Water Quality & Protection
 
Water quality is directly related to how we use, manage and protect our land.  As rainwater travels across streets, parking areas, fields and lawns, pollutants such as fertilizers, pesticides, oil and gasoline, litter, and waste may be picked up.  Such pollutants can end up in our ponds, streams, rivers, reservoirs, and in our wells. Protecting water quality requires a community effort.  Below are some simple steps you can take to help protect water quality.
 
Limit Use of Fertilizers
  • Before purchasing fertilizer, have a soil test done to determine what is needed. Visit the Virginia Cooperative Extension website  to learn how to collect an accurate sample.
  • When fertilizer is needed, try to use phosphorus-free fertilizers and slow-release nitrogen.
  • When applying fertilizers, leave a buffer area near open bodies of water.
  • Apply fertilizers at the proper time of year to maximize their benefits. 
 
Properly Manage Toxic Chemicals
  • Handle gasoline and petroleum products with extreme care.
  • Keep your cars, mowers, ATV's and other equipment in good repair.
  • Clean up spills promptly and properly.
  • Minimize use of toxic chemicals and buy no more than you need.
  • Read and follow all instructions when using chemicals of any kind.
 
Maintain Your Septic System
  • Septic system maintenance is one of the most critical steps you can take to protect water quality.  With properly sized, located, and maintained systems, septic tanks can effectively prevent nutrients from entering the water table.
  • When you notice a problem, don't delay in contacting a professional.
  • Keep your drainfield area clear.
  • Never flush or dump chemicals or medicines.
  • Implement basic water conservation practices to help keep your septic system operating efficiently for a longer period of time.
 
Other Measures You Can Implement
  • Control soil erosion by planting ground cover and stabilizing erosion prone areas
  • Dispose of trash properly.  Never burn hazardous materials, tires, asphaltic materials, crankcase oil, treated wood or other rubber or petroleum based materials (including plastics).
  • Make sure wells no longer in use are properly abandoned (permanently sealed or "capped" by a licensed well driller.)  For more information on well abandonment, contact the Charlotte County Health Department at 434-542-5251.
 
Local Water Plans

Source Water Protection Plan (9 MB file)
Water Supply Plan (Large 90 MB file)
Drought Plan (3 MB file)

(Copies of these documents are also available at the Charlotte County Administration Office)
 
Helpful Links
Virginia Department of Health
US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)