Updates, then click on Stop Service/Move Out. 
  3. Visit our business office located at 4 County Complex Court in Woodbridge, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  

How do I transfer my service?

Do one of the following 2 business days before your move:

  1. Call Customer Service at (703) 335-7950
  2. Log in to your account, click on Requests/Updates, then click on Transfer Service 
  3. Visit our business office located at 4 County Complex Court in Woodbridge, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  

How do I get my water turned on if I’m a new customer?

  1. Call Customer Service at (703) 335-7950, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or visit click on Start or Stop Service  
  2. Visit our business office at 4 County Complex Court in Woodbridge, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

If my service is disconnected how long does it take to get service back on after I pay?

While we cannot guarantee a restoration time, our goal is to have all service restorations completed the same day by 10 p.m. Certain factors like the number of restorations, timing of requests and field emergencies can affect restoration timing.

How can I tell if your website is secured?

Our electronic bill pay vendor uses Industry Standard Security Protocols to protect your information. You will also see a security icon in your web browser. You can click on the lock icon in the browser and select "View Certificate" or "Certificate Information" to see the security certificate. 

Why is a trash fee added to my bill?

Residents in the Yorkshire Service Area receive trash collection from Prince William Water through a contractor and pay a Refuse Collection Charge to cover the cost of service.

Why do I have to pay an application fee each time I activate my account?

All new accounts, or existing accounts transferring service to another location, are charged an Application Fee. This fee helps us recover administrative costs associated with establishing or transferring an account. The Application Fee appears on the first month's bill.

Why can't Prince William Water waive/absorb the third-party transaction charge?

Rates and fees are based on the actual cost of the service provided. Because of this, Prince William Water cannot absorb the cost of transaction charges. Prince William Water receives no payment for the vendor's non-refundable administrative fee.

What do I do if I did not receive a bill?

If you didn't receive a bill, please do one of the following: 

  1. Call Customer Service at (703) 335-7950, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
  2. Email your request to 

Why has my bill been estimated?

Inclement weather or other situations can make it difficult to read a meter. In these cases, we will estimate your bill based on previous consumption history. When the next meter reading occurs, you may receive a higher or lower bill to balance total consumption during the two billing cycles.

What services do residential customers pay for on a monthly bill from Prince William Water?

Monthly bills include fixed service charges based on your meter size and consumption charges based on your monthly usage. Bills also include trash service for customers in the Yorkshire area who receive trash services through an independent contractor. 

What should I do if I feel my bill is higher than normal?

  1. Check your premises for leaks or running toilets.  
  2. If you can't find the cause of increased water usage, call Customer Service at (703) 335-7950. Our representatives can arrange for a technician to visit your property and help identify potential causes.

Do you require a deposit to start water service?

There is a, non-refundable Application Fee for new service requests that will appear on the first month's bill. In addition, tenants must pay an Advance Payment Deposit that is included on the first bill. All Fees are outlined in the Customer Handbook.

I can’t pay my bill by the due date. Can I get an extension?

Contact Customer Service at (703) 335-7950 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., or, to discuss an extension. Please allow 2 business days for email inquiries. 

Is Prince William Water concerned about water quality in the Occoquan Reservoir if development is allowed in the Rural Area?

Fairfax Water supplies potable water from the Occoquan Reservoir, meeting all regulatory standards for East Prince William County. Prince William Water remains confident in Fairfax Water's quality. Stormwater management and land use decisions rest with Prince William County, supported by regional collaboration to maintain water quality.

Does new infrastructure to support development and growth lead to subsidy of development by existing customers, taxpayers or the government?

Prince William Water mandates that developers design and finance their project's infrastructure, in harmony with the County's Comprehensive Plan. This policy ensures water and sewer systems can support new developments without compromising service quality.

The Comprehensive Plan Amendment Application for the Prince William Digital Gateway listed the sewage flows generated by the application as being served through the Heritage Hunt Sewage Pump Station. Can the new Heritage Hunt Sewage Pumping Station (SPS) handle these additional sewer flows? 

To enable the Little Bull Run Sewer Shed buildout, Heritage Hunt SPS infrastructure upgrades are under construction. The Prince William Digital Gateway is outside the Little Bull Run Wastewater Shed, so wastewater flows from it must be treated by facilities other than the Heritage Hunt SPS. 

How does the lack of water and sewer infrastructure in the Rural Area affect the ability to serve future development?

