In My Area
Frequently asked questions
Birmingham Resilence Project
Why does the project have to happen now?
For over 100 years the Elan Valley Aqueduct (EVA) has been a reliable source of water for Birmingham and the surrounding communities. However our regular checks have revealed signs of aging, which is why we’d like to invest and improve it now so that our customers have a reliable water supply for many years to come. Starting the project now will also cut down on future maintenance and repair costs.
What will be the major benefits?
The main benefit will be making sure there's a reliable supply of water for the future, because if we don’t start now it may begin to impact on our customers’ supplies.
Will you actually use the newly available water?
Absolutely. Once the supply is available in 2020 we plan to immediately use it as a back-up to make sure our customers’ supplies continue uninterrupted as we carry out essential maintenance on the EVA. The new back-up supply can also be used in the event of emergencies, helping us to keep clean water flowing at all times.
Has the EVA ever been at real risk of failure?
The EVA continues to serve us well but, as with most things when they get older, there’s always a level of deterioration to take into account. We’ve been able to manage this effectively through regular maintenance, but this will become more costly and difficult as the aqueduct continues to age. That’s why it’s so important we act now.
Will my water be any different from the new supply?
At the moment, much of Birmingham’s water is sourced from Wales and supplied through the Elan Valley Aqueduct. When we use the new back up supply, your water will be sourced from Worcestershire and other areas within the region. As water is a natural product, different sources give a slightly different mix of minerals and composition. However the
water will continue to meet quality standards and is already used by thousands of customers, so you can continue with your usual water use and routines. If you use water for a non-domestic purpose, which may be affected by a change in water composition you may want to review this. If you would like further detail about the backup supply composition
please email us.
To see the water composition range for the back-up supply click here.
Are there any health concerns?
Birmingham’s water will continue to be treated to the same high standards that our customers currently enjoy. We’ll also be working closely with public health bodies to satisfy any particular needs they may have.
Will this work only improve the water supply in Birmingham?
While the EVA mainly supplies Birmingham, many other customers around the region also benefit from its water. The planned work will help to support the wider grid of pipes that we use to supply the whole region, which in turn will benefit all our customers. Spending money on repair work now will also help avoid more costly work later, which will help us keep our bills the lowest of any water company (seven years and counting).
How will this work be funded?
The money we receive from our customer bills funds all of our investment work – including this one. The BRP is a very large project, but we’re still confident our customers will continue to receive the lowest charges for water and waste water services in England and Wales, both now and in the future.
Where will the new back up supply be used?
The back-up supply will be used for up to eight weeks each year to enable us to do essential maintenance on the Elan Valley Aqueduct. To see an indication of the area which will receive the back-up supply click here.