- 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.
What To Do First . . .
If a backup occurs, take immediate steps to seal sink, tub and floor drains.
1. Plug toilets or basement floor drains with something like a string mop or wad of rags.
2. Try to determine if the blockage is just in the household/business plumbing or in the main sewer line. Call neighbors and ask if they are experiencing any backup or slowness in their drains. If so, the problem may be in the main sewer line. If not, then it could be a problem with your sewer line.
3. If you suspect the stoppage is in your home plumbing system, do not run water down your drains until the blockage is clear.
Next . . . Call Us . . .
Call the Water Authority on our 24/7 Sewer Line Emergencies and General Information line at 540.853.5700. Water Authority crews are available to come investigate.
Information in this hand-out provides the steps you need to take to clean up after a sewer back-up, suggests names of area companies that specialize in clean up and restoration and explains the process of how repairs need to be made.
Incident investigation/claim forms can be completed on the Authority's website at www.westernvawater.org/claims.
Who is Responsible for Paying for the Sewage Cleanup?
Clean up of sewage backups in homes and offices is generally the responsibility of the property owner or landlord. Property owners are advised to take the following actions after a sewer backup:
Take photos of the damage.
Report the damages to your insurance company.
Mitigate further damage yourself or by calling a reputable clean up service.
If you wish to file a claim, contact the Authority’s Safety and Risk Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org or complete a claim at www.westernvawater.org/claims
Will My Insurance Cover Any Damages from a Sewer Backup?
In the majority of cases, a special rider or endorsement is needed on your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy to cover damages related to sewer backups or water damage.
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. This optional coverage is generally inexpensive; however, you must request it as it is not automatically included in most standard policies.
Like the majority of municipalities in the nation, the Water Authority cannot assume financial liability for damages resulting from sewage backups since most blockages are related to conditions that are beyond the Water Authority’s control. The Authority has no liability in backups relating to wet weather/stormwater.