In December 2022, the Prince William Board of County Supervisors approved a revised Comprehensive Plan that removed public sewer restrictions in the rural area. Prince William Water is assessing the impact of the change for capacity and infrastructure needs for both water and sewer.

The absence of water and sewer infrastructure in any given part of the County should not be considered an impediment to development under existing “growth pays for growth” policies, which require these infrastructure extensions to be designed, constructed and paid for by development applicants to serve their development. 

Does Prince William Water have sufficient water capacity and wastewater treatment capacity to meet growth demands under Prince William County’s current Comprehensive Plan?

Prince William Water has sufficient water treatment capacity to meet projected demands under the current Prince William County Comprehensive Plan through 2045. In December 2022, the Prince William Board of County Supervisors approved a revised Comprehensive Plan, and Prince William Water is assessing the impact of the change for capacity and infrastructure needs. The Comprehensive Plan, which is prepared and coordinated by the County’s Planning Office, provides the basis for Prince William Water to plan for future facility upgrades and expansions. The Planning Office regularly communicates with Prince William Water for input on proposed changes to the Comprehensive Plan to include the addition of small area plans, land use policy changes, and water and sewer chapter updates. 

Additionally, Prince William Water has confirmed that additional water treatment capacity can be obtained in sufficient quantity to meet development requirements under the Comprehensive Plan Amendment (CPA) for the Prince William Digital Gateway based on demand projections by Prince William Water. This additional water capacity would be paid for by development fees, without financial impact to existing customers. 

For wastewater treatment, three incremental expansions of treatment capacity at the Upper Occoquan Service Authority (UOSA) Plant are already planned in order to meet projected wastewater flows beyond 2045 under the current Comprehensive Plan. UOSA capacity can be expanded further if needed, to meet development requirements under the CPA based on flows projected by Prince William Water. Additional wastewater treatment capacity would be paid for by development fees, without financial impact to existing customers.

What if I accidentally deleted the email notification for my bill?

You can view your current bill by logging on to your account at You may also call Customer Service at (703) 335-7950, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Is my payment information safe online?

Our payment vendor, Invoice Cloud, keeps your information safe by storing it using Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliant systems. Your information is not shared with any other parties. In addition, account information displayed in the Invoice Cloud portal is shortened to protect confidential data. 

How do I change my account information?

  • To change your account information, please log in to your account.  
  • You can change any of your personal information under the "My Profile" tab. 
  • You can also contact Customer Service at 703-335-7950 or 

What is a convenience fee?

A convenience fee of $2.75 is applied when you use a credit or debit card to make your payment. This processing fee is charged and collected by Invoice Cloud, our payment vendor. 

What are recurring payments?

Recurring payments are scheduled by you on a specified date. You can: 

  • Pay a fixed payment amount on a selected day.  
  • Pay a fixed payment amount on the invoice due date. 
  • Pay in full on the selected day. 
  • Pay in full on the invoice due date.  

Why cancel my automatic bank drafting agreement?

Prince William Water is discontinuing Automatic Bank Drafting to offer more flexible payment options.  Invoice Cloud provides various recurring payment options. Payments issued by electronic check are free. A$2.75 fee is applied to credit or debit card payments.  

What forms of payment are accepted?

We offer many options for paying your bills. You can pay by debit or credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover). You can also issue an electronic check from your checking or savings account. 

Can I make an electronic payment without an email?

No, you will need to provide a valid email address to complete the online payment process so that the system can send your payment confirmation. 

How do I register?

  1. Visit, click on Account Login/Pay Bill  
  2. Choose Sign Up Now  
  3. Enter your information to verify your account, create username, password and security question.
  4. Once you have registered, you will only need your username and password to log in. 

Do I need to register to pay a bill?

Registration is not required for a one-time payment option. Just enter your payment information each time you pay your bill. By registering, you can access your payment history, receive notifications and avoid entering your information each time.  

What is the relationship between Prince William Water and Invoice Cloud?

Invoice Cloud is our third-party electronic bill presentment and payment provider. Your data is not sold or released for any purpose other than to complete Prince William Water transactions. 

What is Invoice Cloud?

Invoice Cloud is a web-based, electronic invoice payment company. We have partnered with Invoice Cloud to provide convenient, online payment services. Through Invoice Cloud, you can choose to receive your bill electronically and pay online, which helps the environment and reduces clutter.  

