Public Utilities

Portsmouth Public Utilities - At Your Service

The Department of Public Utilities is a self-supporting public service organization founded in 1879.

The Department is responsible for treating drinking water and maintaining the lines that deliver the water to Portsmouth and certain areas of Suffolk and Chesapeake.
Public Utilities also maintains the sanitary sewer lines and sewage pumping stations which carry wastewater away from your home or business.



The units that make up the Department of Public Utilities and provide its services are:



Portsmouth Public Utilities is a Member of:

American Water Works Association 
•Hampton Roads Water Efficiency Team



Portsmouth Water System to Temporarily Change to Chlorine

                                            February 2017

As part of routine maintenance procedures to ensure the quality of our drinking water, the City of Portsmouth, in conjunction with the Cities of Chesapeake, Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Suffolk and the County of Isle of Wight, will temporarily switch from chloramines to free chlorine as the disinfecting agent added to City water.  This change, which will be done in accordance with state and federal regulations, will pose no impact to public health or to the safety of City water.  The switch to free chlorine will be from March 7, 2017 until March 28, 2017, with a return to chloramines on March 29, 2017.  

This temporary change will affect water for all Portsmouth water customers, including those customers in Chesapeake and Suffolk who receive water from the City of Portsmouth.  It is possible that residents may notice a chlorine-like smell, often referred to as a “swimming pool smell,” during the change.  This is normal and it is not harmful and you will not need to do and anything.  Also, it is possible that you may notice brief discoloration – again, this is normal and will dissipate as the change continues.  

Kidney dialysis patients and fish owners should continue to follow the standard water treatment process for chloramines, as this also removes free chlorine.


For more information, call the Portsmouth Water Quality Laboratory at 539-2201 ext. 232.




The City of Portsmouth Department of Public Utilities will be performing a Unidirectional Flushing Program starting on Monday, March 20, 2017 and continuing  through November 2017, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.  

If you have any questions, please give us a call at the Portsmouth Public Utilities Department  at (757) 393-8524.  
Click here for the full PUBLIC NOTICE.


Affected Zones: (3/20/2017 – 3/31/2017)- J8, I8, I9, J7, I7   




American Water Works Association Dedicated to Safe Drinking Water