Records of Severn Trent Water; 1989-1996

Scope and Content

The series of files [RST/F] belonged to the Supply and Distribution Manager of the Sherwood District, and relate primarily to the District's involvement in the Nottingham-Sherwood Water Supply Strategy Scheme. This aimed to ensure a safe and sufficient supply of water to reduce groundwater nitrate concentrations in Nottinghamshire to European Commission water quality requirements. This involved investment in water treatment works and the development of new sources (via the construction of new borehole pumping stations, and variations of licences for existing borehole abstractions). It also involved extending existing sources on the 'confined' sections of Bunter sandstone aquifer (the traditional source of water supply for Nottinghamshire) which is better protected against nitrates from farming fertilisers, by blending it with the poorer quality water taken from other sections. Work also continued on reinforcing and relining mains for carrying the water to improve pressure and security of supply in order to meet prescribed targets for levels of service.

Other concerns include fluoridation, ammoniation, Cryptosporidia, water hardness and drinking water quality in general. The files also cover the Company's use of technology for plant monitoring and control, and the administration of work schemes, including dealing with contractors at the various groundwater abstraction pumping stations within the Sherwood District: Amen Corner, Barnby Moor, Boughton, Budby, Chequer House, Clipstone, Far Baulker, Fishpool, Markham Clinton, Normans Hollow, Ompton, Rainworth, Rufford, Rushley, Sunnyside and Clipstone Forest (all in Nottinghamshire).

Most items date from 1989 but include a number of reports from the period of Severn Trent Water Authority (1974-1989), including a series on groundwater pumping stations, and a file of National Coal Board Damage Notices for 1977-1981.

The series of colour photographs [RST/Ph] document maintenance works and repairs to burst mains within the Nottingham District, and tend to feature roadworks.

At present there is only one plan, dated c.1998-9 for a link main at Strelley, Nottingham [RST/P].

Administrative / Biographical History

In 1989 the government privatised the water industry and sold the ten water authorities as water service companies. Severn Trent Water, owned by parent company Severn Trent Plc (which was also formed in 1989), took over responsibility for water supply and sewerage from Severn Trent Water Authority, whilst the National Rivers Agency (later the Environment Agency) became responsible for managing water resources, drainage, and flood and pollution prevention. Severn Trent Plc owns a portfolio of companies mainly in the US, UK and parts of Europe focussing on treating, measuring, analysing and delivering water resources. The water industry is currently controlled and regulated by bodies such as OFWAT (Office of Water Services), the Environment Agency (EA), and the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI).

After privatisation Severn Trent Water's day to day operations were managed at District level. Each District had responsibility for sewage treatment, supply and distribution, maintenance, and industrial services (byelaws and sampling), working closely with staff from Severn Trent Engineering (design and asset management).

The Sherwood District area covered North Nottinghamshire, down as far as Mansfield, and reaching north as far as Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire, taking in part of Doncaster, Yorkshire. The headquarters were based at the Great Central Road Offices and Depot in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire. Neighbouring Nottingham District covered South Nottinghamshire, Nottingham City, Newark and Southwell, in Nottinghamshire. Headquarters were based at Hucknall Road, Nottingham.


Material has been arranged by type. Original order within the files has not been disturbed and loose papers have been grouped roughly by subject; printed reports have been placed at the end of the sequence of files as they relate closely to the files' content.

Access Information

Access may be restricted to some files which include material which may have data protection issues, or are less than 30 years old.

Other Finding Aids

Copyright in all Finding Aids belongs to the University of Nottingham.

On the World Wide Web: Online catalogue available from the Manuscripts and Special Collections website.

Conditions Governing Use

Reprographic copies can be supplied for educational and private study purposes only, depending on access status and the condition of the documents.

Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult.

Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in writing from the Keeper of Manuscripts and Special Collections

Custodial History

At present only a small amount of records relating to the privatised Severn Trent Water have come into the University's custody as a result of clearances of various properties once owned by the company. This catalogue was produced in 2011-2012 with support from The National Archives Cataloguing Grants Programme.

Related Material

Manuscripts and Special Collections also holds records of predecessor bodies (the Severn Trent Water Authority, and the Trent River Board/Authority) containing material relating to the East Midlands region and the Trent Basin (Ref: RE, RC, RG, RT, RH, RTF and RWA).


'Sherwood District' by Severn Trent Water [Birmingham]: Severn Trent Water, [1991?]. University of Nottingham King's Meadow Campus East Midlands Collection Pamphlet Em. G62 SEV'Nottingham District' by Severn Trent Water [Birmingham]: Severn Trent Water, [1991?]. University of Nottingham King's Meadow Campus East Midlands Collection Pamphlet Em. G62 SEVReport and accounts of Severn Trent. University of Nottingham King's Meadow Campus East Midlands Collection Periodicals:Em (and some online).