Brixham: South West Water issues update on when boil notice could be fully lifted

Watch the latest report from ITV News West Country as the drinking water scandal continues in South Devon.

South West Water has said the boil water notice could be lifted from all households in Brixham next week.

It follows an outbreak of a diarrhoea and vomiting illness, after the parasite cryptosporidium entered the water network.

In an interview with ITV News West Country on Sunday 19 May, incident director David Harris said: "We will lift the boil water notice in the Hillhead area as soon as we can in agreement with our public health partners.

"We have to flush our network of cryptosporidium and then get a series of clear test results.

"We are looking to mid to late next week before we can lift the boil water notice in Hillhead."

The UK Health Security Agency has so far confirmed 46 cases of the parasite - but more than 100 other people have reported similar symptoms.

Around 17,000 households were told to boil any water they consumed from Wednesday 15 May onwards.

On Saturday 18 May, that notice was lifted from the Alston network area - around 14,000 homes - but remains in place for 2,500 households in the Hillhead, upper Brixham and Kingswear areas.

Extra compensation for people in Hillhead, upper Brixham and Kingswear

South West Water has promised an extra £100 compensation to customers who are still under a boil water notice in Brixham.

All of those affected were initially told they would get £15, but this rose to £100 shortly afterwards.

Now, anyone living in Hillhead, upper Brixham and Kingswear, is entitled to £215 total compensation.

South West Water said that equated to nearly half the average annual water bill.

Where did the parasite come from?

South West Water said in a statement on Sunday 19 May: "We have already identified a probable cause at Hillhead - a damaged air valve on private farmland - and are urgently investigating how this happened."

Earlier this week, it was suggested that the parasite itself could have come from cow manure on the farmland.

The statement continued: "The Hillhead reservoir has been successfully drained, thoroughly cleaned, and we will start refilling today.

"We will also start flushing the wider Hillhead network today, which is being continuously monitored as we work to eliminate any traces of cryptosporidium."

What is the current situation at Hillhead Reservoir?

Mr Harris said: "Very pleasingly, today the crypto tests show no cryptosporidium in the Hillhead reservoir.

"There is still crypto in the Hillhead network but it's very encouraging for us to see that as the water flows through the system, those crypto results are coming in showing no crypto in that storage reservoir."

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