The Equity Center

A UVA Democracy Initiative center for the redress of inequity through community-engaged scholarship

Health Equity Access for Rural Regions - Rural Water Justice Project

Supoprted financially by the UVA Environmental Resilience Institute (ERI), this initiative is undertaken with the Health Equity and Access Rural Region community partners, an alliance among leaders in Albemarle, Buckingham, Fluvanna, and Nelson counties, and the Esmont and Scotsville areas. In this region, there are a variety of environmental concerns related to health, including failed septic systems, water quality in wells, pesticide use, biosolids, and a brownfield site in Scottsville. 

During the Summer 2019, Monticello High School and Piedmont Virginia Community College students collected over 150 household water samples, and presented the results of water quality testing to local area residents. The Virginia Tech Virginia Household Water Quality Program not only conducted the test for 69 potentially health-harming water contaminants, but helped to train and educate the students, faculty, and community volunteers about the importance of healthy drinking water, and what the available interventions are to address any problems with contamination. This is an ongoing project that will continue to focus on connecting community residents with information and solutions to the public health problem presented by contaminated drinking water.