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Is Richmond City Tap Water Safe to Drink?

Yes! Generally Safe to Drink*

LAST UPDATED: 7:47 pm, July 22, 2022

Table of Contents

Can You Drink Tap Water in Richmond City?

Yes, Richmond City's tap water is generally considered safe to drink as Richmond City has no active health based violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) that we are aware of. Other factors such as lead piping in a home, or low levels of pollutants on immunocompromised individuals, should also be considered, however. To find more recent info we might have, you can check out our boil water notice page, the city's water provider website, or Richmond City's local Twitter account.

According the EPA’s ECHO database, from April 30, 2019 to June 30, 2022, Richmond City's water utility, City of Richmond, had 1 health-based violations and 1 non-health-based violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act. For more details on the violations, please see our violation history section below. The last violation for Richmond City was resolved on Sept. 30, 2021. This assessment is based on the City of Richmond water system, other water systems in the city may have different results.

While tap water that meets the EPA health guidelines generally won’t make you sick to your stomach, it can still contain regulated and unregulated contaminants present in trace amounts that could potentially cause health issues over the long-run. These trace contaminants may also impact immunocompromised and vulnerable individuals.

The EPA is reviewing if it’s current regulations around pollutant levels in tap water are strict enough, and the health dangers posed by unregulated pollutants, like PFAS.

Water Quality Report for Richmond City Tap Water

The most recent publicly available numbers for measured contaminant levels in Richmond City tap water are in its 2020 Water Quality Report. As you can see, there are levels which the EPA considers to be acceptable, but being below the maximum allowable level doesn’t necessarily mean the water is healthy.

Lead in tap water, for example, is currently allowed at up to 15ppb by the EPA, but it has set the ideal goal for lead at zero. This highlights how meeting EPA standards doesn’t necessarily mean local tap water is healthy.

EPA regulations continue to change as it evaluates the long term impacts of chemicals and updates drinking water acceptable levels. The rules around arsenic, as well as, lead and copper are currently being re-evaluated.

There are also a number of "emerging" contaminants that are not currently. For example, PFAS (Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances), for which the EPA has issued a health advisory. PFAS are called "forever chemicals" since they tend not to break down in the environment or the human body and can accumulate over time.

We recommend looking at the contaminants present in Richmond City's water quality reports, or getting your home's tap water tested to see if you should be filtering your water.

Richmond City Tap Water Safe Drinking Water Act Violation History - Prior 10 Years

Below is a ten year history of violations for the water system named City of Richmond for Richmond City in Virginia. For more details please see the "What do these Violations Mean?" section below.

From Sept. 1, 2021 to Sept. 30, 2021, Richmond City had 1 non-health based Safe Drinking Water Act violation with the violation category being Monitoring Violation, more specifically, the violation code was Monitoring, Lab Certification/Method Error (RTCR) which falls into the Microbials rule code group, and the Total Coliform Rules rule code family for the following contaminant code: Revised Total Coliform Rule.

From July 1, 2020 to Sept. 30, 2020, Richmond City had 1 health-based Safe Drinking Water Act violation with the violation category being Treatment Technique Violation, more specifically, the violation code was Treatment Technique Precursor Removal which falls into the Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule rule code group, and the Stage 1 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule rule code family for the following contaminant code: CARBON, TOTAL.

From Nov. 1, 2018 to Nov. 30, 2018, Richmond City had 1 non-health based Safe Drinking Water Act violation with the violation category being Monitoring Violation, more specifically, the violation code was Monitoring, Routine (RTCR) which falls into the Microbials rule code group, and the Total Coliform Rules rule code family for the following contaminant code: Revised Total Coliform Rule.

Is there Lead in Richmond City Water?

Based on the EPA’s ECHO Database, 90% of the samples taken from the Richmond City water system, City of Richmond, between sample start date and sample end date, were at or below, 0.0025 mg/L of lead in Richmond City water. This is 16.7% of the 0.015 mg/L action level. This means 10% of the samples taken from Richmond City contained more lead.

