Where does drinking water come from?

Drinking water (both tap and bottled water) comes from lakes, rivers, streams, ponds, reservoirs, springs and wells, also known as source water. As water travels over the surface of land or through the ground, it dissolves naturally occurring minerals and radioactive minerals. It can also pick up substances resulting from the presence of animal or human activity.

Loudoun Water customers receive their drinking water from the Potomac River and Goose Creek. The Potomac River is augmented by reservoirs in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia through a shared supply agreement with neighboring providers. More information about Loudoun Water's drinking water quality is available in our annual drinking water quality reports

What is source water and why does it need protecting?
Source water is untreated water from lakes, rivers, streams, ponds, reservoirs, aquifers, and springs that serve as a community’s water source. Protecting these water sources is an easy way to prevent drinking water from becoming polluted by managing possible sources of contamination.

How does source water protection benefit me?

  1. Public health protection
    Reduced threats to public health due to acute or chronic illness from exposure to contaminated water.
  2. Economic benefits
    Minimizes cost for water treatment, emergency replacement water and finding new supplies.
  3. Environmental stewardship
    Protection of rural lands, wildlife habitats, recreational areas and water quality of streams and wetlands.

How you can help protect source water:

  • Pick up after your pet.
  • Refrain from swimming in known drinking water sources.
  • Never dump anything in creeks or lakes.
  • If you like boating, only participate in passive boating such as rowing, canoeing or kayaking instead of motorized boating.
  • Compost yard waste and use natural fertilizers.
  • Plant trees along creeks.
  • Check and repair vehicle fluid levels.
  • Properly dispose of household cleaning products, paint, fertilizers, pesticides and expired/unused medications.