More than 300,000 homes in Lancashire are still having to boil their tap water more than two weeks after the outbreak of the parasitic bug Cryptosporidium.
Water firm United Utilities said it was a 'step closer' to removing the boil water notice as it installed ultraviolet (UV) rigs across its network to speed the flushing process and kill any remaining traces of the bug.
But the company, facing a mounting compensation bill to affected householders and businesses, said it still could not be clear when it will able to give the go-ahead for people to use unboiled water for drinking, food preparation and brushing teeth.
The affected area covers a large swathe of Lancashire, including Preston, Blackpool and the Fylde coast.
Eight UV rigs are being installed around the county where the rays will attach to pipes and kill off the bug which is said to be at "very low levels".
Customer services manager Gary Dixon said earlier:
The source of the outbreak on August 6 has been identified as the Franklaw water treatment plant in Preston.
Cryptosporidium is less than a 10th of the thickness of a human hair and the infection with the parasite can cause diarrhoea and abdominal cramps.