[T]HE MP for Copeland is urging residents to back a petition asking the Environment Agency to allow United Utilities to continue extracting water from Ennerdale until the completion of the Thirlmere project in 2022.
The petition was launched today by MP Trudy Harrison after United Utilities began blending water from boreholes with water from Ennerdale.
It proposes that the Environment Agency allow United Utilities to draw the entirety of Copeland’s water supply from Ennerdale Water until the completion of the Thirlmere project in 2022.
Trudy Harrison MP, said: “Since Copeland’s water supply has altered to incorporate ‘harder’ water from boreholes near Egremont, I have been inundated with correspondence from residents asking me to explore the situation further.
“I am holding an urgent meeting with Copeland’s Mayor, Mike Starkie, the Environment Agency, The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and United Utilities to discuss the proposal. I strongly encourage residents to sign the petition ahead of the meeting to demonstrate the strength of feeling in the community.
“Here in Copeland we have received fresh Ennerdale water since the 1850’s, and we as a community are accustomed to the soft water of Ennerdale and should not have to make do with a 50:50 mix.”
The merge of Ennerdale water with that from boreholes means West Cumbria’s water supply is now harder than in cities such as Manchester and Liverpool with the amount of calcium carbonate rising from 6mg per litre to 75mg, and being classed as ‘moderately soft’.
The Environment Agency now legally requires United Utilities to reduce water abstraction from Ennerdale Water and the River Ehen, to protect sensitive natural habitats and have therefore started sourcing water from groundwater sites in South Egremont.
Trudy added: “During this transitional period, until our water is supplied from Thirlmere, I urge for the continuation of fresh supplies from Ennerdale Water. I recognise the importance of a protected eco system, however, this should not be at the cost of Copeland’s fresh water supply. We should be looking at ways for a continued supply of fresh water while at the same time safeguarding our natural habitats.”
Sign the petition here: http://tinyurl.com/Ennerdale