While Richmond City water testing may have found 0.0025 mg/L of lead in its water, that does not mean your water source has the same amount. The amount of lead in water in a city can vary greatly from neighborhood to neighborhood, or even building to building. Many buildings, particularly older ones, have lead pipes or service lines which can be a source of contamination. To find out if your home has lead, we recommend getting you water tested.

No amount of lead in water is healthy, only less dangerous. As lead accumulates in our bodies over time, even exposure to relatively small amounts can have negative health effects. For more information, please check out our Lead FAQ page.

Are there PFAS in Richmond City Tap Water?

Currently, testing tap water for PFAS isn’t mandated on a national level. We do have a list of military bases where there have been suspected or confirmed leaks. There appears to be at least one military base - Richmond International Airport - near Richmond City with suspected leaks.

With many potential sources of PFAS in tap water across the US, the best information we currently have about which cities have PFAS in their water is this ewg map, which you can check to see if Richmond City has been evaluated for yet.

Our stance is better safe than sorry, and that it makes sense to try to purify the tap water just in case.

Richmond City SDWA Violation History Table - Prior 10 Years

Compliance Period Status Health-Based? Category Code Code Rule Code Contaminant Code Rule Group Code Rule Family Code
09/01/2021 - 09/30/2021 Resolved No Monitoring Violation (MON) Monitoring, Lab Certification/Method Error (RTCR) (3D) Revised Total Coliform Rule (111) Revised Total Coliform Rule (8000) Microbials (100) Total Coliform Rules (110)
07/01/2020 - 09/30/2020 Archived Yes Treatment Technique Violation (TT) Treatment Technique Precursor Removal (46) Stage 1 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule (210) CARBON, TOTAL (2920) Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule (200) Stage 1 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule (210)
11/01/2018 - 11/30/2018 Resolved No Monitoring Violation (MON) Monitoring, Routine (RTCR) (3A) Revised Total Coliform Rule (111) Revised Total Coliform Rule (8000) Microbials (100) Total Coliform Rules (110)

What do these Violations Mean?

Safe Drinking Water Act Violations categories split into two groups, health based, and non-health based. Generally, health based violations are more serious, though non-health based violations can also be cause for concern.

Health Based Violations

  1. Maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) - maximum allowed contaminant level was exceeded.
  2. Maximum residual disinfectant levels (MRDLs) - maximum allowed disinfectant level was exceeded.
  3. Other violations (Other) - the exact required process to reduce the amounts of contaminants in drinking water was not followed.

Non-Health Based Violations

  1. Monitoring and reporting violations (MR, MON) - failure to conduct the required regular monitoring of drinking water quality, and/or to submit monitoring results on time.
  2. Public notice violations (Other) - failure to immediately alert consumers if there is a serious problem with their drinking water that may pose a risk to public health.
  3. Other violations (Other) - miscellaneous violations, such as failure to issue annual consumer confidence reports or maintain required records.

