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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



Water Hardness

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water hardness

What does water hardness mean?

As water naturally flows over rocks and through the soil, it picks up minerals that get dissolved in the water. The more calcium and magnesium present, the harder your water. While water hardness is not a safety issue, you may notice increased mineral build-up or soap residue with harder water. Water hardness can be expressed as PPM – parts per million or GPG – grains per gallon.

Hardness Chart

Because the hardness of water is a result of the different minerals in the rocks and soil, water hardness does vary by source.

What is your primary source of drinking water?

You can find the hardness for your primary source for drinking water by looking on our Authority GIS . 

  1. Click on the Authority GIS link to open the GIS
  2. The SEARCH tool box will open with the mapping. Type in your house number and street name (do not put Road, Drive, Lane, etc.)
  3. Your property will appear on the screen highlighted in yellow.
  4. Click on the Detail Identify icon (the i symbol in the blue circle) located above the mapping
    When the pop-up box appears, use the drop-down arrow next to the word Parcels to scroll down to the very last one on the list called HGL (it stands for Hydrallic Grade Line)
  5. Click on HGL
  6. Click on your highlighted property
  7. Your primary source of drinking water will appear in the pop-up box. Please note that your water source may vary depending on changes in the distribution system and water plant production.

    Hardness Chart by source

    For information on the Water Authority’s other sources of water and treatment, please see the current Water Quality Report