The mission of Washington Aqueduct is to collect, purify, and pump an adequate supply of portable water to the distribution system managed by the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority (DC Water), Arlington County, and Fairfax County Water Authority (Fairfax Water), in Virginia.
The agency plans to fulfill its mission by achieving the following strategic goals:
- Provide an adequate supply of high quality potable water;
- Provide potable water at an equitable, economical rate that covers all costs; and
- Protect the drinking water consumer from both microbial risk and adverse health effects due to chemicals in the drinking water.
Washington Aqueduct owns and operates intake facilities on the Potomac River at Great Falls and
Little Falls, Maryland. Washington Aqueduct also owns and operates two 10-mile gravity conduit systems with a combined 200 million gallon per day (mgd) capacity, a 525-mgd raw water pumping station and transmission system, two major treatment plants with 320-mgd capacity, three booster pumping stations, a 480-mgd finished water pumping station, seven finished storage reservoirs, and many large diameter transmission mains.
Washington Aqueduct is owned and operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and is governed by a Wholesale Customer Board. It sells water to three wholesale customers: DC Water, Arlington County, Virginia, and Fairfax County Water Authority, in Virginia.
In FY 2016, Washington Aqueduct pumped 49.2 billion gallons of purified water to its customers, a decrease of 2.8 percent from FY 2015. The FY 2015 to FY 2016 decrease is likely a result of the growing conservation effort. In Fiscal Years 2017 and 2018, Washington Aqueduct is projecting the same pumpage as in FY 2016.
Washington Aqueduct does not receive appropriated funding from the District of Columbia or the federal government.
DC Water funds the District of Columbia's portion of the costs of the Washington Aqueduct. As a whole-sale customer, DC Water purchases potable water and makes payments to Washington Aqueduct based on the number of gallons provided. Washington Aqueduct charges a rate based on water sale agreements with DC Water, Arlington County, and Fairfax County Water Authority. The individual wholesale customers are responsible for water distribution.
Water being produced by Washington Aqueduct treatment plants has consistently met and surpassed all Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) drinking water standards.