- 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.
Wet Weather Improvements
In 2007, the Western Virginia Water Authority completed work to upgrade the Regional Water Pollution Control Plant and 900 miles of sewer main to the benefit of the community and the environment. These improvements represented a $50M investment by the community, including Vinton, Salem, and Botetourt County, to protect the Roanoke River.
The primary goal of this project was to greatly reduce the possibility of sewer collection system overflows. Although the plant is designed to treat only sanitary sewer, rain water can infiltrate the collection system during wet weather events and dramatically increase the volume of flow that enters the facility. With these improvements, the permitted daily treatment capacity increased from 42-million gallons of wastewater per day to 55-million gallons per day and the facility’s wet weather treatment capacity doubled.
The improvements were put to the test in November and December 2009 as both month’s average flows exceeded the highest monthly averages ever recorded at the plant; however, treatment removal met permit conditions with 99.9% removal of biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and above 97% for all other parameters. A peak daily flow of 137.4 mgd was recorded in November 2009.
The project improved the treatment process, enhanced safety and reliability and renovated aging pipes and equipment in the plant and throughout the distribution system.
Peak Flow Enhancement Project
In February 2013, construction began on the Peak Flow Enhancements Project at the Regional Water Pollution Control Plant. Completed in the Fall of 2015, the project involved construction of a new chlorine contact basin, new effluent screw pumps and modifications to the Biological Aerated Filter (BAF). Haren Construction Company of Etowah, TN is performing the work on this $16M project.
After the improvements made as part of the 2007 Wet Weather Improvements, the focus shifted on moving more treated water out of the plant. As the receiving river would rise during flood events, pushing the treated water into the river became increasingly difficult and river water would make its way into the plant. Four Archimedes screw pumps, each with 40mgd capacity, were installed at the effluent pump station to lift the treated water into the river during high flow events.
The Biological Aerated Filter (BAF) capacity and treatment efficiencies are also being improved as part of this project. Flow from the facility’s existing equalization basin will enter the BAF and allow for operation of the unit as a single or two stage treatment process. Additional mechanical and equipment modifications to the existing process will also be considered to improve operations and reliability of the unit. By utilizing the BAF during peak flow events, an additional 12 million gallons of flow per day will be able to be treated at the Regional Water Pollution Control Plant.