United Utilities boil water warning moves into third week: So what do we know?

Posted on - 21st August, 2015 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Preston News
Tap water is not safe to drink Pic: Olly Clarke

Tap water is not safe to drink Pic: Olly Clarke

As we enter a third week of needing to boil our water in Preston and the surrounding area we examine what we know so far.


United Utilities said on Thursday 6 August it was advising 300,000 customers to boil their water before using it for drinking, preparing food or washing their teeth.

Here’s everything you need to know:

When is it going to end?

We’ve not been given an estimated date for when the boil water alert will be lifted.

What is in the water?

A trace of cryptosporidium was detected at the Franklaw treatment works near Preston.

How did it happen?

It is thought animal guts got into the water. These can contain the virus.

What does cryptosporidium do?

You’d be on the toilet a fair bit, put it that way.

So will we be getting our money back?

United Utilities has pledged to compensate all those affected. How much and when is yet to be announced.

Is there something fishy going on?

An investigation, a criminal one that does not involve the police, has been launched into what’s happened as United Utilities negligence may have caused the trace. The Drinking Water Inspectorate have launched an investigation.

Has anyone become ill?

There have been no reports of anyone within the affected area contracting cryptosporidium from the water supply.

What are they doing to speed up the process?

On Wednesday 19 August the water firm announced it was putting up ultra violet rigs on certain parts of its network – including Broadgate in Preston – to “kill off what small traces of the bug remain.”

Haven’t they had clear samples for weeks?

Yes, the Franklaw treatment plant is testing negative for any traces of cryptosporidium. But United Utilities say “we won’t take risks with public health”.

Where can I find more information?

United Utilities are being very active on Twitter, follow them at @unitedutilities and their website has a dedicated page and a frequently asked questions section.

Have you been affected by the water warning? Let us know in the comments below

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