1. ITV Report

Copeland residents invited to water supply drop-in sessions

The blend of hard and soft water lead to water 'popping' in kettles Photo: PA

Residents in Copeland are being invited to drop-in sessions to find out more about recent changes to the local water supply.

United Utilities have changed the water supply by blending hard water from new boreholes in Egremont with soft water from Ennerdale Lake.

ITV Border has heard claims from local families suffering from upset stomachs and rashes, apparently since the water supply change.

We’ve had contact from a number of customers in the Copeland area who have noticed the new harder water supply. We wanted to set up some sessions to make it easy for people to come and talk to us and raise any questions.

We tend to take our tap water for granted and when something changes it can cause understandable concern. I can reassure everyone that our regular analysis and monitoring of the water supply shows that even though it’s different it still meets the same high quality standards.”

– Martin Padley, United Utilities Water and Scientific Services Director

The drop-in sessions will be on:

  • Wednesday 12 July, 1pm-8pm at Egremont Methodist Church, Main Street, Egremont, CA22 2DR
  • Thursday 13 July, 1pm-8pm at The Beacon Portal, West Strand, Whitehaven, CA28 7LY
Thirlmere reservoir Credit: PA

I have had many residents contact me about their concerns over their water quality and I have been speaking with United Utilities about this issue."

I am pleased they have listened and are giving residents the opportunity to speak with them direct. I would urge anyone who has concerns to attend one of the sessions."

– Mike Starkie, Elected Mayor of Copeland

United Utilities say the change in water supply is as a a result of the Environment Agency limiting the amount of water that can be taken from Ennerdale, in order to protect rare freshwater mussels in the River Ehen.

They say after 2022, the Ennerdale supply will have to be stopped entirely, hence United Utilities building a new pipeline to supply West Cumbria, costing £300 million, with soft water from Thirlmere instead.

In the meantime, hard water from Egremont boreholes are being used until then.