Where does tap water come from?

Visitors at an open day at one of South East Water’s treatment works learned how rain water becomes top quality drinking water.

Guests joined staff at the works close to Arlington reservoir to find out the processes involved in collecting, storing and cleaning water before it is delivered crystal clear to households across the south east.

They were first welcomed to the 120 acre reservoir, near Polegate, where South East Water has undertaken extensive environmental projects to create a wildlife and fishing haven.

The tour then went on to the treatment plant, where 17.4 million litres of water are made safe to drink each day. Staff explained how impurities in the water are removed through four stages and samples tested for purity before it is pumped through a network of pipes to homes and businesses across the area.

Among the visitors was Sylvia Hoaen, of the NHS Retirement Fellowship, who said: “We were intrigued, impressed and amazed with all that has to happen to provide us with our glass of clean drinking water. It will never be taken for granted again!”
Kevin Clark, South East Water’s Regional Production Manager said: “We were really pleased to open our doors and show visitors the work that goes in to providing our customers with their drinking water.

“Every drop of our water comes from rainfall, but there are several stages it has to go through to ensure it meets the highest standards. Because we are all used to simply turning on the tap and expect safe water, we don’t always think about how it gets there. Open days like these are important in showing our customers what’s involved in turning rainwater into drinking water.”

South East Water’s next open day is at Bewl Water Treatment Works, Lamberhurst, Kent, on Saturday 10th May.  Arlington Water Treatment Works is next open on Saturday 18th October.
To register your interest in joining a tour or to find out about activities at the reservoirs, go to www.southeastwater.co.uk