Who establishes the quality standards for public water systems?

To protect public health, the EPA creates national regulations. These drinking water standards are enforced by VDH in Virginia. Prince William Water sends VDH its water quality test findings monthly and annually to ensure the utility fulfills federal and state drinking water regulations. If a water quality violation occurs, Prince William Water must notify VDH and its customers immediately and work with VDH to correct it.

How is Prince William Water’s drinking water disinfected before it reaches customers?

Fairfax Water, which supplies most Prince William Water drinking water, disinfects with ozone and chloramines. Some of our western Prince William clients get drinking water from Manassas, which disinfects using chloramines. In spring, Prince William Water's water providers clean drinking water with free chlorine, a stronger disinfectant, to prevent bacteria from developing resistances.

What are disinfection byproducts?

Free chlorine and chloramines react with organic materials like decaying plant material in water to generate disinfection byproducts (DBPs). EPA and VDH regulate DBPs, Total Trihalomethanes (TTHM) and Haloacetic Acids (HAA5).  

TTHM and HAA5 sample results in Prince William Water's distribution system are regularly below the EPA standard, which Virginia Department of Health enforces.  

Certain cancers have been linked to chronic DBP exposure. The World Health Organization estimates that aquatic microorganisms pose 10,000 to 1 million times the risk of cancer from DBPs. Chloramines produce less DBPs than free chlorine because their chemical nature makes them less reactive to organic materials.  

Does the installation of a sewer and/or water line(s) lead to growth and increased density?

Development density is strictly regulated by the Prince William County Planning Commission and Board of County Supervisors through rezoning based on the Comprehensive Plan. Prince William Water assesses new developments for utility service availability within these guidelines.

Is there a requirement to connect a home to a proposed sewer or water line if located within 2,500 feet?

Prince William County regulations do not mandate semi-rural residential or rural properties within 2,500 feet of public water or 1,000 feet of sewer to connect to a proposed water or sewer line. New developments in these zones may link to nearby utilities if allowed by the Prince William County Comprehensive Plan and Prince William County Code, subject to amendments by the Board of County Supervisors only.

I have a failing septic system or well and need to connect to Prince William Water's water/sewer system. Will Prince William Water build the lines to my property or fund the connection?

In order to treat all customers fairly, property owners in unserved areas of Prince William County who want to connect to the system must pay the cost to extend distribution or collection lines from existing Prince William Water mains to their property as well as the applicable Availability Fees.

How much water do data centers use?

Data center water consumption depends on factors such as facility size, cooling type (water intensive or air cooled), and outdoor temperature. Prince William County had 34 data centers in 2023. The average daily water use of a data center building is 13,600 gallons, while the maximum is 102,000. Seasonal weather affects data center water use. Facility water use is lower in winter and higher in summer. Operational data centers in Prince William County consume approximately 1.4% and 6% of Prince William Water's average and maximum daily water demands, respectively. 

Why are High Demand Charges in place year-round?

Commercial High Demand Charges apply year-round since commercial customers' excess use is not confined to residential peak season (May–October). 

Why does Prince William Water charge Commercial High Demand Charges?

Prince William Water's water system provides on-demand drinking water. As the County grows, Prince William Water builds its water system to serve more customers. New customers pay an Availability Fee at connection to cover system expansion costs.  
Commercial clients who use more water than their allocated capacity limit Prince William Water capacity for other customers. Prince William Water assesses Commercial High Demand Charges to recover the cost of adding water system capacity to lessen the impact of some commercial customers' high demands. 

What if my water needs are significantly greater than my sewer needs?

Customers paying for water and sewer services pay for similar capacity because all water can enter the sewer system. A water-only account is recommended for non-sewer water use. Water-only accounts are connected to the water supply but not the sewer. Purchase capacity individually for a water-only account. Engineers from Prince William Water will gladly discuss this possibility with clients. Customers should contact Prince William Water's Engineering & Planning Division at 703-335-7930 for assistance.   

What if I don’t know exactly how much water I plan to use?

Due to business-specific characteristics, Prince William Water must rely on commercial consumers to predict their water use. Prince William Water will evaluate the customer's usage estimate and the desired meter's suitability.  

