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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.

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Sewer Back-Up Insurance Information

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Sewer and Drain Insurance Riders

The Western Virginia Water Authority highly recommends that homeowners purchase a “backup of sewer and drain” rider as part of a homeowner’s insurance policy. Insurance agents can provide more information about this coverage.

Fortunately, sewer backups don’t happen very often. It is important, however, to know in advance what to do if a sewer backup happens in a home or business.


Reducing the Risk of Future Backups

Sewer backups occur because of sewer line blockages or because of excess water in sewer pipes. While sewer backups are rare, there is an increased chance of them occurring during wet weather. When sewer pipes back up, they can create sewage overflows in homes and along points in the sewage collection system. This is because stormwater gets into the sewer system and increases the total volume of water in sewer pipes. If there is too much water for the pipes to convey, backups can occur.

Long-term solutions to reducing the risk of sewer backups in wet weather include:

  • disconnecting downspouts from sewer pipes
  • disconnecting sump pumps from sewer pipes, and redirecting the water outside, away from the foundation of homes
  • capping sewer pipe floor drains and sewer clean-outs in yards


Sewer maintenance tips every homeowner should do:

Sewage backups can also be caused by roots that penetrate pipe joints and by FOG (fats, oils and grease) that can build up and cause blockages.  The maintenance of sewer pipes on a homeowner’s property is the responsibility of the homeowner.

  • NEVER pour FOG down the drain. As it cools, it will congeal, clogging pipes. 
  • Don't plant trees near sewer lines to minimize the risk of root invasion.  Don't know where your sanitary sewer line is located?  The green lines on the Authority GIS mark all the sanitary sewer lines.  But remember, you must call 811 before you dig, even if you think you know where your lines are located.
  • If you have gutters and roof drains that are connected to the sanitary sewer system, disconnect these lines and have them drain into your yard.