Water works back in action

Last reviewed:

Steatham WTW

Three water works in London are being recommissioned to help keep taps flowing across the capital following the dry spring and early summer period.


Thames Water sites in Brixton, Streatham and Battersea, which have been surplus to requirements in recent years, are all being switched back on to make sure there continues to be enough water to meet demand.


Storage levels in some of the company’s reservoirs have decreased following below average rainfall last winter and over the spring and early summer, plus increased demand for water during periods of hot weather in June and July put further pressure on resources.


Now, as the winter season approaches, the company is planning ahead in case the region experiences another dry winter - when there’s below average rainfall - to help boost supply next year and reduce the risk of water shortages.


Paul Wetton, water production manager at Thames Water, said: “It’s only right people expect water to be available when they turn their taps on so it’s our job to do all we can to make that happen.

“The dry weather we’ve had earlier this year has presented us with a big challenge as the lack of rain means levels in some of the rivers we source water from are lower than normal, and the hot weather means people use more water to drink, water their gardens and fill up paddling and swimming pools.


“Sadly it’s not a case of reservoir levels returning to normal as soon as the weather cools down and we have a few days of rain, and it can take some considerable time for us to build up our reserves again, which is why having these extra treatment sites and boreholes back up and running is so important.


“There’s also a drive to fix more leaks on our pipes to help conserve water too.”


During the hot weather this year, Thames Water teams worked around the clock to make sure demand for water was met and no restrictions, such as hosepipe bans, were enforced. Customers are also urged to use water wisely, whatever the weather, and take simple water-saving measures such as not leaving the tap running when brushing teeth.


Several other redundant water works are also being readied so they can be brought into use if needed as Thames Water continues to invest additional funds to improve performance.