Managing water resources

Where our water comes from

Our water comes from three sources

  • Blithfield Reservoir
  • The River Severn
  • Groundwater

Around 40% of the water available to us is taken from groundwater sources and 60% from the two surface water sources at Blithfield Reservoir and the River Severn.

Blithfield Reservoir

Blithfield Reservoir is an impoundment reservoir with a capacity of 18 billion litres of water. It was formed in 1953 by the construction of a dam across the River Blithe.

The raw water is taken out of the reservoir by pipeline to treatment works at Seedy Mill near Lichfield before going into our water mains.

Seedy Mill

We monitor the water level in Blithfield Reservoir as the main indicator of how healthy our resources are.

We continuously check how quickly the reservoir is refilling from the River Blithe so we can calculate how much we can safely abstract over the year.

Blithfield reservoir

River Severn

The River Severn is a regulated river; flows in the river are assisted by groundwater and reservoirs near its source when the water level gets low.

The regulation of the River Severn is controlled and operated by the Environment Agency who monitor and report on it regularly. We take water from the River Severn at Hampton Loade, where it is stored in Chelmarsh Reservoir before being treated and supplied to you.

Hampton loade

Groundwater

Groundwater is water held underground in the soil or in pores and crevices in rock. There are 25 sites across our supply area that we draw water from.

We abstract water from over 60 boreholes all of which allow water to be pumped from the Triassic Sandstone aquifer.

The aquifer is very porous, like a sponge, which means that it can hold large quantities of water in between the sand grains and in cracks in the rock. As the sandstone can hold large volumes of water, the levels do not fall very far in dry periods, which makes groundwater sources a very reliable supply of water.