Document ReferenceRWA
TitleRecords of the Severn Trent Water Authority; 1974-1989
Extent4 shelves
Access ConditionsThe bulk of the collection is accessible to all readers. However, access may be restricted to material less than thirty years old and material restricted under current Data Protection legislation. Please see our Access Policy or contact us for further advice.
Admin HistoryOfficially constituted on 14 August 1973, the Severn Trent Water Authority took over control on 1 April 1974 from the Trent River Authority, and also assumed responsibility for sewerage and sewage disposal from local authorities, water supply from statutory water undertakers, and land drainage, fisheries and prevention of river pollution, from the river authorities. It was one of ten water authorities, and was named after the two main rivers in its catchment, the Severn and the Trent.

The Authority originally consisted of 43 members, 16 of whom were appointed by the Secretary of State for the Environment, 4 by the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, and 22 by local authorities. They met four times a year. The 1983 Water Act reduced the number of members to a board of 14 government appointed people and customer representation provided via new consultative committees, with the intention of making the Authority structure more like that of other nationalised industries.

Initially there were 23 single purpose divisions (including two river divisions), within Severn Trent Water Authority, in order to continue operations at local level during the transitional period, but as planning of water resources and water reclamation needed to be controlled by headquarters, this meant that the river divisions had less of a role to play. The Nottingham Water Supply Division was based at Hucknall Road, Nottingham (previously the headquarters of the City of Nottingham Water Department which had been responsible for water supply).

Following reorganisation, which came into operation on 1 April 1975, the Authority restructured into eight new operating divisions. Each had a management team consisting of a Divisional Manager, Divisional Engineer (responsible for hydrology, maintenance services, new works, reclamation, land drainage, etc.), Divisional Operations Controller (responsible for areas, trade effluent, inspectorate, pumping, distribution, mains, mechanical services, etc.), Divisional Scientist (responsible for analytical services, scientific records, laboratories, etc.), Divisional Finance and Administrative Officer, and a Personnel Officer.

The Lower Trent Division had its headquarters at Mapperley Hall, Nottingham, with other offices at Hucknall Road and Trentside, in Nottingham, and also Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, and Gainsborough, Lincolnshire. Based on Nottinghamshire, the Division also included parts of Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, Yorkshire and Humberside.

In 1987 the Divisions merged and became four new Divisions, Western, Northern, Southern, and Eastern, the latter formed from the Lower Trent Division and Soar Division, with a Management Centre based at Leicester Water Centre. These new Divisions were further divided into fifteen operating disticts, with district offices at Nottingham, Leicester and Mansfield.
Custodial HistoryFollowing the 1989 privatisation of Severn Trent Water, some Severn Trent Water Authority files and photographic material relating to the Trent region were passed to the University as a result of the closure of Swithland Pumping Station, used at one point by the Authority for the storage of non-current files. A small number of papers which were previously housed at the Hucknall Road Office, and were originally listed with the records of the City of Nottingham Water Department, have now been moved to this collection (previous numbers R/HR/2/1). This catalogue was produced in 2011-2012 with support from The National Archives Cataloguing Grants Programme.
DescriptionThe material currently held gives a very fragmented picture of the work of the Authority. Files cover a diverse range of topics, and originate from a number of the different divisions and districts which have existed over time. They include papers of the Nottingham Water Supply Division Management Committee (1974-1975), files belonging to the Photographer of Lower Trent Division (1978-1981), a press file of newspaper cuttings relating to the Authority and general water issues (1975-1977), location maps and lists of water works of the Nottingham District (1974-1977). Of particular interest are research papers on the history of Stoke Bardolph Water Reclamation Works for its centenary (1978-1980), and a collection of tender documents and plans relating to the restoration of Wilford Suspension Bridge, Nottingham, in 1983-1984 (RWA/F).