SDWA Table Key

Field Description
Compliance Period Dates of the compliance period.
Status Current status of the violation.
  • Resolved - The violation has at least one resolving enforcement action. In SDWIS, this indicates that either the system has returned to compliance from the violation, the rule that was violated was no longer applicable, or no further action was needed.
  • Archived - The violation is not Resolved, but is more than five years past its compliance period end date. In keeping with the Enforcement Response Policy, the violation no longer contributes to the public water system's overall compliance status. Unresolved violations are also marked as Archived when a system ceases operations (becomes inactive).
  • Addressed - The violation is not Resolved or Archived, and is addressed by one or more formal enforcement actions.
  • Unaddressed - The violation is not Resolved or Archived, and has not been addressed by formal enforcement.
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Health-Based? Whether the violation is health based.
Category Code
The category of violation that is reported.
  • TT - Treatment Technique Violation
  • MRDL - Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level
  • Other - Other Violation
  • MCL - Maximum Contaminant Level Violation
  • MR - Monitoring and Reporting
  • MON - Monitoring Violation
  • RPT - Reporting Violation
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Code A full description of violation codes can be accessed in the SDWA_REF_CODE_VALUES (CSV) table.
Contaminant Code A code value that represents a contaminant for which a public water system has incurred a violation of a primary drinking water regulation.
Rule Code Code for a National Drinking Water rule.
  • 110 - Total Coliform Rule
  • 121 - Surface Water Treatment Rule
  • 122 - Long Term 1 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule
  • 123 - Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule
  • 130 - Filter Backwash Rule
  • 140 - Ground Water Rule
  • 210 - Stage 1 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule
  • 220 - Stage 2 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule
  • 230 - Total Trihalomethanes
  • 310 - Volatile Organic Chemicals
  • 331 - Nitrates
  • 332 - Arsenic
  • 333 - Inorganic Chemicals
  • 320 - Synthetic Organic Chemicals
  • 340 - Radionuclides
  • 350 - Lead and Copper Rule
  • 410 - Public Notice Rule
  • 420 - Consumer Confidence Rule
  • 430 - Miscellaneous
  • 500 - Not Regulated
  • 111 - Revised Total Coliform Rule
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Rule Group Code Code that uniquely identifies a rule group.
  • 120 - Surface Water Treatment Rules
  • 130 - Filter Backwash Rule
  • 140 - Groundwater Rule
  • 210 - Stage 1 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule
  • 220 - Stage 2 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule
  • 230 - Total Trihalomethanes
  • 310 - Volatile Organic Chemicals
  • 320 - Synthetic Organic Chemicals
  • 330 - Inorganic Chemicals
  • 340 - Radionuclides
  • 350 - Lead and Copper Rule
  • 400 - Other
  • 500 - Not Regulated
  • 110 - Total Coliform Rules
  • 410 - Public Notice Rule
  • 420 - Consumer Confidence Rule
  • 430 - Miscellaneous
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Rule Family Code Code for rule family.
  • 100 - Microbials
  • 200 - Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule
  • 300 - Chemicals
  • 400 - Other
  • 500 - Not Regulated
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For more clarification please visit the EPA's data dictionary.

Richmond City Water - Frequently Asked Questions

To contact customer service for the Richmond City water provider, City of Richmond, please use the information below.
By Mail: 730 East Broad Street, 6th Floor
Already have an account?

Existing customers can login to their City of Richmond account to pay their Richmond City water bill by clicking here.

Want to create a new account?

If you want to pay your City of Richmond bill online and haven't made an account yet, you can create an account online. Please click here to create your account to pay your Richmond City water bill.

Want to pay without an account?

If you don't want to make an account, or can't remember your account, you can make a one-time payment towards your Richmond City water bill without creating an account using a one time payment portal with your account number and credit or debit card. Click here to make a one time payment.

Starting Your Service

Moving to a new house or apartment in Richmond City means you will often need to put the water in your name with City of Richmond. In order to put the water in your name, please click the link to the start service form below. Start service requests for water bills typically take two business days.

Start Service Form

Want to create a new account?

Leaving your house or apartment in Richmond City means you will likely need to take your name off of the water bill with City of Richmond. In order to take your name off the water bill, please click the link to the stop service form below. Stop service for water bills requests typically take two business days.

Stop Service Form

Is Richmond City Tap Water Safe to Drink? Tap water & safety quality

The estimated price of bottled water

$1.93 in USD (1.5-liter)


Richmond City tap water
  • Drinking Water Pollution and Inaccessibility 18% Very Low
  • Water Pollution 27% Low
  • Drinking Water Quality and Accessibility 82% Very High
  • Water Quality 73% High

The above data is comprised of subjective, user submitted opinions about the water quality and pollution in Richmond City, measured on a scale from 0% (lowest) to 100% (highest).

Related FAQS


City of Richmond

EWG's drinking water quality report shows results of tests conducted by the water utility and provided to the Environmental Working Group by the Virginia Department of Health - Office of Drinking Water, as well as information from the U.S. EPA Enforcement and Compliance History database (ECHO). For the latest quarter assessed by the U.S. EPA (January 2019 - March 2019), tap water provided by this water utility was in compliance with federal health-based drinking water standards.

