Clean Water and Air

Tree-lined Lake on a Partly Cloudy Day

Clean Water

The well-being of our residents depends on the cleanliness and ongoing protection of our water. The county is fortunate to have approximately 1,300 miles of streams, three reservoirs and about 124 miles of riverfront along the Appomattox and James Rivers. Take a look at all the ways Chesterfield preserves, protects and restores the integrity of our water sources.

Cooperative Extension

Chesterfield Cooperative Extension, a part of the Department of Parks and Recreation, also works to keep the county’s water usage environmentally friendly. Their Grass Roots program will help you get a healthy lawn using sustainable fertilizers that won’t pollute waterways.

If you own a private water supply like a well or spring, it is your responsibility to regularly test water quality and maintain the water system. Find out how at a Well Water Testing Clinic.

Environmental Engineering

Resource Protection Areas (RPAs) are corridors of environmentally sensitive land near important waterways. To learn more about RPAs and our county’s efforts to protect and restore them, read Environmental Engineering's Chesterfield County Resource Protection Area Restoration Guide (PDF).

In response to requests from citizens or other county departments, our Environmental Engineering team maintains drainage facilities throughout the county. Learn more about these drainage maintenance operations.

Chesterfield County is required by the state of Virginia to limit pollutants in stormwater before it flows into waterways that lead to the Chesapeake Bay. Learn more about Environmental Engineering’s efforts and how you can help reduce stormwater pollutants and make a difference.

Our Environmental Engineering department does so much more to protect our water. Watch a video on the department to learn about their engineering efforts, stormwater monitoring, detection and elimination of illicit discharge, maintenance of best management practices (BMPs), water quality monitoring, and capital improvement projects.


Are you in-the-know about where your drinking water comes from? What about how our Utilities Department keeps the water in your pipes safe? Visit the Drinking Water and Water Resources page and read The Story of Drinking Water, a learning resource for teachers and children created by the American Water Works Association.

Chesterfield County is extremely proud of the quality water we provide and we are one of only a handful of utilities across the nation that has never exceeded a Safe Drinking Water Act primary maximum containment level (MCL). We are also in full compliance with all state and federal drinking water standards. Every year, our Utilities Department prepares a Water Quality Report summarizing a year’s worth of testing that is done to ensure your drinking water meets those standards. For a fact sheet on the county’s water and wastewater efforts, visit the Water and Wastewater Systems page. To learn more about the deployment of innovative LG Sonic ultrasound technologies, visit the Swift Creek Reservoir page.

The department was one of 18 utilities in the country, and the first in Virginia, to meet the standards of the Partnership for Safe Drinking Water Program. This voluntary program, established by the Environmental Protection Agency, the American Water Works Association and others, demands extremely stringent performance and plant operations to assure drinking water quality of the highest standard. Likewise, the department was the first in Virginia to receive the EPA’s 10-Year Director’s Award for maintaining these high-performance levels for 10 years in 2008. The department was recognized again in 2013 for the 15-Year Director's Award and most recently in 2018 for the 20-Year Director's Award. 

Have you been approached at your home by someone selling a water filtration system? Chesterfield County Utilities is not affiliated with these companies in any way and does not sell water filters. However, our staff may approach customers to collect samples occasionally. Learn more about these visits with this Drinking Water Sample Visits guide.

To learn more about the Department of Utilities’ environmental stewardship efforts, view their Environmental Stewardship presentation (PDF).

Hydroelectric Power

The region’s only hydroelectric power station is located in Chesterfield County. The independently-operated facility is part of the Appomattox River Water Authority complex on Lake Chesdin. The advantages of hydropower include:

  • Energy generated through hydropower relies on the water cycle, which is driven by the sun, making it renewable.
  • Hydropower is fueled by water, making it a clean source of energy.
  • Hydropower often involves creation of reservoirs that offer a source of drinking water and recreational opportunities such as fishing and boating. 
  • Hydroelectric power is flexible, quickly going from zero power to maximum output. Because hydropower plants can generate power to the grid immediately, they provide essential backup power during major electricity outages or disruptions.
  • Hydropower typically provides low-cost electricity.
  • Hydropower is an established industry in the United States, employing 66,500 people.

This facility also houses a fish elevator that allows fish to move from the downstream side of the dam to the lake.

Clean Air

The quality of our air is directly linked to our quality of life. Every day, the average person inhales thousands of liters of air, so keeping that air clean is integral to maintaining public health. Air quality can be adversely affected by a number of pollutants, which can lead to serious health and environmental impacts. Chesterfield County remains vigilant in its efforts to mitigate these impacts. Here’s how the county works to keep our air clean.

General Services

Our team at Fleet Services, part of General Services, works hard to ensure environmentally-friendly programs are part of their day-to-day operations. That includes using synthetic oils in county vehicles, utilizing approximately 60 propane-fueled school buses and other vehicles and heating vehicle shops with Clean-Burn furnaces that burn recycled oil. Our Fleet Services team’s adherence to environmental best practices earned them a Green Fleet Award in 2019, as they ranked number 45 of all government and commercial fleets in North America.

Chesterfield’s fleet of school buses is going electric, as Dominion Energy prepares to deliver two electric school buses to the county as part of the company’s Electric School Bus Program. Dominion Energy has set a goal that 100% of the state’s fleet of diesel bus replacements be electric–including in Chesterfield County–by 2030.

Parks and Recreation

To promote alternative modes of transportation and reduce reliance on fuels, Chesterfield Parks and Recreation maintains 42 miles of trails. View trail maps or report trail issues .

State Agencies

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) Air Division helps protect public health and the environment by controlling sources of air pollution. The Office of Air Quality Assessments (OAQA) performs local and regional-scale modeling to prepare air quality assessments and Virginia DEQ provides daily air quality forecasts for regions across the state.

The Clean Air Act (CAA) mandated the use of cleaner burning reformulated gasoline (RFG) in certain large, metropolitan areas to reduce the emission of volatile organic compounds that form ozone. Chesterfield opted into the program.