Water bosses are bringing in ultra violet ray equipment to help kill off cryptosporidium in the water supply which has affected over 300,000 Lancashire residents.
United Utilities is to use the portable UV rigs at three sites on the Fylde which it says should make a difference and help kill off cryptosporidium. The equipment, which consists of powerful fluorescent UV lights shining in a tank through which water passes, will be used on water leaving the Warbreck, Weeton and Westby service reservoir outlets.
The UV C rays attack the DNA of the parasite killing it rapidly. It also works on other potentially harmful microbes such as e-coli. John Butcher, UU’s regional supplies manager, said: “Cryoptosporidium is very vulnerable to this UV C light. The normal treatment process at Franklaw deals with it and the water coming out of there is clear, but we have brought this in to deal with the water now going through the system.”
Gary Dixon UU’s customer services director said they had identified a possible source for the contamination but had to wait for the Drinking Water Inspectorate’s official report.
Almost 120 food outlets in East Lancashire have officially been deemed in need of ‘urgent’ or ‘major’ hygiene improvements.
The fact that so many restaurants, takeaways, cafes and shops come the lowest two of five ratings for a healthy environment has alarmed MPs who care calling for tougher action to improve standards.
Blackburn MP Kate Hollern and Hyndburn’s Graham Jones are urging people to check the national food standards ‘Scores on the Doors’ website before purchasing food.
Out of a total of 4,473 outlets across East Lancashire 117 come in the lowest to two categories – One ‘Urgent Improvement Necessary’ or Two ‘Major Improvement Necessary’.
The worst figure comes from Hyndburn where 44 of 656 premises come in the bottom two scores.
More than 300,000 homes in Lancashire have been told that they may have to boil their drinking water after a microbial parasite was discovered in their supply.
United Utilities, which provides water and sewage services to around seven million people in North West England, found traces of the parasite cryptosporidium at Franklaw water treatment works near Preston, during routine tests.
Cryptosporidium can cause gastrointestinal illness with diarrhoea in humans. The parasite can cause acute, short-term infections, but symptoms can become severe in children and people with low immune systems.
The alert was initially issued by United Utilities last Thursday but the company have advised customers in Blackpool, Chorley, Fylde, Preston, South Ribble and Wyre to continue carrying out precautions till at least Wednesday as “low” levels of the parasite still remain in the supply.