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Did You

  • 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.

water drops



Reservoir Dams

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Falling Creek Dam and Spillway
Clifford D Craig Dam at Spring Hollow - spring
Carvins Cove Dam fall
Carvins Cove Full Pond 2015
Clifford D Craig Dam at Spring Hollow - fall
Carvins Cove Dam winter
Clifford D Craig Dam at Spring Hollow - late summer

The Western Virginia Water Authority utilizes four surface water sources in the Roanoke Valley - Carvins Cove, Spring Hollow, Beaverdam Creek and Falling Creek Reservoirs.  Each of these bodies of water is impounded by a dam which is physically inspected annually.    

The Authority wants our citizens to know about these structures, the steps that are taken to inspect and maintain these structures and the inundation zones of each reservoir in the case of massive flooding or a dam breach.

How to see if your property falls in the inundation zone of one of our water supplies

  1. Go to and click on Authority GIS maps button.
  2. Hover over the Layers tab located in the top right corner of the page and click the arrows next to the Overlay and Overlay Layers sections to expand.
  3. Check the box called Inundation Zone in the Overlay Layers section.
  4. The entire service area is initially shown with each municipality shaded a different color.  Zoom in to your property to access the inundation information.
  5. Either zoom into your property using your mouse, or type in your house number and street name (excluding Road, Street, Drive, etc.) in the Address search box.  Click Search.
  6. The Legend indicates the different inundation zones by color: 
  • Pink shading represents the Beaverdam Creek Reservoir inundation zone;
  • Purple shading represents the Carvins Cove inundation zone;
  • Light green shading represents the Falling Creek Reservoir inundation zone;
  • Teal blue shading represents the Spring Hollow Reservoir inundation zone; and
  • Peach shading within one of the inundation colors mentioned above means you are on an "island." This means that the elevation of your property is above the flooded area. 

If your property that you have zoomed into is not shaded, you are not in the inundation zone of one of the Western Virginia Water Authority dams.  


What do you need to do if you are in an inundation zone?

The Western Virginia Water Authority has published this information to inform customers in the unlikely event of a catastrophic dam failure.  If this should occur, or if conditions should occur that would increase the likelihood of such an event occurring, the public would be notified through all major media outlets.

You can also register your phone number with the Authority through our CodeRed system.  This free service is an automated phone dialing system that notifies our customers of important information including safety issues, water service interruptions and late payment notifications.

To learn more about the risk of flooding to your property,  and to learn how you can protect yourself, please visit the website.  FEMA also offers informative publications about dam safety.  Living with Dams:  Know Your Risks was published in 2013 and Living with Dams:  Extreme Rainfall Events was published in 2015.

If you have specific questions about the Western Virginia Water Authority dam inundation information, please contact our reservoir manager at 540-283-8220.


Carvins Cove Dam 

Carvins Cove Dam in the fall

The Carvins Cove Dam impounds the Carvins Cove Reservoir.  The concrete dam stands 80-feet tall.   In addition to receiving water from the watershed, the reservoir is fed from two underground tunnels that carry overflow from Tinker and Catawba Creeks. This surface water source covers 630 acres and stores 6.42-billion gallons of water at full pond.  Current reservoir levels are updated daily. 




History of the Carvins Cove Dam  

Carvins Cove Dam12-19-1927

On November 24, 1926 Francis W. Collins, Manager of the Roanoke Water Works, announced that a dam was planned in a narrow gorge at Carvins Creek, originally called The Falls, to impound water.   The land and community behind the dam, known as the “Happy Valley," would be inundated to form the Carvins Cove Reservoir.  

By December of 1927, construction of the Carvins Cove Dam was nearing completion. However,  a sustained drought, the great depression and financial hardships resulting in the dam and surrounding property changing hands caused a delay in Carvins Cove becoming a water source.  


In the 1940s as the city’s population continued to grow, it was evident that an increased water supply was needed.  The City of Roanoke purchased the assets of the Roanoke Water Works, completed the dam and constructed the reservoir.

The reservoir reached full pond on May 17, 1946.





Clifford D. Craig Dam at Spring Hollow 

Clifford D Craig Dam at Spring Hollow

The completed dam has a maximum height of 243 feet and is 990 feet wide at the crest.  At full pond Spring Hollow Reservoir holds 3.2 billion gallons of water and has a surface area of 158 acres.   Spring Hollow Reservoir levels are updated daily.

The Clifford D. Craig Dam at Spring Hollow is named in memory of Cliff Craig, the Utility Director for Roanoke County during the construction of the dam.  Mr. Craig's innovative water treatment designs and dedication to this project was instrumental in getting the dam, treatment facility and raw water pumping station completed on time and under budget.


History of the Clifford D. Craig Dam

Crews worked 24-hours a day, six days a week to construct the Spring Hollow Dam and Reservoir during the spring and summer of 1993.  The dam is roller compacted concrete, and the face of the dam is covered with 2,400 concrete panels that measure four feet wide and 12 feet long.  Each panel weighs 3,500 pounds.


Beaverdam Creek and Falling Creek

Falling Creek DamThe Beaverdam Creek Reservoir flows into the Falling Creek Reservoir through a man-made tunnel.   Both surface water sources are located in Bedford County east of Vinton.

Falling Creek Reservoir covers 21 acres and stores 85-million gallons of  water at full pond. Beaverdam Creek Reservoir, which covers 69 acres, stores 435-million gallons of water at full pond. 

In May 2011 remediation to the Falling Creek dam was completed.  The work included the addition of articulated block to the improved earthen dam and an increase in the capacity of the spillway.  The Western Virginia Water Authority is currently working on engineering plans to remediate the Beaverdam Creek Dam.

The Beaverdam Creek Reservoir Dam is earthen.


History of the Beaverdam Creek and Falling Creek Dams

Beaver Dam Progress 4-13-25The Falling Creek Dam was originally constructed in the 1890s and remediated in 2011.  The Beaverdam Creek Reservoir (shown to the left) was constructed in the 1920s.