Utility details

  • Serves: 197000
  • Data available: 2012-2017
  • Data Source: Surface water
  • Total: 13

Contaminants That Exceed Guidelines

  • Bromodichloromethane
  • Chlorate
  • Chloroform
  • Chromium (hexavalent)
  • Dibromochloromethane
  • Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)

Other Detected Contaminants

  • Barium
  • Chromium (total)
  • Fluoride
  • Haloacetic acids (HAA5)
  • Nitrate and nitrite
  • Strontium
  • Vanadium


Always take extra precautions, the water may be safe to drink when it leaves the sewage treatment plant but it may pick up pollutants during its way to your tap. We advise that you ask locals or hotel staff about the water quality. Also, note that different cities have different water mineral contents.

Sources and Resources

Richmond Tap Water

There are many good things about Richmond Tap Water, especially if you’re looking for pure drinking water. This water comes straight from the city of Richmond and offers a wide selection of choices. As a matter of fact, they even provide bottled water for some of their customers, making it a very convenient option for most people. It doesn’t really matter what you prefer, since they make it available to everyone in the city.

They have some basic rules regarding the sanitation and quality control of the water that comes out of your tap. That’s why you’ll often see the words “dsont contaminate” stamped right on the bottle since that’s what this type of water is supposed to do. Richmond Tap Water also recycles, so you don’t have to worry about plastic bottles and so on. They have a particular recycling program, so that’s another reason why you should always see the logo on the bottle. They have an online store where you can purchase the bottled water you need or want.

All that you have to do really is to pay them a visit, weigh the options, and then decide which one works best for you. You can either order directly from them, by phone or through the mail. The water delivery is usually made within three to five days. So if you ever find yourself in Richmond and want some purified water, then you don’t have to look far for the perfect source. Richmond Tap Water is definitely a place that you should check out!

Richmond Drinking Water

Is it possible that the Richmond drinking water problem is more widespread than we know? Have municipal workers been careless with the treatment of the water? Are some contaminants that are listed on the EPA National List responsible for the alarming levels of contamination? Why would the City of Richmond be injecting chlorine into drinking water in large amounts?

The answer to all these questions and many more lies within the Richmond River. The Richmond-Brackenridge Water Treatment Center was established in the 1960s. Since its inception, however, officials have never stressed to the public that the center contains various hazardous substances, including elevated levels of lead, microscopic cysts, VOCs, herbicides, and pesticides, among other chemical contaminants. In fact, in several instances, the City of Richmond has been fined millions of dollars because one of its employees used the facility for purposes other than treating the city’s water. Recently, the FDA sent this water treatment center under a microscope because one of their employees used a chemical cleaning solvent, which is prohibited, to clean the pipes.

Without going too far in the weeds, we need to ask some fundamental questions about why city officials decided to treat the Richmond drinking water in this manner. Did the citizens of Richmond want to risk their health by drinking contaminated water? If so, is it their responsibility to get their water supply back on track?

Richmond Water Quality

Have you recently looked at the Richmond water quality report? If not, don’t worry; this article will explain why you need to get a report on your home from Richmond’s city if you want to be sure you are getting a healthy supply of water for your family. One of the reasons people have gotten concerned about Richmond water quality is that so many cases have been found to have carcinogenic and other health-threatening health-threatening chemicals. Richmond has a long history of dealing with such issues and correcting the problem. Still, none of that has stopped people from wanting to enjoy a good source of tap water for their homes. The city has a long and colorful history as well, so if you are looking for a history lesson while at the same time you are trying to make your water supply healthy, this is the right place to turn.

You will be surprised just how detailed the information in the Richmond water quality report can be. The story will tell you about all of the water treatment plants throughout the city and those who have treatment problems or are no longer operating. You will also find out which districts in the town have the highest amount of contaminated water and where the water comes from if you live farther away. This information will help you decide what options you have to improve the quality of your water.

Richmond has a long history when it comes to treating its water for both industrial and household use. When you take all of these pieces of the puzzle together, you have a system that works very hard to protect the health of the people who live around you. This is why so many people look to this city for the purest water possible, and you can count on that quality as long as you own your home. In fact, even if you move out and aren’t staying in your current home, you can still take advantage of the excellent water that is serviced right here. You won’t have to worry about making a trip to a bottled water plant anymore, and you will no longer have to waste money by buying bottles of water from a vending machine. All you have to do is turn on your faucet, and the quality will be superb.

