THE
JOURNEY OF WATER

Scroll down to discover the long journey water makes to get to you

All our water comes from rainfall but where we take it from varies - we collect water both from above the ground and from below.

ABOVE GROUND

Above ground we take water from rivers and surface reservoirs - this water requires more treatment stages to ensure it is of the highest quality to make it safe to drink.

STORAGE

As water is stored in reservoirs, debris and solids settle to the bottom and sunlight breaks down organic material.

SCREENING

Water passes through fine screens, removing larger material such as sticks and weeds.

PRIMARY TREATMENT

Ozone gas is bubbled through the water and a form of iron is added. This process forms small particles, called ‘floc’ which attract impurities.

CLARIFICATION

As water is stored in reservoirs, debris and solids settle to the bottom and sunlight breaks down organic material.

FILTRATION

Filtration sieves the water, and using slow sand filters also encourages bacteria to grow, breaking down organic compounds in the water.

AERATION

This process removes compounds such as hydrogen sulphide and carbon dioxide, and oxidises dissolved metals.

Advanced treatment

Water is treated with granular activated carbon (GAC), while ozone gas is bubbled through it. This disinfects the water, and removes pesticides.

DISINFECTION

Chlorine disinfects all water supplies, to eliminate potentially harmful micro-organisms such as bacteria.

BELOW GROUND

Below ground we take water from stores called ‘aquifers’ - they may be out of sight but they are a critical source, providing three-quarters of all your water.

ABSORBED BY ROCK

The water in the aquifers comes from rain which has soaked into the soil and gradually been absorbed by porous underground rocks such as chalk and limestone.

MOVES THROUGH PORE SPACES

Once stored within these sponge-like rocks the water can move through pore spaces towards springs, rivers or the sea, or it can be pumped up to the surface where it is treated and made ready to drink.

PUMPED FROM UNDERGROUND

The majority of water we supply is pumped from underground aquifers and this water is relatively easy to treat.

NATURALLY FILTERED

It has already been naturally filtered through chalk or sandstone, and only needs to be disinfected with chlorine to make it safe to drink.

Now you know the long journey water has to take to reach your tap, become a water saver, see our tips on how to save, you can even pledge to save and inspire others to do the same.