Decorative image - Thirlmere ReservoirFrom Thirlmere to West Cumbria

In spring 2022, we'll begin using Thirlmere as the new source to supply drinking water for homes and businesses in West Cumbria.

The water willl be transferred along new twin 30 kilometre pipelines to a new water treatment works just off the A595 near Redmain. The overview map (PDF 566KB opens in new window) illustrates all elements of the West Cumbria Water Supplies project.

We took great care during our planning and design of the pipeline to avoid the hilly terrain, environmentally designated sites, archaeological sites and urban areas.

The pipelines have been constructed to make the most of gravity and utilise the natural contours of the land - allowing the water to travel easily along the pipes without the need for pumps.

There are several points on the pipeline route which required tunnels under rivers or key road crossings.  There are five tunnels on the pipeline route - crossing under the River Greta, our longest tunnel section in the Castlerigg area, two tunnels in Keswick and another in the Cockermouth area.

The majority of the pipeline has been constructed across agricultural land. Carrying out a large proportion of our work in the fields during the spring and summer period helped to reduce the impact on the grassland, but we're not finished yet and we're continuing to return the landscape, hedgerows and dry stone walls back to how it was before. 

We're on track to have the project completed and the pipeline in use in spring 2022 - providing future generations with quality Lakeland water and helping to protect the important, sensitive and precious environment.

You can see the latest progress on our West Cumbria update page.