Richmond Water Treatment Plant

If you want to stay safe and healthy, then finding the best water treatment plant in Richmond is one of the things that you should consider. Richmond is the capital of Virginia, a great place where one can experience the diverse culture. This city has many historical sites like Postman’s Park, the American Museum of Natural History, the American Flag, the Richmond Museum, and much more. All these wonderful and unique places should be enjoyed by everyone; however, if you are also suffering from different kinds of ailments, you should enjoy them without worries since the water quality is the greatest here in Richmond. So if you are still wondering what you can do when you are at this beautiful place, then the only answer is to get your water tested, no matter what it is contaminated with.

A good water treatment plant in Richmond should remove all sorts of contaminants from the water. It is essential to have your water tested because it can help you prevent illnesses in the future. You don’t want to get sick right after getting to enjoy a nice vacation, right? So having your water tested is the best way to make sure that you will not have any health problems shortly. Richmond is known to have the finest water quality, so even if you are traveling with your family or staying in a hotel, you will surely not experience any problems. Even if you have just purchased a home in Richmond, you can easily have the water tested to determine its cleanliness and make sure that there won’t be any issues with your health soon.

There are also other great benefits that you can get once you have your water tested. For one, you will know the excellent water source around you. In addition to this, you will also learn how to protect yourself against various water-borne diseases. In the past, the water treatment plant in Richmond was considered the most unreliable water source. Still, now that technology has advanced, people can get quality water quickly. The water that comes out of these plants also does not contain chemicals that can harm the environment. So if you are thinking of visiting Richmond, check out the different water treatment plants today and find one that can provide you with excellent service.

Richmond Water Utility

Richmond, Virginia, is home to some of the nation’s most glorious attractions. There needs to be an efficient and reliable water utility that provides affordable service to celebrate those attractions. Richmond is served by the city’s electric and gas utility, so it should come as no surprise that it also provides a water utility of its own. This means when you are ready to entertain or host a party or just want to have a shower, there is no need to worry about the quality of the water that will be available to you. This service’s cost is less than half of what you would pay for bottled water, and the best part is you will never have to pay for water every month again. You will always have the water you need at the right temperature, and the best part is that you can trust the water that comes from this water utility.

Richmond is served by three different water utility companies. Still, there are many more companies that offer this type of service in the area. If you want to know which company is right for you, then there are several things that you can do. First, you can ask friends who have had this water service, or you can check with the phone book under “Richmond Water Utility.” You can also go online to visit their website and find out more about this excellent water utility. Richmond is served by two different sewer companies, so if you live around the river, there is a good chance that one of these companies will have the water that you need.

There are many benefits to having your own water utility. The most obvious benefit is that you will never have to worry about running out of water. Having a reliable water utility that you can depend on and trust makes any day at work much more manageable. Another great benefit to having this type of service is the money you will save on your monthly bill. You will no longer have to buy bottled water or refill your bottles when they run out.

Richmond Department of Public Utilities

The Richmond Department of Public Utilities has always been at the forefront of technological advancements. With over 90% of the electricity used in the city now being produced through clean-burning natural gas and electricity, residents can rest assured that they are getting a good quality of energy in their homes. In addition to this, the department offers several different options for those looking to switch over to renewable energy sources. Richmond has one of the most dynamic industries in the state, and that industry is turning towards solar-powered electricity. This will be a massive advantage for all those who want to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels while also reducing their carbon footprint.

There are three main areas in which Richmond delivers its electricity: metropolitan, commercial, and unincorporated. These areas have their own unique services and offerings. Still, they have the same mission in mind: providing clean, affordable, convenient electricity. The electricians that work for the Richmond PDU maintain the various networks, including power plants, substations, and outlying electric transmission lines. They will be able to assist you with any of your questions or concerns regarding your electricity needs.

Many people trust this particular Richmond department of Public Utilities because it is a very reputable institution that has been in business for over a century. They have an excellent reputation when it comes to maintaining their network. Live in the city, or you are a resident who would like more information about electricity and how to get the best deals. You should visit their website today. From there, you can choose the options that you are interested in and make any bookings online. Once you have made your reservation, you can enjoy hassle-free electricity for all of your appliances!

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