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Home Breaking South West Water Refuses to Provide Timeline for Lifting Boil Water Notice Amid Disease Outbreak

South West Water Refuses to Provide Timeline for Lifting Boil Water Notice Amid Disease Outbreak

South West Water Refuses To Provide Timeline For Lifting Boil Water Notice Amid Disease Outbreak

A South West Water executive has declined to provide a definitive timeline for when a boil water notice will be lifted following the detection of a parasite in a crucial reservoir, leaving thousands of residents in a state of uncertainty.

South West Water Refuses To Provide Timeline For Lifting Boil Water Notice Amid Disease Outbreak

Laura Flowerdue, the company’s chief customer officer, confirmed suspicions that a broken air valve contaminated by animal faeces likely caused the incident, which has left dozens ill and thousands unable to drink tap water.

South West Water Refuses To Provide Timeline For Lifting Boil Water Notice Amid Disease Outbreak

However, when pressed for a timeframe on resolving the situation, Flowerdue stated, “We’re still working through the operational processes to ensure we can absolutely link the root causes. We then need to take steps to repair any damage and then make sure we flush any issues through the network … before we lift the notice.”

South West Water Refuses To Provide Timeline For Lifting Boil Water Notice Amid Disease Outbreak

Refusing to commit to a specific duration, she added, “We are working hard to be able to give more decisive information about that timeline. At this stage we absolutely want to ensure we’re giving the right information to customers.”

South West Water Refuses To Provide Timeline For Lifting Boil Water Notice Amid Disease Outbreak

The turmoil began when residents in parts of south Devon were initially advised that their drinking water was safe, only for South West Water to backtrack and issue a boil notice to 16,000 households and businesses in Brixham, Boohay, Kingswear, Roseland, and North West Paignton after discovering “small traces” of the cryptosporidium parasite in the Hillhead reservoir.

South West Water Refuses To Provide Timeline For Lifting Boil Water Notice Amid Disease Outbreak

The UK Health Security Agency has confirmed 22 cases of cryptosporidiosis, with up to 70 additional cases under investigation.

South West Water Refuses To Provide Timeline For Lifting Boil Water Notice Amid Disease Outbreak

Ms Flowerdue disclosed, “We have identified that there is a damaged air valve on the network near the Hillhead Reservoir. But we absolutely want to make sure that’s the only source [of the contamination]. We understand this is a valve on one of the pipes heading towards the reservoir in a farmer’s field, there are cattle in the field and it’s a possibility that’s the source of the contamination.”

South West Water has faced mounting criticism for its handling of the outbreak. Totnes MP Anthony Mangnall has pressed for greater clarification and communication, warning that the boil water notice could extend “at least a further 6 or 7 days.”

Amid the chaos, Eden Park Primary School closed due to a lack of drinking water, and local healthcare facilities have seen a surge in calls. Families are limited to a maximum of six litres of water at distribution points, leading to long queues and heightened frustrations among residents.

One resident expressed dismay, stating, “It’s absolutely ridiculous. People are going out buying water, we pay for water already!”

The situation remains fluid as authorities work to address the contamination and provide relief to affected communities.

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