Using historical data, Prince William Water can estimate a customer's water use, but it cannot predict their actual use. Due to company demand, ownership or tenant changes, etc., a customer's estimated water use may differ from their actual use. Prince William Water may request extra Availability Fees at any time when water demand exceeds capacity purchased, regardless of property ownership. Customers can buy more capacity and raise their thresholds by recertifying with our Engineering Division at 703-335-7930. 

As erroneous estimations may result in higher Availability Fees or High Demand Charges, Prince William Water advises consumers to estimate their use as accurately as possible. Owners and tenants should understand Developer and User Fees to manage water and sewer accounts cost effectively. 

I am a commercial customer. How much water may I use?

Commercial customers can use certified water capacity. Each user is assigned a number of Equivalent Residential Units (“ERU”), each of which provides 10,000 gallons of monthly consumption. High Demand Charges apply above that limit. Prince William Water may request extra Availability Fees at any time when water demand exceeds capacity purchased. 

Your monthly bill will list ERUs and high demand thresholds. For account questions, call our Utility Billing Supervisor at (703) 396-6495. 

Can mixed beverages containing water be used during a boil water advisory?

Do not consume mixed beverages containing tap water during a boil water advisory. This includes soda dispensers connected to a water supply. Substitute mixed beverages with canned or bottled. Discontinue the use of drinking water fountains and other plumbing fixtures used to provide drinking water. 

Can hot beverages continue to be served during a boil water?

Coffee and other hot drinks must reach at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit before drinking. If not, use boiled and cooled water to prepare hot beverages.

Can dipper wells be used during a boil water advisory?

No, discontinue the use of a dipper well for the duration of a boil water advisory.

Can sanitizing solutions be used during a boil water advisory?

Yes, however sanitizing solutions must be 50-200 parts per million chlorine and tested routinely with test strips.

Can I use my dishwasher during a boil water advisory?

Test dishwashers to verify that temperatures reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit on the surfaces of the internal contents of the appliance. To test the temperature, place a food thermometer into a glass and run the dishwasher. During the wash cycle take note of the temperature.

Can I continue to use a produce mister during a boil water advisory?

Discontinue the use of produce misters during a boil water advisory. 

Can I continue to use my ice maker during a boil water advisory?

No. Discard ice made from tap water. All ice, including bagged ice, must be from an approved source (e.g. purchased ice).

Can I thaw food with tap water during a boil water advisory?

Tap water may be used to thaw food in a preparation sink, as long as the product is cooked afterward and reaches a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. If possible, thaw food in a refrigerator instead of using tap water.

Can I use tap water for washing food products during a boil water advisory?

Use boiled and cooled water when washing food products that will not be cooked afterward or purchase pre-washed items.

Can I use tap water when preparing food products during a boil water advisory?

If using tap water in your food product, the minimum internal temperature must reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit or boiled water must be used.

How do I wash my hands during a boil water advisory?

Use warm tap water and soap for handwashing. After hands are rinsed and dried, follow with a liquid hand sanitizer. The hand sanitizer must be used as an additional step; it does not replace handwashing. 

What should I do if I cannot boil my tap water because of a power outage during a boil water advisory?

In an emergency, boiling is the preferred method for making sure tap water is safe to drink. The following are acceptable alternatives if you cannot boil your tap water because of a power outage or loss of gas service:

  • Use bottled water.
  • Disinfect tap water with liquid household bleach. Bleach should be recently purchased, contain at least 5.25% hypochlorite, and contain no additions or fragrances. If water is clear, add 8 drops (1/8 teaspoon) of bleach per gallon. If water is murky, add 16 drops (or 1/4 teaspoon) of bleach per gallon. Stir bleach into water and let it stand for 30 minutes before using.
  • Water purification tablets may also be used to disinfect tap water by following the manufacturer’s instructions. 

How will I know when it is safe to drink my tap water after a boil water advisory?

  • You will be notified when tests show that the tap water is safe to drink.
  • You may be asked to run water to flush the pipes in your home before using your tap water or be given other special instructions.
  • Until you are notified, continue to boil all tap water for one minute before use.

What should I do if I become sick during a boil water advisory?

See your family physician or healthcare provider. Your doctor may call the Virginia Department of Health Office of Drinking Water at (804) 864-7500 for information about the boil water notice.

Your doctor should notify the local health department if he or she suspects your illness was caused by microorganisms in the water.

Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants. People with weakened immune systems, such as people with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, organ transplant patients, 
people with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders, some elderly and infants can be at greater risk from infections.

