Waters are still muddy over contamination cause

Collecting water in New Stevenston
Collecting water in New Stevenston

Scottish Water admit they don’t know what caused the contamination that affected thousands of households last week.

Over 6,000 people living in Dalziel Park, New Stevenston, Carfin, Newarthill, Holytown, Mossend and Chapelhall woke up on Thursday morning to find their water coming from their taps appeared to contain an ‘oily-based substance’.

Scottish Water is currently carrying out an investigation in a bid to prepare a report for the Drinking Water Regulator.

A spokesman said: “Our sampling had detected an oily-based substance in the network.

“Now that the restrictions have been lifted and the water is safe, we can focus on continuing our investigation into what happened.

“We are taking every step possible to fully investigate all possible causes of last week’s service disruption in North Lanarkshire.

“It is essential that we fully understand all possible causes of the issue with the water supply.

“The investigation is being carried out comprehensively and thoroughly, before a full and detailed report on all aspects of the incident is submitted to the Drinking Water Quality Regulator.

“We are also continuing to monitor the network to ensure that drinking water supplied to our customers continues to be of the normal high quality.”

Due to the unknown contaminant householders were warned not to use the water for anything other than flushing the toilet, even if it was boiled.

Hundreds of people queued for bottled water at collection points at Kirkhall Road in Newarthill and the Lidl store in New Stevenston, while deliveries were also made to households.

On Friday all those affected received leaflets telling them the water was once again safe to use.

Carfin was the last place to receive the all-clear, but Michelle Bruce of Taylor Avenue was delighted with the service Scottish Water provided.

She said: “I thought Scottish Water were fantastic, myself and my husband are a little disabled so it was great that water was left on our doorstep and we didn’t have to get to one of the collection points.

“Obviously it isn’t ideal when you can’t use the water coming out of the taps, but I thought they handled the situation great.

“I’m sure some people were complaining about the situation, but it was just one of those unfortunate things, and shows how much we take for granted the service we normally receive.”

Airdrie & Shotts MP Neil Gray, whose constituency takes in part of the affected area, has written written to Scottish Water chief executive, Douglas Millican.

He said: “I am relieved the matter was swiftly resolved and grateful that Scottish Water reacted quickly to deliver much needed water supplies to those affected by this incident.

“However, there are important questions which I feel have not been answered yet.

“Why did this situation occur in the first place and what preventative measures have Scottish Water implemented to ensure that this incident does not repeat itself in the future?”