When Botetourt County joined the Western Virginia Water Authority (WVWA) in July, one of the primary goals was to design and construct a new water pump station that will allow drinking water from the Carvins Cove Reservoir and Treatment Facility to serve customers along the Roanoke Road corridor to Greenfield, according to a news release from the WVWA.

That pump station, located next to the Rader Funeral Home on Roanoke Road, is operational and will begin pumping water from the Carvins Cove service area to the Greenfield water storage tank service area early the week of December 7.

The former sources of water supply for the area, two wells within Greenfield, will be turned off when the pump station is placed into service.  Water from the pump station will displace water within the pipes and Greenfield storage tank over the course of several days to a week, and the 546 customers in the service area will transition to exclusively receiving water from Carvins Cove.

Customers will notice that the water from Carvins Cove is much softer than the water they have been  receiving.  As water naturally flows over rocks and through the soil, it picks up minerals.  The more calcium and magnesium present, the harder the water.  The water from the Greenfield wells has a hardness level of about 800 parts per million.  The water that comes from the Carvins Cove Reservoir only has a hardness of 40 parts per million.  Customers will find that this water does not leave the spots and calcium deposits on dishes, countertops and fixtures that they may have been experiencing nor does it accumulate on the inside of the pipes.

Because some of the excess calcium in the water has built up in the distribution pipes over time, it may start to flake away.  The Authority recommends removing and rinsing aerators attached to kitchen and bathroom sink faucets a few times during this transition period.    While this white, chalky substance is harmless, it may clog aerators and reduce the flow of the water.  Additional treatment, such as an in-home water softeners that may have been used in the past should no longer be needed as the water from Carvins Cove is already soft.

Customers in the service area may also notice discoloration of the water during the initial transition because the primary direction of water flow through many pipes is reversing.  WVWA staff will be in the area opening fire hydrants to flush discolored water from the system.  Customers that notice discolored water at their faucets, can run the cold water for a few minutes until it is clear.