The Roanoker - September/October 2020 - 50

CONCERN:

VALLEY'S WATER SUPPLY
AND QUALITY

written by Dan Smith

Water is among the primary apprehensions of every locality in the
United States. How stable are the Roanoke Valley's sources?
The supply and quality of the water
in the Roanoke Valley is a constant
consideration for leaders who worry
about drought, pollution, sufficient supply
and even recreational value. The Valley is
full of water, but how good is it and will
there be enough in the future?
Wayne Strickland, director Roanoke/
Alleghany Regional Commission, says
water quality in the Roanoke Valley is
improving, but "there is still work to do."
Eleven of the 13 tributaries of the
Roanoke River are "impaired" according
to Roanoke City's website. The primary
pollutant for most of the tributaries is
bacteria (E. coli) that comes from pet
waste, sewer failure, non-functioning septic
systems, agriculture, and natural sources,
like wildlife. Sediment and PCBs are also
problematic.
The Western Virginia Water Authority's
capital plan provides for improvements

50

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2020

at its water treatment plants and the
construction of a new plant, the Muse
Spring Water Treatment Facility.
The Roanoke Valley's water needs are
served from a number of sources:
*	
*	
*	
*	
*	
*	
*	
*	

Carvins Cove
Falling Creek
Beaverdam Creek
Smith Mountain Lake
Roanoke River and its tributaries
Spring Hollow Reservoir
Vinton's 10 town-owned wells
Private wells in Roanoke County

Smith Mountain Lake has been
identified as "the best future option for an
additional supply" of water for the Valley
by the Water Authority.
Roanoke's "blueways" are part of
a marketing plan to attract young
professionals with recreational potential.
Carvins Cove, Smith Mountain Lake, the
Roanoke River and some of its feeder

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The Roanoker - September/October 2020

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