Live updates

Drinking water now safe in Berkshire

Your drinking water has been given the all clear. That’s the message to Thames Water customers in the RG8 area this morning.

Engineers spent yesterday visiting properties in the area collecting water samples and worked into the early hours of Sunday morning sending them for quality testing.

They are now confident that the water is safe to drink once again.

Affected customers will be receiving letters today confirming that they can now drink the water. It should be noted however that Thames Water engineers will be continuing routine work in the area throughout today.

Odour from a newly repaired water pipe caused an unusual smell in the tap water on Thursday evening, meaning customers were strongly advised to avoid drinking it – although experts agreed there was “minimal public health risk”.

After a day and night of sampling, we’re very pleased to say that the drinking water in the RG8 area has passed all our quality tests and is now safe for customers to drink again. We’re very sorry for the continued inconvenience this problem caused, but we take matters of water quality and public health very seriously and thank customers for their patience.”

– Simon Earl, Thames Water’s head of water production

Thames Water carry out tests on tap water

Tests have been carried out on the water supply for fifteen hundred homes in Oxfordshire and Berkshire by Thames Water.

Residents have been having to use bottled water to drink since a smell from a newly repaired pipe affected tap water. It's hoped the notice NOT to drink supplies will be lifted as soon as the tests are complete.

ITV Meridian spoke to Rob Hales from Thames Water.


Water still undrinkable in parts of Berkshire

Water sampling at customers’ homes is underway as Thames Water attempts to restore drinking water supplies to customers in parts of the RG8 area.

Odour from a newly repaired water pipe caused an unusual smell in the tap water on Thursday evening,

Affected customers are strongly advised to avoid drinking it while sampling takes place – although experts agreed yesterday there is “minimal public health risk”.

Engineers worked through the night to flush through the system and this was completed in the early hours of sat morning.

The laboratory has been testing samples overnight and will continue doing so today. We are hopeful that we should be able to give customers the all clear later this afternoon once today’s testing is complete. We’re very sorry for this inconvenience, but we take matters of water quality and public health very seriously and thank customers for their patience.”

– Simon Earl, Thames Water’s head of water production

Tap water in the affected areas can still be used for washing and bathing, but not for cleaning teeth, making ice or for letting pets drink.

Initial findings show the issue was due to extremely low concentrations of a compound called styrene in the water.

Thames Water advise 'avoid drinking' tap water

Thames Water have confirmed that they will continue their attempts to restore drinking water to customers living in the RG8 area.

Odour from a newly repaired water pipe was making tap water smell last night and customers are strongly advised against drinking it.

Despite this, experts have agreed today there is “minimal public health risk".

22,000 litres of bottled water has already been delivered to sites across the region with five water tankers - another 16,000 litres have been ordered for Friday night.

Fifty static tanks each carrying 100 litres will be available in the morning.

The areas affected by the disruption are Streatley, Ashampstead, Upper Basildon and a small part of Pangbourne.

The risk to public health is very low and this is being done as a precaution. Drinking water standards in the UK are very high and we take any quality issues very seriously. The situation is improving but the safety of our customers is of paramount importance. We’re working as quickly as possible to return things to normal, and as soon as we have confirmation the water is safe to drink again we will issue an all-clear notice."

– Simon Earl, Thames Water’s head of water production

Something in the water?

You've woken up. You've just had a glass of water or sipped a cup of tea. Then you notice a warning leaflet pushed through your front door saying 'Don't Drink The Water!' That's what happened to people in parts of Berkshire today.

Thames Water has issued a warning to 1500 customers - with an RG8 postcode. That's people in the Moulsford, Streatley and Pangbourne areas. They've been told not to drink their tap water, due to a strange smell. Bottled water is being distributed - but there's only so much available.

Some families say there's been too little information. Asana Greenstreet reports.


Thames Water customers warned not to use tap water

The letter sent out to customers regarding the state of their water supply Credit: ITV Meridian

Thames Water customers in Berkshire have be warned not to use tap water after an 'unusual odour' to their water supply.

The water company have asked customers to refrain from drinking, cooking or cleaning teeth with the water from their taps.

They have said they will provide bottled water whilst they work to resolve any issues.

Ofwat challenges Thames Water's bill rise

Water regulator Ofwat have challenged Thames Water's plans to increase consumer bills.

The requested increase could add a further eight per cent and around £29 to an annual average household bill.

Ofwat is assessing Thames's application to determine whether increases are justified.

Ofwat is making counter-claims to Thames Water about their underspend on sewer flooding, a spillage in their sewage scheme and not adequately maintaining its wastewater network.

Ofwat’s Chief Regulation Officer Sonia Brown said:

“We have been clear that we would challenge Thames’ proposed bill increase. So we are looking to see if there are areas where we can claim money back for customers.”

Ofwat will examine whether there is a case for clawing back gains through this mechanism from Thames.

  1. National

Anger as Thames Water announces surcharge plans

Plans for Thames Water to charge their customers a one-off surcharge of approximately £29 have been greeted with anger on social media site Twitter.

Load more updates