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Water Leaks: Find and Fix Them

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What Not to Flush

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The Great American Cleanup

Clean Water & Waterways

Public Water Systems

In Hampton Roads, three very important systems make up our regional water infrastructure. Each system has a specific purpose, separate from the others. You’ve flushed a toilet, let the faucet flow, and dodged flooded streets during a rainstorm. But do you really understand where our water comes from ...


How does the Drinking Water System Work?

Hampton Roads’ raw water sources include aquifers, reservoirs, lakes, and rivers. Most of our drinking water comes from surface water, which is pumped to water treatment plants. There the water passes through screens, then chemicals are added to remove impurities. Next, the clarified water is disinfected to kill bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms, then it is filtered to remove any remaining particles. Finally, a secondary disinfectant is added to maintain disinfection throughout the pipe system. Once the water is cleaned and safe to drink, it is pumped through a network of pipes and storage facilities to homes and businesses. Learn more about drinking water and our aging water infrastructure.

How does the Sanitary Sewer System Work?

Wastewater leaving our homes travels through miles of pipes to nine treatment plants across the region. Because of the flat landscape, sewer pumping stations are used to push the wastewater to the treatment plants. At the treatment facility, debris is screened and settled out of the wastewater. Bacteria and other small organisms then consume the waste and help clean the water. Finally, it is disinfected before being released back into local waterways. Learn more about our aging infrastructure and how you can prevent wastewater overflows..

How does the Stormwater System Work?

The stormwater system takes rainwater away from homes and streets through the stormwater openings you see on your neighborhood curbs or the grates in the pavement. Unlike the wastewater that comes from inside your home, stormwater is not cleaned at a treatment plant. Instead, it flows directly to our local waterways. Learn more about stormwater runoff and how to prevent pollution in local waterways..


Follow the Water Trail

Still not sure how water gets to and from your home? Take a look at the water trail infographic and the water systems infographic.

Know Your Watershed Address

Do you know where your water flows? Use this interactive watershed map to input your address and find your local watershed.

Know Your Drinking Water

Learn more about what where your drinking water comes from and how it gets to your tap. Start by reading and understanding your locality’s annual water quality report below.

Help Protect Local Waterways

Get involved by becoming a Bay Star Home or joining one of the many residential watershed protection programs in Hampton Roads.

Protect Our Pipes

Be a good neighbor and protect your household plumbing by keeping trash out of the drains. Wipes, facial tissue, food scraps and grease/oil all belong in the trash can, not the pipes.




We live in a beautiful region surrounded by water. It impacts everything from the food we eat to the fun we have as well as our economic livelihood. Our daily actions have a lasting impact and it's up to us to protect and restore our waterways. It takes a community of individuals making small changes to make a difference. Bay Star Homes is one way you can get involved in the effort to protect our region's most defining natural resource, water.

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