Ancient water well discovered in Acocks Green – bottled Birmingham water anyone?
Forget Perrier, Evian and Volvic, the bottled water industry is set to be shook-up by the great taste of Acocks Green after a secret, ancient well was discovered in the Birmingham suburb.
Entrepreneur Shakeel Afsar plans to flood the market with the Brummie brand after discovering the water source at a Victorian property he is extending.
He’s already on a winner. Severn Trent have congratulated him on uncovering his own private water supply. That could prove very useful when hosepipe-ban weather hits.
“You know what?” laughed the 28-year-old, who runs a property development business with brother Akeel. “We might even try to get Acocks Green recognised as a spa town.”
Both schemes are a little premature. Water pulled from the well, in the garden of a Shirley Road semi, is currently being tested to ensure it’s drinkable. Shakeel is yet to try it.
The discovery, made last weekend, has excited local historians. They believe the brickwork suggests the well pre-dates the Victorian era.
It was discovered while groundwork was being carried out for a large extension to the 100-year-old property.
Builders initially believed they had cut through sewerage pipes. Closer inspection revealed the 25 foot deep well.
Shakeel, from Moseley, said: “The clarity of the water is just crazy.
“It is absolutely crystal clear, it’s like tapwater.
“The council has confirmed it’s my well.
“I could just fill it in, but I want to create a feature for the community.
“It will cost money, but this is something that should be preserved.
“One worker at the site is aged 76 and he’s been in the industry since he was 21.
“He’s never seen anything like this.”
Shakeel, who bought the house two years ago, plans to make the most of the discovery. “Bottled Acocks Green water, why not? Or how about a health spa?
“At the moment, historians are trying to find out more about the well, but I intend to make the most of the discovery.
“It’s very exciting and just imagine how it will help residents during droughts.”
The well is already proving a draw, with visitors eager to see the long-lost slice of Birmingham history.
Forget Acocks Green water, it seems Shakeel has tapped into a real tourist attraction.