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



Boating and Fishing

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low profile dock Cove
fishing at Carvins Cove
kayak on water
fishing from a boat

Fishing at Carvins Cove Natural Reserve

Fishing is allowed from the shore, fishing piers,  rented row/jon boat or from personal boats launched at Carvins Cove.  Fishing is not allowed from rental kayaks and paddle boats. 

All those over age 16 wishing to fish at Carvins Cove must have a valid Virginia Fishing Permit and pay the land use or boat launching fee.

To protect this drinking water source, please note only non-aquatic bait can be used at the reservoir.

Fishing is permitted during park hours. 

April 1 through September 30: 6:30am - 9:30pm

October 1 through March 31: 8:30am - 6:30pm.



Boating at Carvins Cove Natural Reserve

Boating on the cove from a personal boat or rented boat is permitted under certain conditions described below. Boating rules and fees help provide recreational opportunities for visitors to the cove while still maintaining the safest, highest quality drinking water possible. It is very important for boaters to understand all the issues involved with boating before arriving at the cove.

Rentals may be restricted at the discretion of the Western Virginia Water Authority in the event of low or high water, high winds, or other problems. Hours of operation are subject to change at the sole discretion of the Western Virginia Water Authority.

Boats on trailers can be launched from a designated boat launching ramp.  Kayaks and canoes can be launched from the shore or from a 10-foot by 60-foot low-profile dock  to make it easier for people to get into kayaks, canoes, stand up paddleboards and rowing shells.


Hiking, Biking and Boating Brochure

Stand Up Paddleboarding Information

Current Reservoir Level

Carvins Cove Rates and Fees



Carvins Cove Reservoir/Boat Landing

9644 Reservoir Road
Roanoke, VA 24019


Boat Rentals

Rental hours:

  • April 1 through Memorial Day and Labor Day through September 30 rental hours begin at 7:00am and boats need to be returned by 6:00pm (last rental at 5:00pm)
  • Memorial Day thru Labor Day rental hours begin at 7:00am and all rental boats must be returned by 7:30pm (last rental at 6:30pm)
  • Boats are not rented October through March.


Current Rental Fees:

  • 14' Boats: $5.00 per hour, or $15 per day (includes oars and life jackets)
  •  Paddle boats: The two-person boats rent for $7 for one-hour of use and $11 for two-hours of use. The four-person paddle boats rent for $9 for one-hour of use and $15 for two-hours use. (includes required PFD)
  • Kayaks: The single kayaks rent for $7 for one-hour of use and $11 for two-hours of use. The tandem kayaks rent for $9 for one-hour of use and $15 for two-hours use. (includes paddles and required PFD)
  • Rental payments are cash or check only.  Sorry, we can not accept credit or debit cards.


Rental Information:

  • Approved Personal Flotation Devises (PFD) are required and included in the rental fee.
  • Pets are not allowed on rented boats.  Dogs are not allowed in the water.
  • Visitors must be at least 16 years old to rent a boat at Carvins Cove.  Please present a valid Drivers License.
  • Swimming is not permitted.


Bring Your Own Boat

Please note: All personal boats launched at Carvins Cove have to be out of other waters for at least the previous three weeks to minimize the chance of spreading invasive species.

While on the reservoir, boaters can only use motors rated at 10 HP or less.  If your boat has also has a larger motor, you must remove your propeller while boating on the reservoir.

Approved Personal Flotation Devises (PFD) are required for all boaters.

Boating hours:

  • April 1 to September 30: Seven days a week, 6:30am to 9:30pm
  •  October 1 to March 31: Seven days a week, 8:30am to 6:30pm


Boat launching fees:

Cash or check only please.  The following fees include inspection:

  • No motor: Annual fee $75, Daily Fee $5
  • Up to 10 HP motor: Annual fee $100, Daily Fee $10


Inspection fees for private motors:

Cash or check only please. These fees apply to the use of private motors on boats rented at the Cove:

  • Electric Motor: $2
  • Gasoline Motor: $2


Keep the zebra mussel out of the cove!

611.3734 In recent years, a fingernail-sized, striped mussel called the zebra mussel has been introduced to the waters of North America from the Caspian Sea region of eastern Europe. This exotic pest has no natural predators on this continent to keep its population in check and has caused serious problems in North American waters. The zebra mussel has the potential to clog water-intake systems, degrade aquatic environments, harm fish and native mussel populations and contribute to taste and odor problems in the production of drinking water.

The introduction of the zebra mussel in Carvins Cove would be bad news, since a reproducing population of the mussel can spread rapidly through the water supply.

The zebra mussel page on the Virginia Cooperative Extension website provides more information about this exotic pest.



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