The Valdese Water Plant is located on Lake Rhodhiss, the second lake on the Catawba River. Lake Rhodhiss covers 3,515 acres and contains 22 billion gallons of water. The Valdese Water Department completed an expansion in 1996 and is capable of treating 12 million gallons of water per day (mgd) using conventional surface water treatment methods of chemicals, sedimentation, and filtration. The plant is currently treating 3 mgd which leaves a reserve capacity of 5 mgd. Seven finished water storage tanks have a capacity of 8.5 million gallons.
In operation twenty-four hours per day, the water department's staff of nine North Carolina Water Treatment Facility certified operators treat and distribute water, meeting the stringent guidelines established by the Safe Drinking Water Act. The water plant has a water bacteriological certified laboratory and also performs routine tests for pH, chlorine residual, hardness, alkalinity, fluoride, iron, color, and phosphate. Distribution testing for lead and copper is also done. Additional testing is completed by independent laboratories as required by the Safe Drinking Water Act.
The water plant provides tours for school groups and works with school science projects relating to water resources. The goal of the water plant staff is to provide clean safe drinking water at a reasonable cost by efficient operations.