March set for harder drinking water as Anglian Water looks to increase Rutland Water supply levels

PUBLISHED: 08:56 07 January 2012

Anglia Water

Anglia Water


THE source of drinking water at hundreds of Fenland homes will be switched later this month as Anglian Water takes measures to increase supply levels at one of its reservoirs.

Water hardness explained

WATER hardness is a measure of how much calcium is naturally in the water.

March’s supply from Wing is already quite hard, so Anglian Water anticipates that many people will not notice any change.

Mr Nelson said: “Almost all the water in the east of England is classified as ‘hard’, and the water supplied to March will be no different to very large parts of the Anglian Water region.

“There is some evidence to suggest that a hard water supply actually has a small but beneficial impact on diet, as a daily intake of calcium is good for strong bones and healthy teeth.

“A number of studies have also shown that drinking hard water reduces cardiovascular disease.”

He also said: “Hardness of water is a factor outside our control and we do not interfere with the natural hardness of water in our region. It is affected by things like the rock formations it travels through to reach our reservoirs and treatment works.”

Residents in March have been notified of the looming change by Anglian Water this week as the company looks to increase water levels at Rutland Water following last year’s lower-than-average rainfall.

The change means that supplies will be slightly harder but the company stressed this is “in no way a reduction in water quality”.

Ciaran Nelson, Anglian Water spokesman, said: “This is routine work for Anglian Water and the change shouldn’t have any impact on people’s supplies.”

Letters have been sent to residents because some kitchen appliances can be adjusted to operate more efficiently, depending on the hardness of water they use.

Mr Nelson said: “We have written to those affected so that if they notice any change in their water, they know what to put it down to, and so they can make changes to the water settings on things like washing machines and dishwashers.

“We regularly look at our water network to balance demand with the available supply and to make sure we conserve water where we anticipate needing it most.

“In this case, the water for March will start to come from Stoke Ferry and Marham Water Treatment Works rather than our Water Treatment Works at Wing, on the banks of Rutland Water.

“Because of the exceptionally low rainfall that we experienced in 2011, the water level in Rutland is lower that we would like it to be at this time of year, even though the reservoir is still two-thirds full.

“We are therefore doing what we can to use water from elsewhere, where supplies are more plentiful.”

• More information on water hardness can be found on the Anglian Water website by searching for ‘hardness’ at

Anyone with concerns about the quality of tap water should call 08457 145 145 (24 hours).

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