UU to be prosecuted over crypto outbreak
United Utilities (UU) is facing charges over a cryptosporidium outbreak which affected approximately 700,000 people in Lancashire in 2015. The company has today (June 16) received a summons from the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI), and a full court case will be heard, commencing June 30.
UU said it has taken a “full and open role” with DWI during their investigation and “complied with all requests for information”. However, the company has refused to comment further until after the case has been concluded.
The DWI said whilst it cannot share information or discuss the prosecution prior to the conclusion of the court case, details of the case “will be made available on request” at the conclusion of the court session.
On August 6, 2015, UU began advising customers in Preston, South Ribble, Chorley and the Fylde coast to boil their water for all drinking and eating purposes after traces of cryptosporidium were detected during routine tests at Franklaw water treatment works. UU flushed through 2,500 miles of pipes and storage reservoirs to get rid of the cryptosporidium parasite, and deployed portable ultraviolet ray equipment kill off remaining traces.
The incident, which lasted 30 days, cost the company about £25M in compensation pay-outs to more than 300,000 customers.
There was widespread speculation in the media that a dead pheasant caught in UU’s pipe network was the source of the outbreak. However, this has not been officially recognised by DWI.
Responding to a freedom of information request from Utility Week recently, the DWI said it was withholding the source of the contamination as “release of interim findings before the completion of an investigation would be likely to be prejudicial to the course of justice”.
A version of this article first appeared on Utility Week.
- Franklaw WTW Crypto bug remains a mystery The Drinking Water Inspectorate's (DWI) investigation into the Cryptosporidium bug that affected water supplies in... Read More >
- Government apology for Camelford The government has apologised to people affected by water poisoning in Camelford, Cornwall - 25years after it happened.... Read More >
- United Utilities to invest extra £100M in resilience United Utilities has announced it will make an extra £100M available for investment in resilience measures over the... Read More >
- Comment: Sludge all set for reform The opening of the bioresources market presents water companies with an opportunity to do things differently, but what... Read More >
- Interview: Ben Jeffs, Chief Executive, MOSL “The whole industry has really mobilised around market opening, and the water companies deserve credit for that.” Read More >
- Close-Up: Who will be the big fish in the new water retail market? With a £2.5BN new market for non-domestic water retail to open in England in April, joint ventures, incumbents and new... Read More >
- Water Industry Procurement: could Brexit provide a fresh start? Could Brexit lead to a re-examination of the procurement rules which govern the water industry and other infrastructure... Read More >
- Industry View: Let's not drop the ball after PR19 There must be better alignment between PR19 strategic plans and actual delivery plans if water companies are to get full... Read More >
- Supply Network Manager Location: Somerset Salary: £30,767 to £41,226 per annum Looking for your next career move in water supply? If so, we may have a fantastic... Read more here.
- Senior Analyst The Organisation The Water Industry Commission for Scotland is the economic regulator of the water and sewerage industry in Scotland. ... Read more here.
- Key Account Manager Key Account Manager Competitive Salary: £40,000+ DOE London and Thames Valley Knowledge, Skills & Experience Commercially astute with... Read more here.
- Contracts Manager Contracts Manager Castle Water Limited Castle Water is the leading independent water retailer in the UK, and one of the fastest growing... Read more here.
- Divisional Customer Services Director Castle Water is the leading independent water retailer in the UK, and one of the fastest growing utility supply companies, supplying services... Read more here.