Nottingham Water Supply

1- Water for Life: The Development of Nottingham’s Water Provision
2- Fresh water for Nottingham: Going Underground
3- A need for greater supply - Papplewick Pumping Station
4- Life at Papplewick
5- The modern Pumping Station
6- The continuing search for water

The continuing search for water

The supplies pumped at Bestwood, Papplewick and Basford began to lower the underground water table, so as Nottingham continued to expand in the late 19th century the Corporation had to look further afield for fresh water.

From the Sherwood Sandstone

The first solution was to build more pumping stations, firstly on the sandstone itself such as Boughton Pumping Station (opened in 1901) and secondly in areas where the aquifer lay below other rock. These later stations therefore needed much deeper boreholes compared with Papplewick’s 61 metres (202 feet).

Boughton Pumping Station

Boughton Pumping Station in 1901

Ompton Pumping Station

Ompton Pumping Station (opened 1969)

From the Upper Derwent Valley

In 1899 Nottingham Corporation joined with Leicester, Sheffield and Derby to form the Derwent Valley Water Board. This organisation built three large reservoirs in the hills of North Derbyshire. Water from these reservoirs is treated at Bamford and flows by gravity to Derby, Nottingham and Leicester.

From the River Derwent

Church Wilne treatment works takes up to 130 megalitres from the river each day, some of which is stored in the neighbouring reservoir before being treated and piped to Nottingham and Leicester. The original works, opened by Princess Anne in 1972, have been extended a number of times, to increase the output and to improve the water quality.

Linked to this scheme is Carsington Water, opened in 1992. Water is pumped from the Derwent during the winter when the river is high, stored in the reservoir and then released back into the river during the summer for treatment at Church Wilne and Little Eaton.

Severn Trent Water

In 1974 the Nottingham Corporation Water Department, the Derwent Valley Water Board and all the other water authorities in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire became part of the Severn Trent Water Authority. The new organisation was given responsibility for both water supply and sewage treatment and in 1990 it passed into private ownership, becoming Severn Trent Water. Nottingham's water is now linked to a network of pipelines stretching from the Peak District to south Gloucestershire. Severn Trent can therefore move water to where it is needed most, guaranteeing supplies to millions of people throughout the Midlands.

Howden reservoir

Howden reservoir

Ladybower reservoir

Ladybower reservoir

Carsington water

Carsington water

Church Wilne treatment plant

Church Wilne treatment plant

Heritage Lottery fund supported
Papplewick Pumping Station is an Accredited museum
Quality assured visitor attraction