These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers. 
Guidelines on ways to reduce the risk of infection from microbiological contaminants are available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at (800) 426-4791. 

Should I boil the tap water I give to my animals or pets during a boil water advisory?

You should boil the tap water and let it cool before you give to the animals in your care.

Can I haul water from my neighbor’s well or spring for drinking purposes?

No. You should only use water from an approved, tested source. Without routinely testing the water there is no way to know if the water is safe to drink.

Can I use bottled water instead of boiling tap water during a boiled water advisory?

Yes. Bottled water can be used for all situations where boiled tap water is recommended. Be sure that the bottled water is from a reliable source.

Do I still have to boil tap water if I have a water treatment device during a boil water advisory?

Yes. Devices designed to improve the taste, odor, or chemical quality of the water, such as activated carbon filters, will not remove harmful microorganisms from the tap water. Boil the tap water to make sure it is safe.

Is it necessary to boil water to be used for a bath during a boil water advisory?

There is no need to boil water for bathing or showering. Adults, teens and older children can shower or bathe, though they should avoid getting water in the mouth or swallowing the water. 
Infants and toddlers should be sponge bathed. No special soaps are necessary. Care should be taken to prevent water from getting into deep open or post-surgical wounds. 
Consult your physician or health care provider for wound care instructions

Is it necessary to boil water to be used for handwashing during a boil water advisory? Is any special soap necessary?

No. It is not necessary to boil the tap water used for washing hands. Use warm tap water and soap for handwashing, and follow with a liquid hand sanitizer. The hand sanitizer must be used as an additional step; it does not replace handwashing. 

Should I boil tap water for brushing my teeth during a boil water advisory?

Yes. Any tap water that might be swallowed should be boiled before use.

Do I have to boil my dishwashing water during a boil water advisory?

No. A spoonful of Clorox bleach in a sink full of tap water should treat dishwashing water. Rinsing water should also contain bleach. Air-dry dishes and utensils before using or use an electric dishwasher with its heating elements on to wash dishes. After washing in an electric dishwasher, rinse dishes in water with a spoonful of bleach and air-dry before reuse.

Should I boil the tap water used in cooking during a boil water advisory?

All tap water used in cooking must first be boiled for one minute unless the cooking process involves boiling for one minute or more.

Do I need to boil water before using it to wash vegetables that will be eaten raw if there is a boil water advisory?

Yes. Boil all tap water you use for washing raw vegetables.

Should I boil the tap water used to make baby formula if there is a boil water advisory?

Yes. Only use boiled tap water or bottled water for mixing formula for your baby. Make sure that the water is entirely cooled before giving it to your baby.

If I am under a boil water advisory, do I have to boil the tap water used to make beverages?

Yes. Boil all tap water you use for making coffee, tea, mixed drinks or any beverage made with water. In addition, boil all tap water used for making ice for consumption. 

If I am under a boil water advisory, can I boil water in the microwave?

Tap water can be boiled in the microwave in a microwave-safe container, provided that the water reaches a full rolling boil for one minute. Place a microwave-safe utensil in the container to keep the water from superheating (heating above the boiling point without forming steam or bubbles).

How long should I boil the water?

Bring tap water to a full rolling boil, let it boil for one minute, and let it cool before using.

How does boiling make my tap water safe?

Boiling the water kills microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, or protozoans that can cause disease. Boiling makes the tap water microbiologically safe.

Why was I advised to boil my tap water?

You may be asked to boil your tap water during an emergency:

  • If tests show that harmful microorganisms could be present in the water,
  • If the water pressure drops due to equipment failure or power outages,
  • Because of water main breaks or repairs,
  • If the water source has been flooded, or
  • During other situations that warrant special action to protect consumers’ health. 

Where can I find more information about lead in drinking water?

Information about lead is also available on the below websites. Additional information is available from the EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791; TTY 711 Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST. 

How can I have the water in my home tested for lead?

Certified laboratories that analyze for lead are available and can be found by clicking here or by calling 804-225-4949, TTY 711. 

What can I do in my home to reduce exposure to lead in drinking water?

