Water supply and wastewater

Bringing great drinking water to customers in the North West.

Of the 1.8 billion litres of water we supply to our customers every day, well over half is from Cumbria and Wales.

We gather our water from reservoirs in the Pennines and the Lake District,  from Lake Vyrnwy in Wales for customers in Merseyside and Cheshire and from the River Dee, from boreholes and streams.

Our two biggest reservoirs are Cumbria’s Thirlmere and Haweswater. Haweswater holds more than 84 billion litres of water - equivalent to around 33,800 Olympic swimming pools. We own and manage over 56,000 hectares of land (the equivalent of 70,000 football pitches). The majority of this land surrounds our reservoirs.

More than 1,400 kilometres of aqueducts transports raw water to one of our 88 water treatment works throughout the North West. Our longest aqueduct Thirlmere at 160 kilometres, designed by the Victorians to take water from the Lake District to Manchester.

Once we have collected the raw water we clean it and treat it at one of our 88 water treatment works and distribute via our network of supply pipes to our customers across the North West.

Our network mixes fantastic pieces of engineering from our Victorian ancestors which still work well to this day and new multi million pound pipelines using the latest engineering techniques.

How we collect and treat wastewater.

Our customers can flush and forget because we take care of it. We collect and treat wastewater from three million homes and 200,000 businesses from as far north as Carlisle all the way down to Crewe.

The waste is carried down drains and into our underground sewer network. There are 77,000km of sewers in our region - more than double the distance from Manchester to Sydney, Australia.

Wastewater is transported through this network to one of our 569 wastewater treatment works. Once it’s been treated, it’s clean enough to go back into our rivers and seas.

Many of the sewers were built decades ago. To make sure they continue to cope with the amount of wastewater that today’s population generates we’re continuously maintaining and improving our sewer network.