Live near the coast between Ryhope and Blackhall Colliery, in Seaham or Peterlee? Ever wondered where your water comes from and how we get it to your tap? You’re in the right place! 

Your water starts its journey in a number of scenic locations. We collect water in a few different ways from these locations, to get just the right blend. Similar to coffee, tea, and whiskey, there are so many small differences in each type of ingredient and blending helps to get it spot on.




Sometimes, to keep up with demand in your area, we need to change the blend a touch so that there’s plenty of water available for all. This can result in your water tasting or smelling slightly different to the last time you turned on your tap and this is completely normal. Like switching from Yorkshire Tea, to PG Tips, to Tetley, you’d notice a small difference but it’s still a lovely brew (other tea brands are available!)


However you like yours just add water


Some of your water is rainfall collected in the beautiful Burnhope Reservoir at Wearhead in the North Pennines. Water is also taken from the River Wear and from layers deep underground, known as the aquifer, by using boreholes (really deep, narrow wells).


All of this water is moved to two water treatment works by a series of pipes and pumps. The water treatment works, Wear Valley in Wearhead and Lumley near Chester-le-Street, process the water through several stages to make sure every drop is treated to the highest standard.


From there, the water is moved through a network of water mains to a number of service reservoirs (treated water storage tanks) across your local area. The treated water is stored there until we need to push it along our huge network of pipes to your home so that when you turn on the tap, you’ve always got clean, clear and great tasting water.

But water just falls from the sky, right?

We're pleased you asked! Technically, yes, water falls from the sky. However, we strongly advise against drinking it straight from a puddle!


Not only do we hold ourselves to high standards, but so does the law. We treat and test our water (a lot!) to make sure it meets all requirements and regulations.


We spend a huge amount of effort, energy and time turning rainfall into the wonderful wet stuff that comes out of your tap. We’re proud to supply our customers with some of the best quality tap water in the UK, not to mention cleanest in the world.

How do you make sure I always have water?

We treat and supply 675 million litres of water every single day.


To keep up with demand, sometimes we need to move water around our huge network of pipes or use different sources of water for a short amount of time. All our water is treated to the same high standard, however, when we make changes like this, you may notice a difference in taste or smell.


We all get used to the taste and smell of our water, so any small change can be noticed instantly, this is completely normal. The change can often be improved by chilling your water in the fridge for an hour or so or popping a slice of lemon in your glass if you can’t wait that long.


If you notice a major change in the taste or smell of your water, 

check out some information about taste and smell for advice and help.


Recently, we’ve seen an increase in the amount of water that everyone’s using. To help us, and to make sure everyone has the water they need, please use your water wisely. You can find out more about saving water because water’s worth saving.

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