Plans for a new £30 million reservoir in Crich have been unveiled.
Proposals are being drawn up by Severn Trent to replace an old underground site.
Residents were invited to a public exhibition at the Glebe Field Centre to discuss the scheme.
The existing reservoir, between Crich and Fritchley, is a large, covered concrete structure, approximately 190 metres by 110 metres in size, which was constructed between 1907 and 1910.
Severn Trent dams and reservoirs manager, Ian Hope, said: “The existing reservoir is more than 100 years old. Unfortunately the roof structure is no longer safe but because the reservoir is in continual use we can’t do anything but build another along side it and then replace the old asset.”
Residents have raised concerns about traffic and noise during the construction phase but Mr Hope said the work was vital to maintain water supplies in the East Midlands.
He added: “We hope it will be fairly concise and we can minimise the impact but generally people accept the project has to go ahead.”
The reservoir is Severn Trent’s largest. It holds 128 million litres of drinking water and has supplied up to 590,000 East Midlands customers for over 100 years.
Construction is set to take about four years and will be carried out in two phases.
The new reservoir will be built alongside the existing site then the old one will also be replaced.
Crich resident Lisa Horsley said: “This has got to be done but it does need to be planned and controlled properly.”
The project is due to start in March 2013 and should be finished by December 2017. The work will not interrupt with the water supply. Severn Trent is set to submit a planning application to Amber Valley Borough Council soon.