Muse Spring tapped again as Roanoke drinking water source

Published: Feb. 20, 2020 at 7:05 PM EST
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The Western Virginia Water Authority is once again taking advantage of a well-known water source in the Roanoke Valley.

"It's a great thing that it's coming back on," said Will Trinkle, of the Roanoke Industrial Center, "because it's always great to have more water."

At the American Viscose Company park, water helped shaped manufacturing for years. And with new tenants, and a million square feet under the roof, it continues to do so.

"So, we do think about water a lot," said Trinkle.

That's why his industrial center is excited about this very un-exciting-looking building.

"So we're standing inside the new Muse Spring Water Treatment facility," said Water Authority spokesperson Sarah Baumgartner.

This facility at Muse Spring was once far less sophisticated. For more than 100 years, the underground spring Muse Spring supplied water to the plant and city, before being abandoned in 2003.

Now, the Western Virginia Water Authority is close to bringing it back online.

Baumgartner said Thursday that the $3 million project has been in the works for five years. Paid for with your water bill, it will soon draw a million gallons a day from the spring and another million from the nearby wells.

"It's not that we need this water supply right now to meet our needs, but we're always looking decades into the future," she said. "What are our growth? How are we going to be prepared? So it adds redundancy and resiliency to the system."

"I think it opens up possibilities for tenants," Trinkle said. "What kind of tenants we can have and what our tenants can do."

Baumgartner says in a few months, the new plant will ease the draw on sources like Carvin's Cove, adding a known resource to the unknown future of a changing city.

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