A warning for Prestonians to boil their water before drinking has entered a second week.Advertisement
United Utilities has said it “cannot take any risks with public health” and is continuing to consult Public Health England and the Drinking Water Inspectorate on next steps.
The water firm has had to issue the warning on Thursday 6 August after a trace of cryptosporidium – which causes diarrhea – was found in water at the Franklaw treatment works near Preston.
More than 2,500 miles of pipework and several large reservoirs have to clear before officials will be satisfied there are no traces of the bug in the water supply.
A statement from the firm said: “We will not be in a position to lift the boil water notice until we are confident that supplies across the affected area are back to their usual extremely high standards.
“We cannot take any risks with public health and, in consultation with the other organisations, we will agree when we can lift the advice to boil your water. This will only be done when we can be absolutely certain there are no longer any traces of cryptosporidium in the water.
“We know how inconvenient this situation is and we thank you for your support and patience, once again, whilst we work around the clock to get back to normal.
“Franklaw water treatment works is now continuing to put its usual high quality water in to the local supply. As this clean water is entering the network, we are also continuing our work to clear every trace of the bug from the extensive network that serves the area. This network is around 2,500 miles in length and includes several storage reservoirs holding 500 million litres of water, so it takes time to refresh this huge amount.
“Our teams have been out and about testing, and maintaining the network to support the work to return to normal. We are holding regular discussions with a number of organisations to examine each set of results. This is a complex, scientific issue which cannot be rushed as it takes time to analyse the samples, receive the results and understand what each set of results are telling us.
“We will be compensating all homes and businesses who have been affected by the boil water advice notice, and once this advice is lifted, we will be contacting you. We’re looking at how we can make the compensation payments as easy as possible for all of our customers. Compensation for businesses will be looked at on a case by case basis.”
United Utilities staff are manning an information point in Preston city centre at the Harris Library from 9am to 5pm on Friday and Saturday and from 11am to 4pm on Sunday.
How has the boil water warning been affecting you? Let us know in the comments below