Bristol Water’s new pumping system saves enough energy to power Chew Magna

You might not know it but underneath the ground there is a lot of water moving around all the time. Under Bristol and the surrounding areas there is about 100 million tonnes of water moved around every year. That’s about the same weight as 8 million double decker buses. In fact, the weight of the water under the roads is more than the weight of the traffic on top of it.

The cost of moving that water around is big. Both in terms of money and energy.


A new Intelligent Pumping and Storage Optimisation System may not sound like the most interesting thing to the average Bristolian. But if that system reduces the company’s carbon emissions by 300 tonnes– saving enough energy to power all the homes in Chew Magna you can start to see why this matters. It is savings to our running costs, such as this, which means over the next five years we can reduce people’s bills.


Bristol Water has introduced a new intelligent pumping and storage optimisation system that chooses the times we pump, which pumps to use, and the route the water takes through the system. It calculates the best and most efficient way to move around that 100 million tonnes of water. Also, if any of our production sites are out of service the system automatically re-routes water from a different site. Making the network more resilient.


“As we go about our daily lives, it’s fair to say most of us wouldn’t give a thought about the massive operation going on under our feet. It is systems such as this that help us make people’s lives better, by making us more efficient so we can reduce bills and provide a more reliable service. But not only that, it helps us do our bit for the planet, by reducing our carbon emissions helping to tackle the climate crisis” David Smith, Asset Management and Production Director, Bristol Water.


To introduce the system Bristol Water has worked with Suez Advanced Solutions. Over the last 3 years to make the transition possible today. The first few sites started using the system in September 2019 with a full takeover expected by the end of November.