A positive test for E. coli to reservoir left Oxfordshire village without water

Dozens of homes in an Oxfordshire village were left without water after the discovery of E. coli in a nearby tank.

Positive samples of the bacteria have been found in Stokenchurch Reservoir by Thames Water, causing a disruption of its services to 68 Northend properties.

Low water pressure and a lack of supply meant homes had to be supplied with bottled water by Thames Water, while residents had tankers parked outside their homes to ensure a continuous supply.

The company said E. coli was found in two samples in half of Stokenchurch Reservoir on Friday and Sunday last week as part of a routine water quality sampling process.

A Thames Water tanker pumps water to another tanker in the village of Northend (Andrew MAtthews/PA)

The company has also notified the UK Health Safety Agency (UKHSA) and the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI).

Radiologist Gina Brown, 57, who moved her mother, 83, who has arthritis, and her father, 97, to an annex near her home in Northend so they could be closer to her , said the water issues in the area had left her wondering if it was the right decision.

Dr Brown told the PA news agency: ‘I think it’s the worry of how my parents are going to cope, because I brought them here to live with me, to build the appendix to ensure their safety.

“And I feel like I, you know, brought them here, and almost in some ways they made it worse.

“Because they, they were put in a situation where they weren’t before, where they had access to water and everything was fine.”

Summer weather August 11, 2022
Gina Brown, who lives in Northend (PA)

She told PA: “It was very laborious, it took a lot longer than expected. And frankly, lugging kettles of hot water up the stairs so you can wash up isn’t the easiest thing.

“And then if you imagine my elderly parents trying to do this, I wouldn’t recommend that they carry kettles, hot water, up and down.

“They can’t even lift the two-kilogram water bottles that were provided to them. They couldn’t flush the toilet. My father is confined to the house. So what should they do? »

A Thames Water spokesman apologized for the disruption at Northend and said the reservoir had been sanitized.

The spokesperson said: “We take anything related to public health very seriously. We believe the faulty samples may be related to a sample pump recently installed at the reservoir and not the water actually supplied to customers.

“We took the extra precaution of taking samples from downstream of the reservoir and all samples came back clear.

“As protecting water quality is always our first priority, we performed an internal inspection of the tank, which identified no significant defects, and also carried out additional precautionary work to ensure the integrity of the tank. tank.

“We disinfected the tank before returning it to service and ensured that two further clear samples were taken, all in accordance with our normal procedures.

“We would like to reassure our customers that there was no risk to public health.”

Comments are closed.