West CumbriaWest Cumbria update

Since we started construction in 2017, our teams have been working hard to install new pipelines, refurbish old pipes,  build new pumping stations, a new treatment works and two new service reservoirs - the new water network is really starting to come together!  

The great news is that, despite many challenges including dry weather, extreme wet weather and flooding...even Covid-19, we're still on track to complete this unique scheme in 2022. 

We’ve captured just how things are progressing with our plans to provide a more resilient and sustainable water supply for our customers in West Cumbria.

Changes to our working hours

There's usually longer daylight hours during the summer months, so our teams will be working extended hours to help get the land returned back to normal where we've installed the new pipelines. This will only affect our working sites in agricultural areas and not those sites within a residential setting.

  • The new pipe network

    Aqueduct pipes: Water will be transferred from Thirlmere Reservoir by gravity, through the twin aqueduct pipes and new tunnels to Williamsgate Water Treatment Works. The pipes have been installed and we're now concentrating on testing and also returning the land back to normal. 

    We've also completed the installation of our new network pipes that will transfer treated water to our new storage facilities, before it begins the journey to customers' taps.

    Land reinstatement has already begun across the project which involves removal of stones, preparing the land to replace the top soil and eventually re-seeding.  We have a number of teams who are progressing in stages along the route. The images below demonstrate just how well the land recovers in a short space of time.

    Weather conditions have a major influence on the reinstatement activity, and at the moment the weather appears to be quite unpredictable which may impact on our progress across the working areas.

    The images below show the recovery around our working areas before and after land reinstatement.

    Reinstated working area
    Working area before reinstatement of land
  • Williamsgate Water Treatment Works

    Construction of the new buildings is progressing well. We're now installing the mechanical and electrical components within the site. Work to lay the new 'green' topping on the curved roof is also taking place.  

    Williamsgate Water Treatment Works
    Laying the new roof
  • Service Reservoir sites

    The two new sites will store the treated water arriving from Williamsgate in huge underground tanks, ready to distribute along pipes to homes and businesses. 

    High Leys is the largest of the two service reservoirs - storing 50 million litres of treated water. The storage tanks are all built and the pumping station structure is now complete. The team are busy working on the electrical installation in this building - with the roof installation due to start in August 2020.

    High Leys Service Reservoir


    We'll also begin the landscaping work in August and seeding is expected to take place in August/September 2020.  We'll be working to carry out the final testing between autumn 2020 and spring 2021. 

    Moota Hill is the smaller capacity service reservoir, but it will still be capable of holding an impressive 21 million litres of water!  All the structural tests have been completed and we're now working on the electrical installation. 

    Moota Hill Service Reservoir

    We're continuing with landscaping work and are aiming to complete the grass seeding by the end of July, so we can then start to plant trees and hedges in September/October. We'll be working to carry out the final testing at Moota Hill between autumn 2020 and spring 2021.

  • Out with the old and in with the new

    We've also been refurbishing the existing water pipe network from Cornhow in the Lorton Valley, through to Stainburn Service Reservoir near Workington. 

    We've increased the number of teams working on this element of the project and are expecting to have completed all sections of work by the end of summer 2020.   We understand that there have been several road closures required while we completed this work and appreciate your patience.  We do not expect to require any further road closures.

    Unlike the water transferring from Thirlmere to the new treatment works which travels by gravity, the treated water needs some help to travel along the pipe network to your home. In the Cockermouth area we've built a new pumping station and installed new connections to help the water continue it's journey.

    Pipe split connections in the Cockermouth area
    Harrot Hill pumping station


    Thank you for your ongoing patience while we've been working.  We do understand that the scale of this project has involved a lot more construction traffic, noise and disruption for the community.  If you have any queries you can always call us on 0345 672 3723.