The Bristol Water Company was established in 1846, with the aim of supplying the whole city of Bristol with fresh water from the Mendip Hills. Only 15 months later, the first water travelled from Chewton Mendip via the engineering feat of the 16 km Line of Works conduit into the heart of Bristol.
As the company expanded, reservoirs were built at Blagdon (1888), Cheddar (1930s) and Chew Stoke (1956).
Bristol Water currently supplies over 1 million people with water. Whilst the Mendips are still important to the local water supply, over half of the local water is piped from the River Severn via the Sharpness Canal.