Water Resources Program


      • To report a pollution emergency, call 911.
      • To report an illegal discharge that is not urgent, call 434-202-4179


The condition of our natural environment influences our health, economic prosperity, and quality of life.  Albemarle County residents seem to recognize the importance of having clean water and healthy streams.  In a 2009 public surveywater resources protection was ranked as the 5th most important local government service out of 38; only quality education and police/fire/rescue services were ranked as more important.
Our fundamental goal is to protect the County's natural capital so that we may pass it on to future generations.  This is done through the implementation of programs that manage surface and groundwater, protect and restore stream corridors, and generally preserve the integrity of our natural environment.
Current Programs
The following programs are currently administered by the County to meet state and federal regulatory mandates.
Virginia Stormwater Management Program (VSMP) – On July 1, 2014, the County began administering a revised and expanded program to regulate land disturbing activities and land development.
Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) – The County administers a number of programs to minimize the amount of pollutants discharging from developed areas into State waters or through storm sewer systems.
Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) – Beginning in 2014, the County has been required to contribute towards as the cleanup of local streams and the Chesapeake Bay. Over time, these requirements may change based on the condition of the Bay and local streams.
Dam Safety and Floodplain Management – The County operates six State-regulated dams and has had to respond to more stringent standards. The County is also responsible for ensuring that land development and other activities do not result in increased flood hazards.
New Programs
Proposed new programs go beyond meeting regulatory mandates in order to achieve broad goals articulated in the Strategic Planincluding:
Drainage Infrastructure (Grey Infrastructure) – A vast and expanding system of inlets, pipes, and channels – primarily built by private developers on private property – is aging and in need of repair and maintenance. The County is moving towards an asset management program to systematically maintain those portions of the system that serve a public purpose. Proactively maintaining this system will be much more cost effective than replacing sections after failure.
Watershed Restoration (Green Infrastructure) – The goal of this program is to improve water quality and the overall health of impaired streams and watersheds through better land use practices, stormwater management, and capital projects. The focus of this program with be impaired stream having no cleanup mandate - typically located in the rural areas of the County.
All water resources programs are supported by the General Fund. The Board of Supervisors considered supporting the programs through the establishment of a stormwater utility, but rejected the idea at a meeting on April 11, 2018. 
Learn more about our major programs and projects by clicking on the links located in the navigation bar on the left.


channel in Birnam Basin

pervious pavers