Wonderful on Tap
Important notice about the dangers of swimming in our reservoirs
It's super hot outside and although it's tempting to cool off by taking a dip, we're reminding all our visitors to stay safe by keeping out of the water, across all our visitor sites.
On the surface they can look calm and steady but, underneath, the water is very deep with strong currents. Our reservoirs are purpose built for supplying water
and not for swimming or paddling.
A little bit about Shustoke...
The history of Shustoke
Why were the reservoirs created here?
In 1870 the Industrial Revolution was in full swing, as was the birthrate and the need for clean water was becoming more pressing. The Birmingham Water Works Company therefore applied to
Parliament for permission for water to be taken from the Rivers Bourne and Blythe, whose gathering grounds in rural areas to the East of Birmingham
were declared to be away from pollution, and to impound the water from the Bourne in a reservoir which was built at Shustoke.
A pumping station, filter beds and another small reservoir was also constructed at Whitacre.
What was here before?
Before the reservoir was built, the land was occupied by Whitacre Lodge which was part of the Hams Estate. This was sold by Lord Norton in 1879, for the building of Shustoke Reservoir.
How long did it take to build the Reservoirs?
The time-scale granted for this work was 10 years and although most of the work at Whitacre was completed in the time scheduled, an extension of five years was applied for in 1879 as the reservoir at
Shustoke had hardly been started; the eventual completion was around 1884.
What is the Reservoirs role in the water supply network?
When the reservoirs were built they were to supply water to the nearby Whitacre Treatment Works, which was to provide 28 million litres of water daily to Birmingham. As the city grew this soon
became inadequate and with the completion of the Elan Valley scheme in 1904 Whitacre was relegated to standby duty.
In 1908 Whitacre was recommissioned to supply water to Coventry to supplement the local borehole supplies. In the 1050’s Whitacre also started to supply Nuneaton and now about
10% of the water from Shustoke supplies Coventry with the rest going to Nuneaton and the surrounding districts of Bedworth and Atherstone.
Where does the water come from?
The water is gravity fed by the nearby River Bourne which runs along the north of the two reservoirs.
How deep and big are the reservoirs?
The reservoirs consist of a settling pool of 7.8 acres and a storage reservoir of 92 acres. Combined they have a capacity of around 460,000,000 gallons.