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Tests show Brixham water bug tank now clean

Wednesday, 22 May 2024 12:12

By Guy Henderson - Local Democracy Reporter

Diagram showing the supply to the Brixham and Kingswear tanks (Image courtesy: South West Water)

'This has only affected a small area of Torbay and we remain open for business'

One of the supply tanks at the centre of the Brixham water bug crisis is now completely clean, according to the latest tests carried out by South West Water.

The large tank at Alston, which receives water pumped from the Littlehempston treatment works near Totnes, showed no trace at all of the cryptosporidium parasite yesterday.

Torbay's director of public health said he was confident that the right steps were being taken, and the bay remained 'open for business' with the Bank Holiday weekend approaching.

The bug caused dozens of people to fall ill with diarrhoea, stomach cramps and vomiting last week, and SWW has provided thousands of cases of bottled water as it works round the clock to fix the problem.

A faulty valve between the Alston tank and the next one on the network - at Hillhead - is believed to have caused the issue. A ‘boil water’ warning is still in place for around 2,500 households served by the Hillhead tank and the Boohay tank which is next in line.

The area affected includes Hillhead and Kingswear.

There have been 57 confirmed cases of cryptosporidium in the Brixham area, and more cases are likely to be confirmed over the coming days as samples are processed.

Torbay Council’s director of public health Dr Lincoln Sargeant said: “We encourage residents to follow good hygiene practices to prevent onward spread of infection. Along with effective public health measures, including the boil water notice for areas where it still applies, we are confident that the right steps are being taken to ensure our residents and visitors are no longer at risk.   

“For those areas still subject to the boil water notice, we continue to support local businesses to operate safely. It is important to emphasise that the outbreak has only affected a small area of Torbay and we remain open for business.”

SWW has arranged a series of community pop-up events at the Scala Hall in Brixham to answer questions from residents affected by the boil water notice.

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