  • Any time the water has been sitting unused for six hours or longer, flush your cold-water pipes by running the water until it becomes a constant temperature. Saving the water for other purposes, such as plant watering, is a good conservation measure.
  • Use only water from the cold-water tap for drinking, cooking and especially for making baby formula. Hot water may contain higher levels of lead.
  • Some people choose to install a water filter in their home. If you choose to do so, follow these three important suggestions:
    • Choose one designed for the specific filtration desired, such as lead.
    • Make sure the filter is approved by the National Sanitation Foundation (
    • Maintain the filter as directed by the manufacturer.

What is Prince William Water doing to minimize lead exposure from my plumbing system?

East and West Water Systems 

  • The water distributed in the East and West Systems is purchased from Fairfax Water and the City of Manassas. Both water suppliers add a phosphate-based corrosion inhibitor and adjust the pH of the water to help prevent lead from leaching into your drinking water from household plumbing. 


Bull Run Mountain/Evergreen 

  • Corrosion control for this public well system is limited to using sodium hydroxide for pH adjustment. Once pH is adjusted, the water is no longer excessively corrosive, promoting pipe longevity while reducing the leaching of lead into the distribution system and home plumbing. 

What are the health effects of too much lead?

If present, elevated levels of lead can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and young children. For infants and children, exposure to high levels of lead in drinking water can result in delays in physical or mental development. Infants who consume mostly mixed formula can receive a greater percentage because of the large volume of water they consume relative to their body size. For adults, exposure to high levels of lead can result in kidney problems or high blood pressure. Although the main sources of exposure to lead are ingesting paint chips and inhaling dust, the EPA estimates that 10 to 20 percent of human exposure to lead may come from drinking water.

What is the relationship between the EPA action level for drinking water and lead levels in the blood?

The EPA action level of 15 parts per billion of lead in drinking water was established based on reasonable risk assessments. It is the level that requires additional corrective and educational actions but does not necessarily directly correlate to increased blood-lead levels. Blood-lead levels reflect a variety of factors, such as age; exposure to dusts, paint chips or soil containing lead; and the amount of water consumed daily. For women, pregnancy can also affect blood-lead levels. Nationally, the biggest source of increased blood-lead levels in children is the ingestion of lead-based paint chips. 

What is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standard for lead in drinking water?

When lead testing is performed as required by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 90 percent of the samples must contain less than 15 parts per billion (ppb) of lead. EPA has established an action level for lead in water of 15 ppb, meaning that a water system with more than 15 ppb of lead in 10 percent of its samples may require changes to the water treatment process, replacement of lead service lines and public outreach. Fairfax Water and the City of Manassas, Prince William Water’s water suppliers, have been testing for lead in accordance with the Lead and Copper Rule since 1992 and have consistently tested below the action level established by the rule. 

How does lead get into drinking water?

Prince William Water's drinking water sources, including the Potomac River, Occoquan Reservoir, Lake Manassas, and the Bull Run/Evergreen Well System, do not contain any lead.

A source of lead in drinking water can be household plumbing. In 1986, lead was banned from use in pipes and solder for drinking water systems. In older homes, where lead is present in the service lines, plumbing fixtures and solder connections, it may leach into the water after the water sits for long periods of time.

The water Prince William Water purchases from Fairfax Water and the City of Manassas is treated with a corrosion inhibitor, which is added to help prevent lead from leaching from household plumbing into drinking water. 

What are next steps for the Lead and Copper Rule?

As of late 2022/early 2023, Prince William Water is working on a service line inventory. Once the inventory is completed, it will be sent to the Virginia Department of Health (VDH). 

All systems must make their lead service line inventories available to the public. In addition, all systems serving greater than 50,000 people must make their lead service line inventory publicly available. 

Once VDH approves the line inventory, Prince William Water will identify lead and copper sampling locations in areas that contain lead service lines. Also, 20 percent of the elementary schools and child care facilities in our service area will be sampled each year for the first five years. If the distribution system exceeds the 90th percentile for the EPA’s lead action level of 15 parts per billion, Prince William Water will be required to replace 3% of the lead service lines in the distribution system annually or until the system has two consecutive monitoring periods where all results are below the action level. 

Has Prince William Water tested for lead before the revised rule?

Yes. The original Lead and Copper Rule required testing in Prince William Water’s distribution system as well as established action levels for both lead and copper when the rule was first published in 1991. 

All Prince William Water’s distribution systems have remained in compliance with the original Lead and Copper Rule since its inception. Additionally, Prince William Water partnered with Prince William County Schools and analyzed samples, for lead in school drinking water, under Virginia regulations that took effect in 2017. 

