The Water Authority's Roanoke Regional Water Pollution Control Plant (WPCP) provides wastewater treatment service for more than 186,000 people in the Roanoke Valley. This number includes 120,000 sewer customers (with 46,000 customer accounts) in the City of Roanoke and Roanoke County and bulk sewer service for residents outside the Water Authority's service area. Wastewater from every jurisdiction in the Roanoke Valley flows through sewer pipes to the WPCP in southeastern Roanoke. The WPCP treats 40 million gallons of wastewater a day. Annually, this equals more than 13 billion gallons of wastewater and 9,000 dry tons of biosolids. The Roanoke Regional WPCP has some of the most stringent treatment requirements of any plant in Virginia.
A drop of water entering the Roanoke Regional WPCP takes approximately 19 hours to move through all levels of the liquid treatment process. This process involves 14 steps carried out in 9 separate treatment areas. More than 44 separate laboratory tests are conducted on the final effluent (treated wastewater) every day to verify that the liquid treatment process is meeting or exceeding water quality standards. Pathogens are removed throughout the treatment process, but the final step of chlorination guarantees the safety of the water discharged into the Roanoke River. The water is treated with sulfur dioxide to remove all chlorine before it enters the river. About 40 million gallons of treated water are discharged to the river every day.
The following links provide a virtual tour of steps involved in the liquid wastewater treatment process at the WPCP.