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Water declared safe to drink

August 27, 2008 at 1:38 pm

Anglian Water customers across Northamptonshire have been told that their water is now safe to drink after the parasitic organism, Cryptosporidium, was found at a water treatment plant in June. Over one quarter of a million customers were advised to boil their water before drinking, cooking or cleaning teeth to avoid vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach cramps and fever although the water was considered safe enough for baths and showers.

There were at least 15 confirmed cases of Cryptosporidium bug and over 700 people reported symptoms to their doctor. The bug can be fatal but symptoms normally last between a few days and a month. Northamptonshire County Council also closed 21 schools in the affected area due to lack of safe water but swimming pools were said to remain unaffected by the ‘boil notice’.

However, people in Northampton and Daventry were finally given the all-clear on Friday, 4 July and water for the entire area was declared safe to drink by the end of the weekend, ten days after households across Northamptonshire were notified of the bug. Staff at the Anglian Water treatment plant in Pitsford arranged for homes to be supplied by other networks and cleaned 12 water reservoirs and towers and around 1000 miles of pipes to ensure the water was safe to drink.

The source of the parasitic organism has been traced to a dead rabbit which had got into the water supply via a remote ancillary tank. However, further investigations have now revealed that this specific parasite is not deemed to be particularly harmful to humans.

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