WATER CHAOS: ‘Why weren’t we told sooner?’

Water being drunk from a glass.
Water being drunk from a glass.

Unitied Utilities has come under fire for its handling of the water contamination chaos across Lancashire.

Dozens of readers have taken to social media to voice concerns about the way information has been relayed after traces of cryptosporidium were found at the Franklaw water treatment plant near Garstang.

The situation has left around 300,000 people unable to drink the tap water.

Some claims were made that the public weren’t informed as early as they could have been, but United Utilities bosses say the information was provided at the “earliest opportunity”.

One person commenting, who goes by the name of “annetony”, said: “I only found out about it when I went on Facebook yesterday. Working at the hospital I think it’s disgusting that no one was informed about this as everyone was drinking water from the tap. There is no bottled water left in the supermarkets and when you boil the kettle for some it takes ages to cool so if you have medication to take you might not take on time it has a much bigger effect on people than they can imagine.”

Preston Lass said: “Why weren’t we told sooner and in a more effective way, such as door-to-door leaflets?”

Craig Miller added: “How is it that I only found out about this bug on social media around 5pm on Thursday, when United Utilities knew about this bug on Wednesday?”

And Tony Woody said: “United Utilities should be coming round with bottled water for every house affected.

“Finding out about this at teatime yesterday was a bit late for some people.”

But United Utilities bosses defended their response, and a spokesman said: “We carried out the tests and then on Thursday, after consulting with our multi-agency partners, a decision was taken which was the first time a decision could be taken, to issue the boil water notice. It was issued purely as a precaution.

“As soon as it became readily available from the tests that we carried out it was made known into the public domain from ourselves and other partners.

“As soon as the tests were confirmed and we had agreement with NHS England and Public Health England the information went out immediately,

“That was the earliest opportunity we could have done that.”

- How do you think the situation has been handled? Comment online or email lep.newsdesk@lep.co.uk

For more on the water contamination in Lancashire visit the links below:

Parasite found in water supply

WATER SCARE: What is Cryptosporidium?

Shelves cleared amid water scare

Map issued showing affected areas

Health warning continues after bug is found in water supply

BREAKING: Water warning to last into next week