Where does water come from?


It couldn’t be simpler – you turn on the tap and water comes out.

It is a process we take for granted, but South East Water has a lot of work to do to supply our 2.1 million customers with 565 million litres of drinking water, every day.

All our water comes from rainfall but where we take it from varies – we collect water both from above the ground and from below.

Above ground we take water from rivers, and reservoirs, all of which is treated at one of our 93 treatment works to make it safe to drink.

Below ground we take water from stores called ‘aquifers’ – they may be out of sight but they are a critical source, providing three-quarters of all your water.

The water in the aquifers comes from rain which has soaked into the soil and gradually been absorbed by porous underground rocks such as chalk and limestone.

Once stored within these sponge-like rocks the water can move through pore spaces towards springs, rivers or the sea, or it can be pumped up to the surface.

We have over 150 boreholes – effectively wells – from where we pump water from aquifers up to the surface where it is treated and made ready to drink.