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Frequently asked questions

A new backup supply for Birmingham and surrounding areas

When the backup supply is in use, you don’t need to do anything differently, you can continue to use your water for your cooking and cleaning as you would normally do. The backup uses water sources which supply thousands of our other customers, and which meets all the regulatory water quality requirements to ensure you are provided with safe, wholesome drinking water. For details of water quality standards visit Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) website.

Currently Birmingham’s water is sourced from Wales. When we use the new backup supply, water will be sourced from Worcestershire and other areas within the region.  As water is a natural product, different sources have a slightly different mix of minerals and composition. The
water will continue to meet regulatory water quality requirements and is already used by thousands of customers, so you can continue with your normal 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 consult your equipment manufacture. Please click here for information on the back-up water composition.

From 2020, for up to eight weeks each year, the backup supply will be used to supply Birmingham and surrounding areas, click here for the area. We will post dates on this page, three months in advance of when we plan to use the backup supply. The backup supply, may also be used in the event of emergencies, in which case we will not be able to provide prior notice. During 2019 we will use the
back-up supply for short periods in the south east area of Birmingham.

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.

The short term change in source when the backup supply is used should not have any effect on appliances in your home. You will not need to do anything differently.  The backup source is already used to supply thousands of customers across the region. To optimise appliances refer
to the appliance instructions or contact the manufacturer for guidance.

You will need to contact your local health care provider or refer to the manufacturer’s instruction for guidance on any changes you may need to make. Please follow this link for information on the backup water composition.

If you have equipment or carry our processes which require a specific water composition/chemistry we recommend that you contact your
equipment manufacturer for guidance, Severn Trent will not be able to advise you on any changes you may need to make. The water we provide you will meet all regulatory water quality requirements to ensure you are provided with safe, wholesome drinking water.

Please follow this link for information on the backup water composition.

If you have an aquarium, we recommend you speak to a specialist on any action you may need to take. Please follow this link for information on the backup water composition.  

The backup supply means we can maintain and keep the Elan Valley Aqueduct (EVA) in service. Customers can continue to enjoy wonderful water from Wales for generations to come. It also means there is a backup supply which can be used for emergencies.

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 on the Aqueduct 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 future generations.

While the Elan Valley Aqueduct (EVA) mainly supplies Birmingham, many other customers around the region also benefit from the supply from Wales. Maintaining the EVA will help to support the wider network of pipes used to supply the whole region, which in turn will benefit many thousands of customers outside the city.

The money we receive from our customer bills funds all of our investment work – including this one. Creating the new backup supply is a
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.

If you would like to know more

Any questions? Get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.

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