What are the requirements for the service line inventory?

Prince William Water must conduct an inventory of all service lines on both Prince William Water’s side of the water meter and the property owner’s side of the meter. Prince William Water must submit the results to the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) by October 16, 2024. The test results must classify all service lines in one of the following categories:

  • Lead – where the service line is made of lead
  • Non-Lead – where evidence indicates the service line is not made of lead
  • Galvanized Requiring Replacement – where a galvanized service line is downstream of a current or former lead service line; or
  • Lead Status Unknown – where there is no documentation or evidence to classify the material type 

How is this rule different from the original Lead and Copper Rule?

The original Lead and Copper Rule set requirements for the frequency of lead and copper testing, volume requirements for water sampling, action and trigger levels for lead and copper, and necessary steps if those levels were met or exceeded.

The revised rule requires an inventory of all pipe materials from public water mains to privately owned structures, changes the volume of water required for a sample, enhances testing at schools and day care facilities, establishes public outreach requirements and defines lead service lines and replacement requirements. 

What is the purpose of the Lead and Copper Revised Rule?

The revised rule is intended to minimize the risks of lead exposure in children and communities by better protecting children at schools and childcare facilities, safeguarding the nation’s drinking water and empowering communities through information. 

How long will it take for the H2O Water Quality Lab to finalize my laboratory results?

Most samples are analyzed and reported to our customers within 3 to 5 business days, however some test results may take longer.

What should I know about the hardness of my water?

Many industrial and domestic water users are concerned about the hardness of their water. Hard water requires more soap and synthetic detergents for home laundry and washing, and contributes to scaling in boilers and industrial equipment. Hardness is caused by compounds of calcium and magnesium and by a variety of other metals. Water is an excellent solvent and readily dissolves minerals it comes in contact with. As water moves through soil and rock, it dissolves very small amounts of minerals and holds them in solution. Calcium and magnesium dissolved in water are the two most common minerals that make water "hard." 

The hardness of water is referred to by three types of measurements: grains per gallon, milligrams per liter (mg/L) or parts per million (ppm). The table below is provided as a reference.y compounds of calcium and magnesium and by a variety of other metals. Water is an excellent solvent and readily dissolves minerals it comes in contact with. As water moves through soil and rock, it dissolves very small amounts of minerals and holds them in solution. Calcium and magnesium dissolved in water are the two most common minerals that make water "hard." 

The hardness of water is referred to by three types of measurements: grains per gallon, milligrams per liter (mg/L) or parts per million (ppm). The table below is provided as a reference.

Water Hardness Scale
Grains Per GallonMilligrams Per Liter (mg/L)
or Parts Per Million (ppm)
less than 1.0less than 17.1Soft
1.0 - 3.517.1 - 60Slightly Hard
3.5 - 7.060 - 120Moderately Hard
7.0 - 10.5120 - 180Hard
over 10.5over 180Very Hard

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) establishes standards for drinking water which fall into two categories — Primary Standards and Secondary Standards. Primary Standards are based on health considerations and Secondary Standards are based on aesthetics such as taste, odor, color or corrosivity. There is no Primary or Secondary standard for water hardness. In fact, the National Research Council (National Academy of Sciences) states that hard drinking water generally contributes a small amount toward total calcium and magnesium human dietary needs (National Research Council, Drinking Water and Health, Volume 3, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 1980) ​

What are the requirements when selling my home regarding my private well?

Contact your loan officer, however, the buyer’s lending institution will most likely require that the well pass a water quality test prior to loan approval. Most lenders require testing for bacteria. Some may require nitrate testing.

What kind of material is in my water service line?

Water service line pipes can consist of many different materials including lead, galvanized iron, brass, copper or plastic.  You can use the information below and/or watch the available video tutorial below to help you determine your water service line material and plumbing material. 

When should I have my well tested?

You should have your well tested once each year for total coliform, nitrates and pH levels.  If you suspect other contaminants, you should test for those as well.  You should also have your well tested if:

  • There are known problems with well water in your area.
  • You have experienced problems near your well (flooding, land disturbances, and nearby waste disposal sites).
  • You replace or repair any part of your well system.
  • You notice a change in water quality (taste, color, odor). 

What is an SSO?

A sanitary sewer overflow (SSO) is an overflow of untreated or partially treated sewage from a sanitary sewer system. 

