American Water Works Association: “Protect the Source” Week is September 25 – October 1

water department staff in front of North Fork resevoir

Enjoying clean water from your tap often starts many miles from your home at “the source”. That’s why the American Water Works Association has named September 25 through October 1, 2022 as “Protect the Source” Week

“The best way to ensure we have high quality drinking water at the tap is to protect our vital water sources,” said American Water Works Association CEO David LaFrance. “If we keep our rivers, lakes and aquifers free from pollution, it’s easier and less expensive to keep water safe and healthy.”

Here in Asheville mother nature, aided by some good planning by City officials who came before us, ensures we have some of the highest quality source water in the nation in our reservoirs. 

“The City of Asheville Watershed management team works diligently to protect and maintain the watersheds where water quality starts.” says Water Resources Department Director David Melton.


Did you know?

  • Each day, Asheville’s water system delivers an average of 19.9 million gallons of water to more than 125,000 people in Asheville, Buncombe County and Henderson County.
  • The city’s primary sources of water are the pristine North Fork and Bee Tree Reservoirs. Both fed from pure mountain springs, protected from industrial and agricultural contaminants, they are located in Black Mountain and Swannanoa respectively and surrounded by 20,000 acres of highly protected forests owned by the City of Asheville.  These two sources are supplemented by the Mills River watershed which provides a valuable natural source, especially as Asheville’s  population grows. The Mills River watershed covers 47,440 acres, 75% of which lies in the Pisgah National Forest. 


How do we do it?

The City of Asheville owns 22,000 acres of forested mountains surrounding our primary watershed, which makes it one of the largest municipally owned watersheds in the United States. The water department takes the responsibility of protecting the watersheds seriously, which is why most of the land is preserved in conservation easements, protected from development and pollution.

The Water Resources Department owns and operates three water treatment plants: North Fork (located in Black Mountain), William DeBruhl (located in Swannanoa), and Mills River (located near the Asheville Regional airport). 

For more information about our treatment, distribution, and quality control, read our annual water quality report.

The 2021 Annual Water Quality Report is available.