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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



Industrial Pretreatment

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It is the Water Authority’s responsibility to make sure federal standards for wastewater discharge are met. Cooperation between local industry and the Water Authority’s pretreatment office ensures a healthy living and working environment for all who live throughout the Roanoke Valley. There are limitations as to what local industries can discharge into the sanitary sewer system. When industries abide by these regulations, the environmental health of the Roanoke River and the entire valley is protected. Sampling is performed on the industrial wastewater flow a few times a year and a walk-through inspection of the facility is done a minimum of once a year. Through cooperation with the Water Authority, local industries participate in the maintenance of a healthy environment.

Printable Forms


All significant industrial users must receive a discharge permit.

A significant industrial user is defined as a user that:

  • Discharges an average of twenty-five thousand (25,000) gpd or more of process wastewater to the Publically Owned Treatment Works (POTW) excluding sanitary, noncontact cooling and boiler blowdown wastewater); or
  • Contributes a process wastestream which makes up five (5) percent or more of the average dry weather hydraulic or organic capacity of the POTW; or
  • Is designated as such by the control authority on the basis that it has a reasonable potential for adversely affecting the POTW's operation or for violating any pretreatment standard or requirement.
  • A user subject to categorical pretreatment standards.

With the exception of categorical industries, if found that a user meeting the significant industrial users criteria has no reasonable potential for adversely affecting the POTW's operation or for violating any pretreatment standard or requirement, the control authority may at any time, on its own initiative or in response to a petition received from a user, and in accordance with procedures in 40CFR 403.8(f)(6), determine that such user should not be considered a significant industrial user.


The Water Authority Pretreatment Program focuses on providing program assistance to permit holders in an effort to minimize the potential for violations. We believe the success of the treatment program is directly related to the level of partnership which can be established between the treatment plant and local businesses and industries. While the Water Authority must follow minimum prescribed standards regarding the administration of the program, we will continue efforts to work with businesses in order to achieve a fair and balanced approach to pretreatment.

Serving the City of Roanoke,  the Counties of Botetourt, Franklin and Roanoke, the City of Salem and the Town of Vinton.

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