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03 June 24

Affinity Water takes strides towards sustainable water management with new water treatment facility

Affinity Water, a leading provider of clean water services, is pleased to announce the construction of a new water treatment facility in Sundon, Bedfordshire.

This innovative facility marks a significant milestone in Affinity Water's commitment to reducing water abstraction from chalk groundwater sources and protecting the unique habitats of chalk streams in the region.

The new water treatment facility will play a crucial role in Affinity Water's efforts to decrease unsustainable abstraction by up to 36 million litres per day by 2025. By bringing in more water from outside the area, specifically from Anglian Water's Grafham Water reservoir, Affinity Water aims to minimise the ecological impact on chalk streams and their diverse wildlife populations.

Ben Hayward, Head of Capital Delivery at Affinity Water said:

"The implementation of the new water treatment facility represents a significant step forward in our commitment to environmental conservation and sustainable water management.”

"We are grateful for the positive feedback received during the public consultation process and remain dedicated to working with partners to monitor and mitigate any potential impacts on the environment and public water supplies."

Affinity Water’s supply area is home to 10% of the worlds rarest chalk streams, which serve as vital habitats for diverse wildlife species. From water crowfoot to otters, these streams support a rich ecosystem that must be preserved for future generations. The water is sourced from local chalk aquifers, known for their pristine quality and low energy requirements for treatment and distribution. However, recognising the urgent need to preserve globally rare chalk streams threatened by increasing water demand and climate change impacts, Affinity Water has embarked on a groundbreaking initiative to reduce unsustainable water abstraction.

Ben Hayward, Head of Capital Delivery at Affinity Water said:

"We are dedicated to ending unsustainable abstraction from chalk groundwater sources in the Chilterns and beyond.”

"Chalk streams are invaluable ecosystems that support a wide range of wildlife species, and it is our responsibility to safeguard them for future generations."

Construction on the water treatment facility commenced in October 2022 and is scheduled to be completed by June 2024, with reductions in local groundwater abstraction planned from December 2024 onwards.

To meet water demand while minimising reliance on unsustainable abstraction, Affinity Water will increase its supply from alternative sources, including imported water from Anglian Water's Grafham Water reservoir.

Our commitment to delivering safe and high-quality water remains unwavering, and we continuously monitor and maintain water quality standards to ensure customer satisfaction and safety.

Water sourced from different areas naturally varies in chemical composition, which can affect the performance of pipes. To address this, the water will undergo conditioning to align with local groundwater sources, mitigating the risk of discoloration and ensuring compliance with quality standards set by the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI).

Affinity Water's investment in the new water treatment facility aligns with its broader Water Resources Management Plan (WRMP) and business objectives for 2020-2025. The project has undergone rigorous review and approval processes by regulatory bodies, including Ofwat, the Environment Agency, and the DWI.

The water supply zones involved will be:

  • Luton North
  • Offley/Kimpton
  • Luton Stopsley
  • Luton Park Town
  • Knebworth/Tewin
  • Hatfield/Potters Bar
  • Harlow/Hadham
  • Epping/Ongar
  • Ware
  • Hertford
  • Welwyn Garden City
  • Dunstable
  • Luton West / Houghton Regis
  • Streatley (Anglian Water)
  • Chalton (Anglian Water)

Affinity Water has informed their relevant customers about an upcoming online session, providing them with an opportunity to express their views and receive further details about the project from their experts.

Affinity Water is investing approximately £15 million in this initiative, demonstrating its dedication to reducing groundwater abstraction and promoting environmental conservation. By leveraging existing infrastructure and embracing innovative solutions, Affinity Water is poised to lead the way in sustainable water management practices.

For more information about Affinity Water's environmental initiatives and water management projects, visit

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