Did You
KNOW?

  • The cost of one bottle of water from a vending machine is equivalent to the cost of drinking 8 glasses of tap water every day for a year.
  • A gallon of water weighs 8.34 pounds.
  • The Water Authority maintains almost 1500 miles of drinking water pipes. If you put them end-to-end, they would stretch from Roanoke to Colorado Springs, CO.
  • At one drip per second, a faucet can leak 3,000 gallons of water per year.
  • Water is the only substance naturally found on earth as a solid, liquid and gas.
  • Over 713 gallons of water go into the production of one cotton T-shirt.
  • The Authority’s Water Pollution Control Plant is regarded as one of the best bird-watching areas in the mid-Atlantic region.
  • The Water Authority maintains over 6,000 fire hydrants in our service area. Fire hydrants are connected to the public drinking water distribution lines, so water from a fire hydrant is drinking water.
  • There are over 23,000 manholes in our service area.
  • Carvins Cove Natural Reserve is the second largest municipal park in the United States.
  • The Authority’s Water Pollution Control Plant covers over 100 acres of land.
  • More people in the world have a mobile phone than have a toilet.
  • The Water Authority treats 19-million gallons of drinking water a day although we have the capacity to treat 56-million gallons per day.
  • The Authority’s Water Pollution Control Plant treats almost 37-million gallons of wastewater a day from all across the Roanoke Valley.
  • There are 51 drinking water storage tanks in our service area. They each hold between 500,000 – 2-million gallons of water.
  • Most of the treated drinking water used in a home is for toilet flushing.

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History and Development

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Watersheds, not local government boundaries, determine water resources and wastewater service. Therefore, an organization that spans localities is a logical unit to manage water resources and wastewater services. In Virginia, the best way to do this is with an authority. On July 1, 2004, the water and wastewater operations of the City of Roanoke and Roanoke County consolidated to become the Western Virginia Water Authority. The Western Virginia Water Authority was the first authority in the Commonwealth formed from two existing entities to treat, deliver and administer water and wastewater.

Five years later, on November 24, 2009, Franklin County officially joined the Western Virginia Water Authority and on July 1, 2015, Botetourt County joined. The Authority now provides water service to over 159,000 residential and commercial accounts and wastewater service to more than 122,000 in the City of Roanoke, Roanoke County, Franklin County and Botetourt County. 

Development of the Western Virginia Water Authority

Discussions for Roanoke County and the City of Roanoke to collaborate on water and sewer issues began in the late 1990s. The 2002 East Coast drought catalyzed creation of the Water Authority, and the two jurisdictions mapped out a plan to become true partners in meeting the water and wastewater needs of their citizens and businesses. Along with the drought, the cost of developing new sources of supply and the cost of wastewater treatment convinced officials that a truly regional approach to water and wastewater issues was needed.

After just two years of planning, the utility departments of both jurisdictions consolidated their operations on July 1, 2004. The following timeline outlines the steps taken to arrive at this point.

• In the summer and fall of 2002, county and city staff held monthly meetings to outline an initial planning phase.

• On February 27, 2003, the Roanoke City Council and the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors voted to authorize and direct their staffs to jointly plan and create a regional water and wastewater authority. From that date forward, employees from both jurisdictions worked in 22 teams to consolidate utility operations.

• In the fall of 2003, community meetings were held in the City of Roanoke and Roanoke County to receive public input on the Water Authority.

• In late 2003, seven individuals were selected to serve on the Water Authority board by the governing bodies of Roanoke County and the City of Roanoke. Roanoke County and City of Roanoke governing bodies each selected three board members. The seventh was selected by the six board members and confirmed by the Roanoke City Council and the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors. The original board consisted of Supervisor Michael Altizer, the first Authority Board Chair, and Councilman Rupert Cutler who were selected to serve two-year terms. Two administrators, City Manager Darlene Burcham and County Administrator Elmer Hodge were selected to serve three-year terms. The Authority intends to replace these individuals at the end of their terms with citizens from each jurisdiction who will serve four-year terms. County resident H. Odell "Fuzzy" Minnix and City resident Robert Lawson were selected to serve four-year terms. The seventh member selected was George Logan of Salem. Click here to see the current Water Authority board.

• In early 2004, both jurisdictions formally approved the formation of the Water Authority.

• On March 2, 2004, the Commonwealth of Virginia bestowed the state Articles of Incorporation to the Water Authority.

• On July 1, 2004, the Western Virginia Water Authority became operational.

The Water Authority Expands

  • In 2009 Franklin County joined the Western Virginia Water Authority.
    The Roanoke City Council, Boards of Supervisors of Roanoke County and Franklin County and the Western Virginia Water Authority Board held a joint meeting and public hearing on November 5, 2009 for the purpose of receiving public comment on the joinder by Franklin County of the Western Virginia Water Authority and on the amendment and restatement of the Articles of Incorporation of the Western Virginia Water Authority to accomplish such purpose.

On November 24, 2009, the State Corporation Commission issued a Certificate of Restatement, amending and restating the Articles of Incorporation of the Western Virginia Water Authority. With this action, Franklin County became an official member of the Water Authority. 

  • On July 1, 2015, Botetourt County joined the Western Virginia Water Authority.
    In the spring of 2015, the governing bodies of all the member localities (City of Roanoke, Roanoke County and Franklin County) as well at the Botetourt County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution to extend membership in the Western Virginia Water Authority to Botetourt County.

On July 1, 2015, the State Corporation Commission issued a Certificate of Restatement, amending and restating the Articles of Incorporation of the Western Virginia Water Authority to grant Botetourt County  official membership in the Water Authority.


For more information about the Western Virginia Water Authority, please call 540-853-5700.