There is a fairly comprehensive run of minutes, from 1974 to the early 1980s, of the Authority and its various committees, including the Land Drainage Committee, Policy and Resources Committee, Water Amenity Committee, Recreation and Fisheries Committee, Water Management Committee, and the Fisheries Advisory Committee. Very few annual reports are present. (RWA/G).

These is a large volume of photographic material (RWA/Ph), including an indexed Lower Trent Division collection of contact sheets and slides showing various works, aerial photographs of water works and flooding incidents, and staff portraits (some intended for use in 'Downstream', the newspaper for staff of the Lower Trent Division). Also present are assorted bundles of often un-labelled or undated photographs showing construction work at various pumping stations and water reclamation works in Nottinghamshire, some of which had been used for Nottingham District displays. There is a variety of material relating to Papplewick Pumping Station, Nottingham, including photographs of the interior and the disused underground reservoir.

The small collection of plans (RWA/P) of various dates are mostly Lower Trent Division drawings and sections of reservoir improvements, including Belle Vue Reservoir in Nottingham and Redhill Reservoir, Nottinghamshire, work on mains pipes, at Basford, Nottingham, and a series of Nottingham Water Supply Division plans (dating back to 1971) relating to easements for the Southern Area trunk main.

Printed material (RWA/Pr) includes a series of issues of the 'Stream' newspaper for the period 1978-1981, published by the Authority for all Severn Trent and East Worcestershire Waterworks Company employees, which provides useful information about the day to day work of the Authority, its technical developments, and staff members, etc. Also present are commemorative publications relating to Stoke Bardolph Water Reclamation Works, a thesis on river navigation, various technical reports, and a bundle of pamphlets and leaflets aimed at the general public or intended to communicate to children the issues around the treatment of water, water conservation, water safety, etc.
MgtGroupRivers, drainage and water records
ArrangementMaterial has been arranged by type and provenance, but date order has not been followed as more material may be added to the collection at a later date.
TermWater-supply - England - Management
Water-supply - England - Trent basin
Sewerage - England - Trent basin
FindingAidsCopyright in all Finding Aids belongs to the University of Nottingham. Online: Online catalogue available from the Manuscripts and Special Collections website. A set of 'Water Resources' web pages created by Manuscripts and Special Collections staff puts this collection into context with our other collections from the variety of local companies and organisations responsible for supplying drinking water and sewerage facilities, flood prevention, pollution control and protection of fish stocks before the 1970s. Copy and paste the TinyURL link to visit 'Water Resources':
ReprodnNoteReprographic copies can be supplied for educational and private study purposes only, depending on access status and the condition of the documents.
Related MaterialManuscripts and Special Collections also holds the records of predecessors, the City of Nottingham Water Department Ref: R/HR, Derwent Valley Water Board Ref: DVW, Stoke Bardolph and Bulcote Model Farms Ref: RSB, Papplewick Pumping Station Ref: PPS, Nottingham New Waterworks/Northern Waterworks Company Ref: MS 880, and the Trent River Board/Authority (Clerk's Department Ref: RC, Engineer's Department Ref: RE, Governance records Ref: RG, Hydrology Department Ref: RH); also Trent River Authority's predecessors (Trent Navigation Company Ref: RtN, Brigg Court of Lincolnshire Commissioners of Sewers Ref: Br, Court of Sewers for the Level of Hatfield Chase/Hatfield Chase Corporation Ref: HCC, Trent Fishery Board Ref: RTF); their successors (Severn Trent Water Ref. RST, National Rivers Authority Ref: RRA, Environment Agency Ref: REA); also the papers of an employee of the Trent River Authority (H.R. Potter Ref: HRP).
Related RecordRHR
Publication NoteSevern Trent Water Authority annual reports and accounts 1974/75-1983/84. University of Nottingham King’s Meadow Campus East Midlands Collection Periodicals:Em

Click the links below to view related name indexes

CodePersonNameDates of existence
NA1152Severn Trent Water Authority; 1974-19891974-1989
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