Boiled water notice lifted in more areas of Lancashire after outbreak


More people in Lancashire have been told they no longer have to boil their water following the outbreak of a parasitic bug in supplies.

United Utilities on Sunday lifted the boil water notice on another 86,000 households in Chorley, Preston and South Ribble.

This follows the first phase of restrictions to be lifted last Thursday in other areas including Blackpool.

About half of the 300,000 households hit by the outbreak have now been told they can use their water as normal.

Water supplier United Utilities say by Wednesday they expect to bring two-thirds of customers back to normal service.

Homes and businesses in Lancashire were first warned to boil their water before use on August 6 after traces of the microbial parasite cryptosporidium was found in a water treatment works in Preston.

United Utilities say customers will be getting compensation - but have yet to say how much, prompting criticism and for the time taken to get water supplies back to normal.

The firm say eradicating the bug from a water network covering 2,500 miles of pipework is a complex process.

Cryptosporidium exists in the environment in a form called an oocyst, which is less than a tenth of the thickness of a human hair.

Infection with the parasite can cause diarrhoea and abdominal cramps.

Gary Dixon, United Utilities' customer services director said: "We have now been able to remove the boil water notice for half of all customers originally affected.

"Our plans are in place to provide bottled water to schools and colleges in the areas still affected so that they can open as usual when term starts this week.

"We are making good progress in clearing the final traces of the bug, and expect to have good news for the vast majority of remaining customers by the end of the coming week.

"The boiled water notice will only be lifted in remaining areas once we and our partner agencies are completely satisfied that there is no risk to public health.

"We remain extremely grateful to our customers for their ongoing patience and understanding."

Public Health England has stated that there have been no confirmed cases of sickness linked to the water supply in the area to date.

Confirmation letters are being sent to the latest group of customers who no longer need to boil their water, and a variety of other communications, including text messages and social media, are being used to keep customers up to date.

To check which postcodes the restrictions are now lifted from customers can visit United Utilities' website: or call the freephone number: 0800 912 7241.