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Water contamination issue revealed on Isle of Man

Properties between Church Street in Douglas and North Quay were effected since Friday. Credit: Bing

Investigations into contamination of water supply in the capital of the Isle of Man last week have revealed the cause.

Properties between Church Street and North Quay in Douglas were not able to use water for drinking, cooking or washing since Friday.

It was due to sea water being pumped back into the fresh supply, during a routine procedure washing the ferry Ben-my-Chree, entering the area's system.

The Steam Packet Company said it has never happened before, and that it was a 'genuine accident.'

Residents were told on Friday evening that the issue had been resolved.

I would like to take this opportunity to apologise again to all customers affected by this incident. Following the complaint from one of the restaurants on North Quay, Manx Utilities staff managed to isolate the area polluted and flush the system out, but it was initially unclear where the sea water had come from. There was close liaison with the Public Health Department and samples were sent to ensure that there had been no bacterial contamination of the freshwater system.

Emergency water supplies were mobilised but we had to wait until the following day to be sure that the system was clear and people were completely safe to drink the water again. The following day technicians fitted a non-return valve to the system as an extra precaution.

– Chairman of Manx Utilities Dr Alex Allinson MHK