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.

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Tours offered by the Authority

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To schedule a tour of one of the Western Virginia Water Authority’s facilities, please call 853.5700 or email education@westernvawater.org. Please note that tours are typically reserved for groups of 10 or more. Maximum group sizes apply.

Carvins Cove Reservoir & Natural Reserve

Reservoir-ViewVisit Roanoke’s largest drinking water source and our nation’s second largest municipal park and treat your students to SOL-based, experiential lessons in the outdoors. Picnic facilities are available. K-2nd grade programs run 10:00 am - 12:30 pm and include two outreach activities. 3rd-5th grade programs run 9:30 am - 1:00 pm and can include three activities. This K-5 field trip can accommodate up to 80 students at a time. See options at the bottom of this page for educational programming at the Cove.



Construction UPDATE on Carvins Cove Water Treatment Facility

Carvins-Cove-AeratorsWe are upgrading the Carvins Cove Water Treatment Facility’s drinking water treatment filters. This capital improvement project includes construction, so in the interest of safety, tours of the facility will be unavailable until further notice. Groups are welcome to schedule field trips to Carvins Cove Reservoir or to our other water treatment facilities.




Spring Hollow Water Treatment Facility

Treatment-PlantThe Spring Hollow Water Treatment Facility is located in western Roanoke County, just past Dixie Caverns. Students must be in third grade or above to visit the facility. Students will also see our lab to learn about the chemical and bacteriological tests that we conduct on the drinking water in our distribution system. This facility can accomodate up to 60 students at a time. Please allow 45 minutes to tour the treatment and laboratory facilities.




Crystal Spring Filtration Facility & Historic Pump Station

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Located next to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, Crystal Spring offers a look at Roanoke’s oldest drinking water source. Visitors to Crystal Spring can see the 1905 steam pump in action, view the water in the spring box, learn about the ultrafiltration process and see how Crystal Spring played a role in Roanoke’s early development. This field trip can accomodate up to 40 students at a time. All grade levels can tour Crystal Spring.