7th Jul, 2022

Severn Trent battles water pressure outrages as demand reaches 'record levels'

John Carlon 1st Jun, 2020 Updated: 1st Jun, 2020

DEMAND for water has reached the highest level in Severn Trent’s history, the water company has said.

Appealing for residents across the Midlands to help conserve water, the corporation said it was seeing “incredibly high demand for treated water” across its entire catchment.

Following a month where some parts of the Midlands received just 1mm of rainfall, lockdown restrictions and gardening are increasing water consumption.

As water treatment is ramped up, the company has asked residents to avoid using jet washers, garden sprinklers or filling up pools.

Liv Garfield, CEO at Severn Trent, said: “We’re seeing the highest demand we’ve ever seen in our history at the moment.

“Our treatment works are already working at maximum and our pipes are carrying treated water as fast as they can to everyone, but the huge spike in demand means we’re seeing poor pressures in some areas as people use it up as fast as we can get it to them.

“We know everyone’s enjoying the sunny weather, but we’re appealing for them to cut back on non-essential use, especially outside, where they can over the next week. That’ll really help us keep up and make sure everyone gets the water they need for handwashing, cooking and drinking.”

Severn Trent said reservoirs remain 85 per cent full of raw water, but the challenge is treating and pumping it out fast enough to meet demand.

It added: “Our treatment works are working flat out and producing and pumping out a staggering 2.3 billion litres of treated water each and every day. That’s 95 million litres every hour of the day and more than Severn Trent has ever put into supply on any day in its 30 year history.

“On average, people are using 20 per cent more water than normal, compared to a normal May, and some areas are using as much as 40 per cet more. That means some areas, scattered across the Midlands, are seeing poor pressure and even loss of supply in evenings as the pipes can’t carry water fast enough to meet the unprecedented demand.”

In 2019, Severn Trent paid out £2.255 million to residents owing to leakage figures showing on average 420 megalitres of water lost each day.

It was formed from two river authorities and council sewage boards in 1974, before privatisation in 1989.

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