West Cumbria/Copeland water quality

We're aware that there are still customer concerns with the water in parts of West Cumbria, and we would like to apologise to customers if this has and still is causing concern.

This is affecting customers in the following areas:

Workington, Whitehaven, Disington, Cleator Moor, Moresby, Egremont, Frizington, Seascale, Gosforth, Bootle, St. Bees, and Ennerdale Bridge.

Customers in the Copeland area may have noticed a change in their water supply in the last couple of weeks. This is due to us blending water from Ennerdale, which is soft, with harder water from boreholes near Egremont. We've produced an update for customers and a Q&A document which can be found here.

Our regular water samples show, that despite the popping noises, the water supply meets all water quality standards. The popping noise can be explained by tiny bubbles forming and collapsing as the water boils and is due to the slightly harder water.

Hard water and its effects are harmless to health and there is no clear evidence that water hardness can exacerbate existing medical conditions

Blending water from different sources is absolutely safe to do and we have been blending these water supplies for a while, but have recently increased the proportion from the boreholes further than before.

It’s all part of the short term aim to balance the amount of water we take from Ennerdale to protect local wildlife, whilst continuing to meet the demands of the local community.

Abstracting water from Ennerdale will completely stop in the long term once the new £300 million pipeline linking West Cumbria to Thirlmere Reservoir is complete.

We apologise to anyone that has noticed the change in the water supply. We have sampled the water from the treatment works and at your taps and we have not found anything of concern. There are some changes in the chemistry of the water, most noticeably hardness and conductivity but the water quality remains within all regulatory standards and what can be considered the normal range and the water is wholesome.

We have held several drop-in sessions in Egremont, Whitehaven, Harrington and Gosforth so customers could pop in and speak to us about the changes to the water supply in this area.