Why do SSOs occur?

Most sewer systems experience occasional SSOs. Some SSO causes are:

  • Inappropriate materials placed into sewers, such as fats, oils and grease (FOG) and some household products such as baby and facial wipes, sanitary pads and tampons. All of these can create blockages.
  • Tree roots and/or excessive stormwater or groundwater entering sewer lines through defects or cracks.
  • Inappropriate connections such as sump pumps, roof gutters and downspouts, foundation drains and area drains.
  • Power loss.
  • Equipment failures and breaks.
  • Intentional acts of vandalism.
  • Heavy rainfall and natural disasters. 

What can I do to help prevent SSOs?

To prevent clogs and SSOs, never pour fats, oils, or grease (FOG) down drains. Dispose of them in sealed containers. Despite being labeled "flushable," wipes can cause clogs and should not be flushed. Ensure storm water connections are correct and report suspected issues. Keep sewer cleanout caps secured for line access. 

Is it possible to totally prevent SSOs?

Unfortunately, overflows cannot be prevented entirely. The EPA indicates that “a few SSOs may be unavoidable. Unavoidable SSOs include those occurring from unpreventable vandalism, some types of blockages, extreme rainstorms, and acts of nature such as earthquakes or floods.” 

What does Prince William Water do to reduce the potential of SSOs?

Prince William Water has invested in sewer improvements to prevent SSOs, including cleaning and maintaining the system:

  • Rehabilitating and replacing broken or leaking lines to reduce storm water and groundwater infiltration into the sanitary sewer.  
  • Upgrading or expanding sewer lines and pump stations.  
  • Increasing sewage treatment capacity and improving plant dependability.  
  • Removing fat, oil and grease (FOG) buildup from sewer systems.  
  • Educating the public on how household goods like FOG and wipes can block sewer pipes. 

How does Prince William Water notify the public if an SSO occurs?

For reportable SSOs, Prince William Water posts on its website, Facebook and X. Signs in English and Spanish are placed at SSO sites, warning of potential illness for at least seven days. 

Is Prince William Water required to report SSOs to regulating and enforcing agencies?

Any SSO that enters state waters or may reasonably be expected to enter state waters is reportable. Signage is placed at the site of the incident for seven days for reportable SSOs. Prince William Water also posts information about any active SSOs on our website and social media accounts. VDEQ maintains a Pollution Response Program (PREP) database, which is accessible to the public. This database shows all open SSO cases throughout the state, as well as a five-year period of record for closed SSO cases. 

What should I do if I encounter an SSO?

SSOs discharge water and other contents from the sanitary sewage system. Avoid contact and report them to the Prince William Water Emergency Dispatch line at (703) 335-7990.

More information on the extent of environmental and human health impacts caused by SSOs can be found in the EPA report Impacts and Control of CSOs and SSOs. 

What should I do when my water service is restored after a water main break?

Water that has been sitting in lines can have air or sediment in it. We recommend running cold water from a tap on the highest floor of your home for five to 10 minutes. If the tap continues to sputter or the water remains cloudy, call our Emergency Dispatch Office at (703) 335-7990. 

What can cause a water main break?

Soil characteristics, age and condition of a pipe, and changes in water and ground temperatures can all contribute to water main breaks. Typically, these occur during the winter months. Occasionally, pipes can break if they are accidentally struck by heavy equipment.

How long does it take to repair a water main break?

Every water main break is different, and the amount of time required to fix them varies due to pipe material, pipe size, the type and cause of the break and how accessible the pipe is. 

Prince William Water crews work to fix a main break safely and as quickly as possible.

How does Prince William Water repair a water main break?

We respond quickly to repair the broken water main.  We notify customers if their service will be interrupted during repairs. Water main breaks beneath roadways require a temporary asphalt patch. A contractor will complete permanent paving, typically within 6 to 8 weeks. 

How do I report a potential water main break?

  • To report a potential water main break during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., call Customer Service at (703) 335-7950. 
  • To report a break during weekends and evenings, call Emergency Dispatch at (703) 335-7990. 
  • Thanks for looking out for us!

What are the signs of a water main break?

Signs on or near a road include: Flowing or standing water in unusual places, sinkholes or potholes, or large, unexplained cracks in asphalt or pavement. 
Signs in your home include: Low or no water pressure, discolored or cloudy tap water, or gurgling or groaning sounds in your plumbing.